Congress has until March 31 to repeal Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that calls for an almost 24 percent cut in Medicare payments this year, according to congressional staffers who were panelists at HIMSS14. A bipartisan group of House and Senate members introduced a bill last month that would not only repeal the "broken" and flawed" SGR formula, they say, but also includes important health information technology provisions.

The SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 "does a lot of good things for health I.T.," remarked Mitchell Vakerics, legislative counsel for Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, Communications and Technology.

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