AMA weighs effective responses to MACRA, urges docs to submit constructive ideas

Doctor wearing lab coat

The primary focus of the American Medical Association’s annual house of delegates meeting has focused on what the organization and its members can do regarding the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), according to an article in MedPage Today.

AMA President Steven Stack, M.D. said that tight implementation timelines, issues with the reporting thresholds set for quality-care metrics, and the widespread expectation that the rule will put smaller practices at a distinct disadvantage, as they absorb higher penalties than larger practices, are among the problems identified with the proposed legislation. The fact that there is also more opportunity for primary care practices to participate in the higher-reward alternative payment models outlined by the rule also came in for criticism, according to the article.

As a response, delegates have reportedly drawn up policy resolutions intended to slow, delay or even derail MACRA’s implementation. Votes later this week could potentially make one or more of these resolutions official AMA policy, according to MedPage Today.

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While admitting MACRA represents an improvement over the previous proposals for value-based reimbursements through Medicare, Stack pointed out that “better does not mean good.” He maintained that doctors do have allies both in Congress and the executive branch, which provides leverage in simplifying and improving the final rule, but cautioned that “it’s going to be heavy lifting.”

Stack urged doctors to offer constructive changes for its improvement, according to the article. He also warned them not to expect a new administration or a different Congress to give up on the implementation, insisting both branches of government “are really invested in this to make it work.”

To learn more:
- read the article

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