On April 16, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), reforming the way physicians will be reimbursed in the future. The California Medical Association (CMA), American Medical Association (AMA) and nearly every other physician organization supported MACRA because it was intended to provide stable payment updates, significantly reduce the quality reporting program burdens, reinstate bonus payments, and allow innovative, physician-led alternative payment models.
MACRA repealed the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment system, which governed how physicians and other clinicians were paid under Part B of the Medicare program. It replaced the SGR, and its fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursement model, with two paths: The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin measuring performance for eligible clinicians in 2017, with payments based on those results beginning in 2019.