Schwartz Statement on Ways and Means Committee's Bipartisan SGR Repeal Bill
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz (PA-13) today voted in support of bipartisan legislation to replace Medicare’s broken physician payment system and ensure patient access to doctors while promoting efficiency, quality and value in health care delivery. The Ways and Means Committee unanimously approved the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 2810) by a vote of 39-0.
In February, Congresswoman Schwartz introduced the bipartisan Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act (H.R. 574) with Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) to repeal the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and set out a clear path toward comprehensive reforms of Medicare payment and delivery systems. The Ways and Means bill incorporates the overarching framework of Schwartz's legislation, including several specific provisions.
“Today’s vote marks a significant leap forward in the effort to permanently repeal the broken Medicare physician payment system that has threatened seniors’ access to health care for more than a decade. For several years I have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find a long-term solution to this broken policy that has failed Medicare beneficiaries, taxpayers and those on the frontlines of patient care. We have engaged doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, as well as Medicare beneficiaries, to develop a framework for payment reforms that will transform the way we pay for health care in this country. Schwartz said.
“I strongly support our committee’s effort to end the costly cycle of short-term fixes that has caused instability and uncertainty for seniors, Medicare providers and the federal budget. Working together, we have created a clear pathway to new reimbursement models that reward value instead of volume, improve patient outcomes, reduce Medicare costs and treat providers fairly.
“We owe it to seniors across the country to both end the perennial threat to Medicare beneficiaries’ access to medical services and reform the physician payment mechanisms to improve quality, outcomes, efficiency and value in health care. Now is the time to act. I strongly encourage the House to bring our SGR reform bill to the floor and push it over the finish line.”