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CBO Increases SGR Repeal Legislation Cost Estimate

September 20, 2013—The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Sept. 13 released a cost estimate report on the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 2810), stating the legislation would cost approximately $175.5 billion over 10 years.  

Earlier CBO reports estimates an SGR repeal and rate freeze would cost nearly $140 billion over 10 years.  CBO attributes the revised higher estimate to the proposed 0.5 percent annual updates to Medicare physician payment rates through 2018 and the cost to enact the Quality Update Incentive Program (QUIP), an enhanced fee-for-service payment system, and Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

The bill, unanimously passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 31 [see Washington Highlights, Aug. 2], would repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and move the Medicare physician payment system towards an enhanced fee-for-service model with payments linked to quality and innovation.

The Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees are both working on their own SGR repeal proposals, which are expected later this Fall.  Should Congress fail to act, physician Medicare payments will be cut approximately 24 percent on Jan. 1, 2014.


Len Marquez
Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-862-6281

Courtney Summers
Senior Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-862-6042


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806