The U.S. Senate will not vote on a bill that would repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) until after it returns from a two-week break on April 13.
The delay comes after a week of momentum that saw a bipartisan SGR repeal bill pass easily in the House. While some hoping for a finalized deal were disappointed in the delay, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reassured those concerned that the Senate will move quickly on the bill after the break.
“There's every reason to believe it's going to pass the Senate with a very large majority," he said.
Under the current reimbursement formula, physicians are scheduled to see more than 21 percent cut from Medicare claims payments starting April 1. However, a 14-day claims processing window from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will buy legislators some time, and the Senate will have until April 14 to vote on the SGR bill before the payment reductions would actually be applied and processed.
If passed, the bill would eliminate the threat of cuts from the current formula and institute a series of annual 0.5 percent increases through 2019.