U.S. House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement on legislation to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate Formula for reimbursing physicians. But the $125 billion price tag for a new payment program could complicate passage.

A summary released by House and Senate leaders explains the deal: “This section repeals the SGR to provide long-term stability to the Medicare physician fee schedule,” according to a section-by-section summary of the agreement released by lawmakers.  “It provides stable updates for five years and ensures no changes are made to the current payment system for four years. In 2018, it establishes a streamlined and improved incentive payment program that will focus the fee-for-service system on providing value and quality.”

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