Ilisa Halpern Paul, Managing Government Relations Director in the Washington, D.C. office, was quoted in a recent Modern Healthcare article, titled, “Enrollment Up, Docs Get SGR Respite.” The article discussed the bipartisan budget agreement that averts drastic Medicare payment cuts to physicians in January. Before the holidays, the Senate voted 64-36 to approve a House-passed budget that sets topline spending figures for 2014 and 2015. The temporary solution is meant to give Congress time to pass a permanent Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) reform bill.

Ilisa noted that “providers worry how lawmakers will pay for funding of the permanent SGR repeal. The SGR fix and the extension of the other programs will cost about $8.3 billion over 10 years, which Congress will pay for primarily by revamping how long-term acute-care hospitals are reimbursed.”

She continued, “There’s a momentary opportunity to exhale in terms of the three month patch. But I think providers are looking at April 1 and beyond at a possible 10-year fix with no real insight into the pay-fors.”