CRFB Publishes Updated PREP Plan Outlining Responsible SGR Reform
In light of the upcoming Fiscal Speed Bump when the most recent doc fix patch expires on March 31, yesterday we released an update to our Paying for Reform and Extension Policies (PREP) Plan, which illustrates how to responsibly replace the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) with a permanent solution. In just 3 pages, we describe a fiscally sustainable approach to finally solving the decade-long problem of the large physician payment cuts that the SGR proscribes (21 percent in the current iteration).
Building upon the bipartisan, bicamerial tricommittee bill introduced last year to replace the SGR with alternate payment models, we go one step further by proposing $215 billion of offsets to pay for the replacement and a package of "health extenders." Not only would this avoid adding to deficits, it would also provide greater incentives for high-quality, coordinated care and help to bend the health care cost curve.
Of course, this is only one of many possible packages to offset SGR reform. But whatever options policymakers choose – and whether they pursue a permanent or temporary doc fix – they should continue the precedent of ensuring doc fixes do not worsen an already precarious fiscal situation.
The full PREP Plan is available to read here.