U.S. Reps. Larry Bucshon, MD (IN), and Ami Bera, MD (CA), have circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to other members of Congress, encouraging them to join in a communication to congressional leadership that urges the establishment of a stable Medicare payment mechanism. The lawmakers call for reforms to the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act (MACRA) that appropriately pay providers for health outcomes.
The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) asks its members to take action now by urging their representative to sign on to the Bucshon/Bera letter.
While the goal of MACRA was to shift the Medicare payment system to one that pays providers based on quality, value and the results of care delivered rather than the number of services provided, it has been plagued with challenges since its inception in 2015.
Incentive payments to encourage Medicare providers to participate in advanced alternative payment models (APMs) are temporary and underutilized. Furthermore, the thresholds to qualify for APM incentives and future payment adjustments are not workable for all providers and risk steep increases under current law. Additionally, the cuts to physician payment year after year under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) contribute to practice consolidation and growing financial instability.
The Bucshon/Bera letter emerged as a result of stakeholder concerns raised in response to a Request for Information (RFI) on MACRA from the two lawmakers. By signing on to this letter, other lawmakers can share these concerns so steps can be taken to ensure long-term reform.
For more information about MACRA or Medicare payment reform, contact Ashley Walton, ACR Director of Government Affairs. For assistance with the call to action, contact Melody Ballesteros, ACR Assistant Director, Government Relations.