Medicare Physician Payment
On April 16, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into law by President Obama. This law repeals the flawed sustainable growth rate formula that plagued Medicare physician payment for more than a decade and ensures that physicians receive stable and appropriate compensation for the services they provide to Medicare beneficiaries. Now physicians can focus on caring for their patients, and their patients can rest assured that care will not be interrupted.
Medicare beneficiaries comprise one out of four patients in a typical family physician’s practice; for some, elderly and disabled patients constitute six out of 10 of their patients. These individuals depend on their family physicians for preventing illness, treating problems if they do arise, coordinating with other health care team members, and ensuring the right treatment from the right professional at the right time. By passing MACRA, Congress has ensured uninterrupted health access security to their elderly and disabled constituents.
Equally important, MACRA extends funding for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program. In doing so, the legislation continues training in community-based settings rather than in specialty focused academic hospitals. This is a crucial step toward reforming the federal GME program to include training in the settings in which family physicians practice and individuals receive most of their health care.
By funding the National Health Service Corps, MACRA maintains scholarships and loan repayments for medical students who choose primary care and provide those services to those living in underserved areas. In doing so, the legislation continues to both build the primary care physician workforce and address the needs of Americans living in areas that struggle with primary care shortages.
AAFP Executive Summary of MACRA Final Rule - October 24, 2016(5 page PDF)
AAFP Letter to CMS on Proposed Outpatient Prospective Payment Program - August 24, 2016(8 page PDF)
AAFP Letter to CMS on Proposed 2017 ESRD Regulation - August 23, 2016(2 page PDF)
AAFP Response to the 2017 Proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule - August 19, 2016(13 page PDF)
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