With April fast approaching, it’s important to remember that April 1st marks the end of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. On this date, Congress will respond to the expiration in one of three ways. Their options are to pass another year-long delay, propose a permanent solution, or let the provision expire altogether.
The permanent solution would be to eliminate the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) altogether. Eliminating the SGR would mean that healthcare cost neutrality would be achieved, benefitting providers and patients. However, the prediction of lobbyists who are concerned with this issue forecasts another temporary solution. In the current political climate, it is highly doubtful that a permanent solution will be adopted.
If a permanent solution is not proposed by Congress, they may approve another year-long patch as they have since 2002. This is problematic, as it causes uncertainty and discomfort for the healthcare community. However, postponing the issue for another year is a preferred outcome to no action. If Congress does not provide a solution, reimbursement rates will be reduced by as much as 22 percent.
Digirad will continue to monitor the legislation and present any changes that the legislation brings to our customers. You can do your part to stay up-to-date on the changes, updates, and announcements regarding this hot-button issue by following Digirad on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can also visit the following links to get involved: