Specialty groups say they shouldn't have to pay for growth-rate fix

The alliance made its case in a letter to the chairman of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), which makes payment recommendations to Congress. MedPAC considering a draft recommendation that would use provider cuts to fund a replacement for the SGR.

The MedPAC proposal would hit specialties much harder than primary care doctors. They would absorb total cuts of 18 percent over three years, followed by a seven-year freeze in their Medicare reimbursements.

"The cost of eliminating the SGR should be viewed as a societal cost and other Medicare providers and/or programs outside of Medicare should share in the cost of the offset," the alliance said in its letter.

Congress also uses targeted Medicare cuts to pay for the stopgap bills it uses to temporarily block the SGR's automatic cuts.