Following years of advocacy by the nation’s physicians standing up for their patients and their practices, Congress repealed the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) permanently eliminates SGR (and its annual threat of physician payment cuts) and provides positive annual payment updates lasting through 2019. MACRA stabilizes Medicare Physician Pay.
Currently, Medicare measures the value and quality of care provided by doctors and other clinicians through a patchwork of programs. Some clinicians are part of Alternative Payment Models such as the Accountable Care Organizations, the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program—and most participate in programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System, the Value Modifier Program, and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program.
Congress streamlined these various programs into a single framework to help clinicians transition from payments based on volume to payments based on value. Today’s proposed rule would implement these changes through the unified framework called the Quality Payment Program, which includes two paths: