U.S. House passes doc-fix bill that would repeal SGR

[Story update: The U.S. Senate did not vote on the bill by end of business day on Friday, postponing their decision on the bill until after spring break.]

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to end the use of the sustainable growth rate (SGR), choosing a permanent doc-fix instead. The 392–37 bipartisan vote, if also approved by the Senate and signed by the president, would effectively end the controversial process of scrambling to cut provider rates at year's end and would add new reforms for therapy reviews.

"This is great news for the long term and post-acute care sector, and we applaud the House for moving so quickly and overwhelmingly," said Mark Parkinson, AHCA president and CEO, in a press statement. "A permanent solution will help millions of patients, residents and their families continue receiving the care they depend on to heal and return to their communities. Bipartisan votes like the one which occurred today on challenging yet vital issues such as the future of Medicare are encouraging. Not only do they signal the potential for future successes as in the area of payment reform, but also the promise that we can come together to address big problems with even bigger ideas on how to solve them."

The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate, where legislators are expected to vote on the bill before the end of the week.

Read this past week's coverage of the bill's progress:

AHCA gives 'enthusiastic support' to SGR bill

Concerns remain after introduction of SGR replacement bill

Topics: Medicare/Medicaid , Regulatory Compliance