It is also worth noting that currently, the target system is applied solely to the physician setting. Payment for other provider settings (under Medicare) is determined through a different formula.
In 2002, the first year that the SGR target was exceeded, Congress acted to cut physician fees. Between 2003 and 2005, the negative updates were replaced with positive updates. In 2006 and through TRA 2006, in 2007, payment levels were held at 2005 level. It is important to note that the successive cuts under the SGR was not supported by Congressional Support Agencies. MedPAC, for example, has articulated that “consecutive annual cuts would threaten beneficiary access to physician services over time, particularly those provided by primary care physicians.” (MedPAC, March 2006)
The study, which based its findings on the group’s Community Tracking Study Physician Survey, examined data from 1996 to 2005. According to the findings, compensation based on quality measures increased from 17.6 percent of physicians in 2000-2001 to 20.2 percent in 2004-2005. In a statement, HSC called the increase “small but statistically significant.” However, the survey found that reimbursement tied to physician productivity has consistently ranked as a common incentive for 70 percent of physicians in a non-solo practice since 1996-1997.
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