July 11,2012

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Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch Statement at Finance Committee Roundtable Discussion on Medicare Physician Payments

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, today released the following statement during a committee roundtable discussion on the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula within the Medicare physician fee schedule:

    Chairman Baucus, thank you for convening today’s roundtable.  Over the past few months, this Committee has had an opportunity to hear from former CMS Administrators and leading private sector health organizations about physician payment and efforts to reform and improve the payment system.
    We all know our current physician payment system is broken.  We must do better by our physicians treating Medicare patients.   However, improving the physician payment system is no easy task.

    Today, we turn our attention to the physician community.  You have the most direct experience with our current Medicare payment system.  As we look for fiscally-responsible ways to move beyond the flawed SGR payment system, I urge the physician community to help us find a better path.  True reform of the Medicare payment system must occur with the partnership of the physician community.

    I look forward to hearing the perspectives of some of our nation’s leading physicians on today’s panel. Hopefully, our panelists will be able to build on the robust discussion this Committee began with our previous roundtables.  I hope this is the first of many conversations with treating physicians to develop realistic and meaningful policy advancements for the Medicare program.

    Senator Baucus, thank you again for convening this roundtable today.