ASA Supports Repeal of SGR

Heather Linder -

The House Committees on Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce requested feedback from the American Society of Anesthesiologists regarding specific aspects of the proposal to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate.

In its response, ASA highlighted the role of anesthesiologists as leaders in patient safety as they perform complex, high-risk tasks. ASA also pointed out the "33-percent payment problem," a term for the gap that exists between the rates Medicare reimburses for anesthesia and the rates assigned for all other specialties. The society would like lawmakers to address the low reimbursement rates and keep in mind the quality improvement and reduced costs achieved by the specialty, according to the report.

ASA supports the repeal of the SGR, which it calls a flawed mechanism, and will support alternatives that provide viable economic foundations for those providing care to Medicare patients.

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