The House of Representatives passed a three-month patch Dec. 13 to avoid cuts to physicians' Medicare payments. The bill would delay cuts scheduled for 2014 while Congress works on a permanent repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula.

(Budget proposal would extend Medicare sequester by two years)

The latest version of a bill to repeal the SGR stabilizes payments until 2023 but creates a performance-based incentive program in 2017, according MedPage Today, which received a discussion draft of the bill from the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees.

(CMS retains 12% cut in drug payments for ESRD care, approves new QIP measures)

That performance-based program would replace the current incentive programs for physicians and create a "single budget-neutral incentive payment program," according MedPage. "By combining the current quality incentive programs into one comprehensive program, this proposal would further value-based purchasing within the overall Medicare program while maintaining and improving the efficiency of the underlying structure with which professionals are already familiar," the draft states.