Are the Planets Aligning for SGR Repeal This Year? > Michigan State Medical Society


Are the Planets Aligning for SGR Repeal This Year?

The MSMS leaders and Alliance members who attended the annual AMA Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC, last week had the chance to meet with members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation to discuss several federal health policy issues, including the Medicare SGR formula.

Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), who chairs the House Energy & Commerce Committee, told the group that he’s drafting a bill to repeal and replace the SGR, and he expects movement on it by August or September. MSMS President John G. Bizon, MD, a Calhoun County otolaryngologist, attended the E&C Committee hearing about it on February 14.

“There is an energy in Washington now that hasn’t been there in the past regarding the repeal of the SGR formula,” explained Doctor Bizon. “The Congressional Budget Office indicated that the cost of an SGR fix is far lower than was thought in the past, so perhaps Congress believes this is the time to consider it. I am very much encouraged by Congressman Upton’s bipartisan approach to the SGR repeal, and for the first time, I have left Washington with sense that, yes, it’s now time to get this done.”

In addition to Doctor Bizon, MSMS was represented by the following: Cindy Ackerman, MSMS Alliance; Mohammed Arsiwala, MD, Wayne County internist; Donald Condit, MD, Kent County orthopedic surgeon; Stephen Dallas, MD, Kalamazoo County internist; MSMS President-elect Kenneth Elmassian, DO, Ingham County anesthesiologist; MSMS Executive Director Julie Novak; Neelima Thati, MD, Wayne County internist; and Phillip G. Wise, MD, Kent County urologist.

The group met with Congressman Justin Amash (R-Cascade Twp.), Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland), Congressman Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak), Congressman Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Hills), staff for Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Brighton), and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D).

Doctor Arsiwala, who chairs the Michigan Doctors' Political Action Committee emphasized the importance of physician involvement in grassroots advocacy issues. “There is so much going on in health policy right now—Medicare SGR, ACOs, mental health, and more. We need to represent one 'House of Medicine.' Through MDPAC, I specifically want to engage more young physicians, especially in their first eight years of practice, as well as medical students and residents. These are our emerging leaders.”

For more information, contact Colin Ford at MSMS at 517-336-5737 or

Posted in: Medicare