MACRA Advances


Last year President Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 ("MACRA"). MACRA implemented significant changes in how Medicare reimburses doctors. In particular, MACRA (i) ended the unsustainable Sustainable Growth Rate formula for determining Medicare payments for providers’ services; (ii) sought to better link payments to quality of care, rather than to the number of tests or procedures, thereby incentivizing better health outcomes; and (iii) combined CMS's quality reporting programs into a single system. While MACRA enjoyed a degree of bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress while being passed, the law's implementation now faces both a degree of uncertainty from providers unsure as to how MACRA will affect them, as well as the specter of political opposition at the state level. As the final rule is scheduled for release in November of this year, the time is ripe for considering some of MACRA's features.

Originally Published in the Birmingham Medical News - October 12, 2016.

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