How physicians can take charge, protect autonomy and put patients first
Healthcare’s transition to value-based payments is ratcheting up the pressure on independent medical practices battling for survival, and data is the ammunition they need to have any chance of winning.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) Congress passed last year may be independent practices’ biggest challenge yet. By the government’s own estimates, it will result in Medicare reimbursement cuts to nearly 90% of solo practices, and 70% of practices with two to nine physicians.
Such practices are crucial to tamping down healthcare costs. To fight back, and preserve their independence, physicians need to demonstrate they are providing high-quality care to patients. That’s because beginning in 2019, Medicare will reimburse most such practices according to their scores on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which is part of MACRA. High-scoring practices will receive bonuses, while laggards will be penalized. These “payment adjustments” will begin at 4%, and top out at 9% in 2022.
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