It has been well over a year since the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) was passed by Congress and signed into law. However, according to Deloitte’s 2016 Survey of U.S. Physicians, only about 50 percent of practicing physicians reported ever hearing of MACRA. More surprisingly, the majority of that 50 percent stated they had only heard of MACRA, but really knew nothing about what it was and how it would affect them now and in the future.
So, what exactly is MACRA? MACRA is a new legislation that changes how Medicare pays health care providers for services rendered to Medicare beneficiaries. Under MACRA, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for determining Medicare payments is replaced by the new Quality Payment Program (QPP). The QPP streamlines former quality reporting programs and offers a more flexible reporting framework for providers. It institutes an alternative set of predictable annual baseline payment updates with two payment pathways from which providers can choose: 1) the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and 2) the Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).
Even though the MACRA guidelines will not be finalized until fall of 2016, you really don’t have the luxury of waiting until then to begin learning and thinking about its implications to your health care practice. Your first MIPS performance year is slated to begin January 1, 2017, which will determine your Medicare payment adjustments in 2019. With potential payments ranging from -4 to +4 percent in 2019, you can see why it’s vital you begin preparing now for MIPS.
In order to help you prepare for the financial impact of the MACRA, nThrive has created an educational series of webinars focusing on these new regulations. The topics covered will provide you with the insight and perspective to more effectively prepare for the transition to the new quality, cost-based payment model.
To join us for our MACRA webinar sessions, click here.
Are you ready for MACRA? Click here for our MACRA Readiness Checklist.