Nine years ago, when I started developing a government relations function at Allscripts, it was a different world. No HITECH, no CMMI, no significant government attention on health IT at all, really. To set my agenda, I learned from our clients what mattered most to them. The number one answer I consistently heard? The repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), which has been the means by which the CMS has had to calculate payments to physicians since 1997. It was universally – by providers and policy makers alike – reviled. In the years since, the number of healthcare IT topics in D.C. has grown exponentially, along with the associated level of interest by legislators and regulators alike. We’ve discussed the complexities and opportunities of interoperability, debated the challenges of building a trusted patient safety structure, explained the difference between […]

Medicare’s current state is not sustainable, and we must address it to help revive the larger U.S. fiscal environment.  The good news is that we have an unusual opportunity to act at a lower price to the nation since the Congressional Budget Office recently announced the “bargain price” of only $138 billion to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate.  This has certainly spurred a lot of activity on Capitol Hill related to Medicare reform – three hearings last week alone. Healthcare policies are stuck in the past Almost one in three Medicare beneficiaries today is covered by a fee-for-service (FFS) plan that has not changed since the late 1950s – the days when beehive hairdos were all the rage and people couldn’t get enough TV dinners. Another vestige that has not kept pace with healthcare today?  The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), […]