Medicare's Payments to Physicians: The Budgetary Impact of Alternative Policies Relative to CBO's March 2012 Baseline

Data and Technical Information

Medicare’s payment rates for physicians’ services are scheduled to be reduced by 27 percent in 2013, CBO estimates, under the provisions of law known as Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) mechanism. The SGR mechanism consists of expenditure targets, which are established by applying a growth rate (calculated by formula) to spending for physicians’ services and certain related services in a base period, and annual adjustments to the payment rates, which are designed to bring spending in line with the expenditure targets over time.