Yesterday, an important victory was achieved for our Medicare patients. SGR has finally been repealed after years of advocacy on Capitol Hill! Congress passed the bipartisan Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which will repeal the “Sustainable Growth Rate” SGR payment formula that drastically cut reimbursements to physicians and ultimately threatened patients’ access to care.
In addition to addressing Medicare payment, the legislation outlines several provisions that should be beneficial for physicians, including:
Medicare’s current quality reporting programs will be streamlined and simplified into one merit-based incentive payment system, referred to as “MIPS.” This consolidation will reduce the aggregate level of financial penalties physicians otherwise could have faced.
Protections are included so that medical liability cases cannot use Medicare quality program standards and measures as a standard or duty of care.
Incentive payments will be available for physicians who participate in alternative payment models and meet certain thresholds.
Technical support will be provided to help smaller practices participate in alternative payment models or the new fee-for-service incentive program.
While the bill supports physicians who choose to adopt new payment and delivery models, it also retains Medicare’s fee-for-service model. Participation in new models is entirely voluntary.
For more information regarding this important milestone, visit AMA Medwire at: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/medicare-payment-formula-bites-dust