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Senate Recesses without SGR Repeal Vote

March 27, 2015 - 11:55am

Physicians Urge Swift Bipartisan Action upon Return

ALEXANDRIA, VA —The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) looks forward to swift action from the U.S. Senate to pass H.R. 2 after its spring recess. The Senate failed to vote on the critical bill before recessing for a two-week break. After 14 years and 17 short-term patches, H.R. 2 will provide much-needed stability for physicians and their patients by permanently repealing the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula used to determine Medicare payments.

“We’re halfway there,” said James C. Denneny III, MD, Executive Vice President and CEO of the AAO-HNS. “While the Senate missed an opportunity to immediately embrace the bipartisan legislative compromise passed yesterday in the House by a vote of 392-37, I’m encouraged that Senate Leaders McConnell and Reid have committed to act quickly upon their return to pass this landmark legislation.”

The Senate’s failure to fully consider the bill before recessing for a two-week period means the pending 21.2 percent payment cut will technically go into effect on April 1. However, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has indicated it will temporarily hold claims for 14 calendar days. Lawmakers will return to Capitol Hill the day prior to the expiration of this extension, so swift action will be critical.

For more information about AAO-HNS federal legislative priorities, please contact


About the AAO-HNS
The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents about 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's vision: "Empowering otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons to deliver the best patient care."

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