The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) eliminated the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. MACRA has a variety of provisions physicians should know as well as many implications for the future of Medicare. MACRA will change payments and penalties for physicians in fee-for-service practice by aligning quality reporting programs into one merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS). Additionally, MACRA will support physician transitions to new payment models by providing 5% bonus payments and technical assistance grants.
Last month, the AMA held a meeting to discuss key elements of MACRA and how physicians can successfully navigate the new law. Participants stressed the need to develop a set of principles to guide future steps on MACRA implementation. The medical community also needs to be engaged in designing new payment models and making MIPS useful in order to ensure that they are truly breaking down barriers and improving patient care.
The AMA is pulling efforts to make MACRA implementation beneficial for patients and their physicians. The AMA will develop two work groups with the purpose of building on physician experiences and best practices as implementation proceeds. The AMA will develop mechanisms to ensure frequent communication and cooperation with all specialty societies during implementation. Additionally, the AMA will help educate physicians about changes and develop resources to help them understand their options under MACRA, particularly those in small and independent practices.
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