The AHA today expressed support for H.R. 2, legislation filed this morning by House Republican and Democratic leaders to permanently replace the Medicare physician sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.

About $70 billion of the roughly $210 billion cost of replacing the SGR would be offset by reductions to payments to providers and structural changes to the Medicare program; the remainder would not be offset.

In a letter today to members of the House, AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock urged them to move forward. “While we are disappointed that hospitals would be looked to as an offset given that Medicare already pays less than the cost of delivering services to beneficiaries, the package strikes a careful balance in the way it funds the SGR repeal and embraces a number of structural reforms to the Medicare program,” he wrote. “…We commend the House Republican and Democratic leadership in their design of this package, and urge the House to pass it.”

The House is expected to vote on the bill Thursday, while Senate timing remains unclear. The current SGR patch expires March 31.