NEJM Perspective: The Medicare 'Doc Fix' Saga Continues

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<p>In <a href="/publications/journal-article/2014/apr/doc-fix-another-missed-opportunity">"'The Doc Fix'—Another Missed Opportunity,"</a> Stuart Guterman offers his thoughts on the continuing saga of Medicare's "sustainable growth rate" formula, or SGR, originally intended to limit the rate of growth in doctors' fees to growth in the overall economy. </p><p>In this <em>New England Journal of Medicine</em> Perspective, Guterman, The Commonwealth Fund's Vice President for Medicare and Cost Control, says that despite the failure of Congress's most recent attempt to repeal the SGR, there is widespread agreement that it must go, as well as growing realization that the current fee-for-service payment system must be replaced. </p>
<p>"The SGR fails to address volume and intensity—the factors driving Medicare spending growth—directly, and its across-the-board reductions in physician fees actually penalize individual physicians who do control their costs," Guterman writes, adding that it also fails to provide incentives for improving quality. </p>
<p>"We can only hope that the recent momentum will continue and Congress will use the next year to reach agreement on a more permanent solution," he concludes. Read more on <a href="/publications/journal-article/2014/apr/doc-fix-another-missed-opportunity"></a>. </p>