Organized medicine long yearned for the demise of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for updating physician fees. Congress finally obliged in 2015, repealing the SGR as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). MACRA established value-based metrics for physician payment and financial incentives for doctors to join alternative delivery models like patient-centered medical homes. Throughout the law’s initial implementation, the politics of accommodation prevailed, with federal officials crafting final rules that made MACRA more favorable for physicians. However, the era of accommodation could be short-lived. The discretion that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had during the first two years of implementation is ending. Additionally, euphoria over the SGR’s repeal has given way to concerns over the new program’s value-based purchasing arrangements and uncertainty over their sustainability. MACRA eliminated the SGR, but not the politics of physician payment.
Research Article|August 31 2018
No Permanent Fix: MACRA, MIPS, and the Politics of Physician Payment Reform
Steven B. Spivack
J Health Polit Policy Law 1025-1040.