The Chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee are inviting comments on the outline of a proposal to permanently repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for updating Medicare physician fee schedule payments and institute other payment reforms. The lawmakers are considering a three-phase proposal. In the first phase, the SGR formula (which Congress has repeatedly overridden to avoid sharp reimbursement cuts) would be repealed, which would eliminate an estimated 25% across-the-board rate cut in 2014 and any future SGR cuts. In its place, the plan would provide an unspecified “period of predictable, statutorily-defined payment rates.” In phase two, the plan would link payment to performance on physician-endorsed measures of quality of care, while in phase three, physicians could earn additional payments based on efficiency of care. The Committees also are considering addressing several other related issues, including gainsharing, medical liability reform, Independent Payment Advisory Board repeal, and private contracting/balance billing. Comments will be accepted on the plan until February 25, 2013 at