Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) - the “Doc Fix” - Passes Senate, Heads to President Obama

As reported by AHCA yesterday, the Senate sent a permanent Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) solution to the President’s desk on a vote of 92 to 8. The bill, H.R. 2, will eliminate the perennial threat of providers paying for a "Doc Fix" and inject much-needed stability for the long term and post-acute care sector.  

The annual routine of fixing the flawed SGR formula was always a billion-dollar risk for skilled nursing providers.  Heretofore, the doc-fix limped along year-to-year for a total of 17 patches since 2003. AHCA estimates that skilled nursing has been cut by more than $27 billion to pay for short-term SGR fixes.

While skilled nursing payment is being modified to contribute to the cost of the permanent fix, AHCA/NCAL staff worked closely with Congressional leadership to push the cut back to FY 2018, with the understanding that we can avoid the cut if we provide a better alternative in the interim.  Specifically, skilled nursing providers will be limited to a one percent market basket increase, net of other adjustments, in FY 2018. This increase takes into account the productivity adjustment within the Affordable Care Act.

AHCA and VHCA want to thank the membership for its advocacy efforts showing strong support for this legislation.  A permanent repeal of SGR is the first step in establishing a new level of certainty and stability for care providers across the country.