Photo courtesy of: Medconverge

MACRA is an acronym for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.  As acronyms go, this one will have a substantial impact on healthcare in the U.S. for years to come.  This is the Federal Government’s prospective payment plan which will radically change the way providers are compensated for caring for Medicare recipients as we move from a volume based “relative value unit” (RVU) world to a “value based” payment system.  As was the case for “Diagnosis Related Groups,” or DRG, payments to hospitals years ago, this plan is likely to be adopted by private payers in the next few years as well.

This was one of the few pieces of legislation in 2015 that had bipartisan support and was sponsored by a Republican Senator.  So, regardless of the recent election, it will be the law of the land unless unexpected changes are made.  Much of this program supports the delivery of team based patient centered care.  As such, this measure aligns with the intent of Interprofessional Education, Faculty Development, and Collaborative Practice here at UAMS.

We are obligated to train the learners on campus in skills that will support the shift to value based care delivery.  Still, this is all confusing to educators and providers alike.  We have included links to resources that should assist you with better understanding MACRA.

Introduction to MACRA by Mark Jansen, MD

Medicare Payment Reform: Making Sense of MACRA by Amy Mullins, MD, CPE, FAAFP

MACRA Ready: The Shift to Value-Based Payment by Amy Mullins, MD, CPE, FAAFP

CMS Press Release

CMS Quality Payment Program website

And if you really have too much time on your hands and want to read the almost 2,400 page final rule