The use of SGR targets is intended to control the growth in aggregate Medicare expenditures for physicians' services. However, the formula has mandated physician fee cuts in recent years.
I am aware that this is of great concern to physicians and Medicare beneficiaries and could affect access and the quality of care. Medicare payments to physicians cover only about 65 percent of the actual cost of providing patient services. Consequently, physicians are finding it increasingly difficult to participate in the Medicare program.
I have voted for so-called "Doc Fixes" in the past that have provided temporary SGR relief for providers; however, this is a recurring problem. And as is the case in so many similar instances, Congress has been unwilling to make the tough choices to permanently resolve this issue. I am committed to seeing a physician payment formula put in place that appropriately reimburses Medicare providers without the fear of drastic cuts.
Georgia's seniors deserve to receive the best possible treatment our country has to offer, and physicians need to receive fair reimbursement for the important services they provide. As the Senate considers reforming or replacing the SGR and implementing a more sound formula for calculating physician payments, I will be sure to keep your comments in mind.