What’s The Deal With MACRA?

July 13, 2015

Though the phrase “doc fix” was making headlines, many people are unfamiliar with other significant provisions of the legislation passed on April 16, 2015 — also known as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The “doc fix” portion of the Act repealed the previous Medicare physician payment formula and replaced it with a new one focused on quality and value — but it did much more than that.

John Barkett, director of health policy affairs for exchange solutions at Towers Watson, recently wrote a detailed explanation for Employee Benefit News about why there is so much more to MACRA than what dominated the news. According to Barkett, MACRA touches on 29 different sections of Medicare law, making it the 15th broadest law passed since the creation of Medicare. Here are a few examples of what makes MACRA noteworthy beyond the doc fix:

  • It introduced the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to grade physicians on the quality of their care, reward them for improving patient outcomes, and penalize them if they don’t.
  • It rewarded doctors for caring for the chronically ill by introducing alternative payment models that better reward doctors providing that service.

To read Barkett’s full breakdown of MACRA’s benefits published June 29, 2015, click here.

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