The latest in a series of steps taken by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to incentivize care quality over volume; MACRA was signed into law in 2015 and replaces the previous Medicare reimbursement schedule to a new pay-for-performance program that’s focused on quality and accountability. Starting January 1, 2017, all Medicare Part B providers will enter a new payment framework called the Quality Payment Program,
Representing a departure from the volume based, fee-for-service model, MACRA replaces the SGR (sustainable growth rate) formula to control Medicare costs. Linking Medicare reimbursements to quality metrics with providers being rewarded for quality and value based care; MACRA repeals the set payment rates based on economic growth, which was the hallmark of SGR.
Replacing the much-maligned sustainable growth rate formula and in an effort to increase quality while bringing down costs, the Congress last year passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). While MACRA rules are still being finalized, it will essentially transform the way Medicare reimburses healthcare providers for services. The main purpose of this overhaul to the payment system is to improve the quality of healthcare that is provided to patients.
April 28, 2016 witnessed the release of the proposed rule that is intended to guide the implementation of MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) which aims to reward clinicians and physicians engaging in activities that support and drive positive patient outcomes. MACRA, once implemented in totality, will change the way physicians taking care of Medicare patients are paid by CMS.