On Jan. 1, program changes under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) went into effect and became a top concern for Medicare-involved physicians nationwide. Poised to upend the Medicare payment status quo, MACRA will impact all levels of our healthcare system. Both physicians and the health systems employing or affiliated with them must work quickly to make the changes necessary to succeed under it.
Despite its challenges, MACRA should be seen as a net positive for healthcare stakeholders and patients. The transition to value-based payments, a change at the heart of MACRA, is designed to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries. The concept of incentivizing quality care delivery, as opposed to the quantity of care encouraged by fee-for-service models, is something to be celebrated by the industry at large.
However, there are concerns. “Part of the resistance to MACRA is our persistent status quo bias—as humans, we're averse to change," observes Dr. Bruce Feinberg, vice president and chief medical officer for Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions. “Still," he says, “bias doesn't tell the whole story. The concerns of many physicians are real."