The Visiting Nurse Associations of Americas signed on to a letter last week urging Congress to fix the Medicare physician payment formula during the lame-duck session. A large coalition including provider groups, consumer advocates and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce signed on to the letter as well.
Last week, the House GOP Doctors Caucus and more than 110 lawmakers said the lame duck session offers an opportunity to pass SGR legislation. The Senate Finance and House Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce committees negotiated an SGR replacement deal this past spring, but the two parties couldn't agree on how to pay for it. That bill likely would have to be renegotiated if Congress doesn't pass it this year. That puts some pressure on lawmakers to vote on the measure before the new Congress starts in January, but offsets remain a huge obstacle, and the real deadline for action is when the funding patch runs out at the end of March.