11 February 2010

The Return of the Bride of the SGR

Speaking of the collapse of the health care system...

The SGR patch is back on the docket!

You may remember that there is a 21% cut in physician reimbursement by medicare this year mandated by the SGR formula. (As an aside, I highly recommend this passionate post by Dr Rob about why he continues to accept Medicare patients despite the fact that it is bad business to do so.) You may also remember that Congress punted to the end of February (oddly enough) when they were unable to come to a solution prior to the end of 2009.

Word on the Street (Wall Street, that is) is that another annual SGR patch will be attached to the Senate jobs bill.

Interesting. Last I heard, the GOP was set to filibuster the jobs bill as part of their return-to-power-by-bringing-America-to-its-knees strategy of relentless obstruction. (Was that excessively cynical? Perhaps. But it's also true.) Will the inclusion of the SGR patch make it harder for republicans to filibuster the jobs bill? I confess that I'm not all that informed about its prospects, so I hesitate to predict.

Sometimes I almost wish that Congress would allow the SGR cuts to go through. It'd hurt my business immensely, but the firestorm that would ensue as private physicians dropped out of Medicare en masse might actually be a good thing in the long run, as an impetus for Congress to fix the physician reimbursement problem once and for all.

I'm getting sick of this Groundhog-day style repetitive drama.

3 comments:

  1. "Sometimes I almost wish that Congress would allow the SGR cuts to go through. It'd hurt my business immensely, but the firestorm that would ensue as private physicians dropped out of Medicare en masse might actually be a good thing in the long run. . ."

    Agreed. The Medicare/Caid system is terribly broken. Sometimes, you cannot remodel - you just need to implode and start clean. M+M was poorly designed + is actuarily unsound. Engineering adverse selection into a healthcare system is pretty dumb idea - and that is what we have.

    Bite the bullet - no SGR fix.

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  2. I'm getting sick of this Groundhog-day style repetitive drama.

    These "repetitive dramas," SF, are the wages of government-run health care. The more control they get over the system the worse this BS will get.

    It's amazing to me that anyone who has been jerked around this way can believe that it will somehow get better if Ocare passes.

    The only real change in this behavior will come when they finally get their monopoly. Then the reprieves will stop coming.

    And it won't matter how much the quislings at the AMA whine.

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  3. Wish granted. According to an AP report this morning, Feb 12th, the jobs bill that contained the postponement of SGR cuts has been trimmed down to a more realistic size. In so doing, the SGR cuts were removed. Now who knows what will happen; this could get interesting real quick and in a hurry.

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