Thursday, October 17, 2013 Budget on the Table Provides Support for Reform of Caps and SGR Reform of the caps on outpatient therapy and repeal of the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula will be part of the 2014 federal budget discussions in a conference committee seeking compromise after disagreements led to a 16-day government shutdown. Amendments to a congressional budget resolution support the authority to "reform or replace" both provisions. The conference committee has until December 13 to send a compromise budget to both chambers of Congress—failure to do so will leave unresolved many of the issues that sparked the October 1 shutdown. The shutdown was rooted in largely partisan disagreements over federal spending, disagreements that budget conferees hope to resolve before the December deadline. Conference committee members will discuss a budget proposal that allows for substantive changes to be made to limitations on Medicare Part B payments. The legislative language in the budget resolution lends support to SGR and therapy cap reform efforts being reviewed by both the House and Senate. These discussions include finding a permanent path to repeal the Medicare therapy caps and the SGR. APTA has been a strong advocate for changes that would end hard caps and put a permanent end to the SGR—an outdated formula that has been temporarily altered by Congress every year in so-called "Doc Fix" legislation. Grassroots efforts to make these changes are now under way and will become a central focus of APTA's advocacy agenda through the end of the year.