Our cautious optimism has paid off: as you’ve probably heard by now, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was passed overwhelmingly by the Senate this week, joining the House in putting an end to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) that has frustrated our industry since its inception. This bipartisan effort finally stops the “will they or won’t they” merry-go-round of patches and temporary fixes that we’ve been on since 2003. Best of all, it circumvents the 21.2% pay reduction that had been scheduled to take effect on April 1.
We are grateful to ASTRO and the other physician advocacy groups for working for the passage of this bill, which stabilizes Medicare reimbursement and provides an (admittedly modest) payment increase for physicians of .5% annually for the next five years.
An important element of the new legislation is also the preview of CMS moving toward a value-based reimbursement model for physicians as early as 2019. Without a doubt, this migration from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement on what is typically about 40% of a radiation oncology practice's patient mix will bring exposure to a practice's revenue cycle. Radiation Business Solutions looks forward to helping new and existing clients to navigate through the substantial impact of these changes.
We know it won’t be easy. We know it will add a level of complexity to the payment process, and an administrative burden that many already over-worked physician offices will be challenged to embrace. That’s why we’re gearing up to help our partners meet these challenges.
At Radiation Business Solutions, our team focuses daily on providing the best value for our clients, our physician partners, and our patients. Our staff is dedicated to mastering the new innovative tools that will be necessary for our physician partners to prove – and be rewarded for – high quality care.
We’re pleased that we can finally put SGR behind us, and excited about the challenges and opportunities that the future holds!