Your Medicare reimbursement will be cut unless Congress acts before the end of the year.
After many years of strong advocacy by ACEP, the AMA and other physician organizations, the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) update system used to calculate Medicare reimbursement rates was replaced by Congress in 2015 with the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act” (MACRA), which got rid of the SGR and took steps to shore up physicians’ ability to care for Medicare patients.
Since that time, ACEP has worked closely with both federal lawmakers and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement key provisions of this law and address areas that need improvement. But time is running out to prevent an upcoming cut to Medicare physician payments.
As you may know, MACRA provided for modest annual reimbursement increases of 0.5 percent for the first five years to give medical societies time to establish viable Advanced Alternative Payment Models (AAPMs), and physicians an opportunity to transition away from fee-for-service and into such value-based care. Unfortunately, CMS hasn’t approved nearly enough AAPMs during that time. While those half percent increases weren’t even enough to keep up with inflation, under MACRA law they go away entirely at the end of this year, leaving physicians with NO payment increases at all in Medicare under MACRA for the upcoming years 2020-2025.
There are only a few weeks left for Congress to act to improve MACRA and stop these cuts. It’s crucial they hear from ACEP members now on why these changes are necessary to ensure Medicare patients continue to have access to high quality emergency care.