After the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) reviewed draft recommendations related to the Medicare Physician Payment system, the American College of Surgeons was pleased that the MedPAC recognized the need to eliminate the Sustainable Growth Rate and move towards a reimbursement system that is based on quality of care. However, ACS felt the recommendations being considered fail to meet the goal of quality and further jeopardize access to care. According to an ACS press release, these recommendations do not value the role all physicians have in the continuum of care and would have a devastating impact on access to surgical care. Therefore, the organization voiced their opposition to this proposal, which specifically includes a 5.9 percent cut for most physicians each year for three years.
ACS believes that a replacement of the SGR needs to be created that leverages quality, bends the cost curve, pays down the SGR debt and incentivizes value in the future. Over the next several years, the cost of caring for the elderly will place an enormous strain on the country's health care resources. As a result, the ACS supports redesigning the delivery system to meet this critical demand by applying a shared savings model that incentivizes physicians to adopt better practices.