ACR Opposes MedPAC Sustainable Growth Rate Recommendations

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While it remains strongly in favor of serious, properly designed proposals to eliminate the sustainable growth rate (SGR), the American College of Radiology (ACR) has issued a statement is expressing strong opposition to Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommendations pertaining to such a move.

The recommendations include a proposal for two separate conversion factors that would result in a 5.9% reimbursement cut for most physicians, including radiologists and radiation oncologists, over each of the next three years. Reimbursement for primary care services at would be frozen at their current levels, and all physician reimbursement would be frozen for seven years thereafter.

The ACR believes the MedPac recommendations are not based in sound evidence and, as such, would only serve to fragment the physician community at a time when it must unify for the benefit of its patients.
ACR leaders say MedPAC instead needs to engage in a forthright and evidence-based dialogue with the entire physician community to arrive at appropriate reimbursement policy that ensures patient access to appropriate, high-quality care. This policy should not be based on payment cuts to certain segments of the physician population, but rather, rooted in quality initiatives within a coordinated patient care structure, the society contends.

“The cuts proposed by MedPAC would embody the antithesis of the accountable care philosophy, and would severely impair the multispecialty coordination of care so vital for the continued health and longevity of our country’s Medicare patients,” the statement says.