Healthcare providers are now hoping that Sustainable Growth Rate or SGR will be eliminated. Introduced by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), SGR is used to control Medicare spending and to fix physician payment, so that Medicare spending does not exceed the GDP growth.
At the recent National Advocacy Conference conducted by American Medical Association (AMA), Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke in support of eliminating SGR.
Various healthcare professional organizations such as AMA, ACP (American College of Physicians), AAFP (American Association of Family Physicians) and others have endorsed the Congress proposed bi-partisan bill to end of SGR. Healthcare professionals believe that the SGR formula has produced irrational and counter-intuitive results. They are hoping for permanent solution to SGR so that physician reimbursement rates are not cut. The Alliance for Health Reform report says that without future intervention, physicians will face a 25 percent cut in reimbursement rates for their Medicare patients in January 2014.
The AMA intends to put forward a proposal to shift towards a collection of Medicare delivery and payment models that will provide physicians the flexibility to make choices that will help to reduce costs and improve patient-care. To make this a reality, these models must be accessible to healthcare practices of all sizes and include all medical specialties.
One way that practices can cut costs is by outsourcing their billing and coding tasks to an established medical billing and coding company. Medicare risk adjustment coding services are provided to collect Medicare reimbursement. Besides improving billing efficiency, maximizing reimbursement, minimizing denials, and reducing administrative costs, professional medical billing and coding services provide physicians with more time for their core activities.