U.S. House moves to head off SGR cuts

The U.S. House of Representatives on June 24 passed a bill that seeks to prevent a 10.6% physician payment cut called for by Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that is to go into effect July 1, according to the American College of Radiology (ACR) of Reston, VA.

The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 passed by a tally of 355 to 59 and replaces the 10.6% cut, as well as a 5% cut set for January 1, 2009, with a 0.5% positive update for the rest of this year and a 1.1% update through 2009.

The bill also calls for diagnostic imaging services providers to be accredited to receive payment for the technical component for these services.

A similar measure was put forth in the Senate on June 12 but failed; the Senate Finance Committee has been working on a compromise measure, but the Senate may take up the House bill if it can collect enough votes to pass, the ACR said.

What will become of the legislation is unclear, as the White House has threatened to veto the measure.

Related Reading

U.S. House passes extension of child health program, December 21, 2007

Bush vetoes children's health bill a second time, December 13, 2007

U.S. House passes kids health bill Bush opposes, August 3, 2007

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