Expert to stress MACRA’s 'not going away' & practical coping mechanisms on ‘Top Docs Radio’

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Sidney Welch, Esq. – the chair of Health Care Innovation at Polsinelli PC – will discuss the steps that physicians should be taking to avoid a cut in pay under the provisions of the 2015 Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) when she appears on MAG’s ‘Top Docs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23. 

“MACRA dramatically changes the way that Medicare pays physicians and other health care professionals,” explains Welch. “It was designed to ultimately move physicians from a fee-for-service program to a value-based payment system.”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says that its goal is to tie 90 percent of all Medicare fee-for-service payments to quality or value by the end of 2018. The two Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) paths include the Merit-based Incentive Payment Program (MIPS), which is a modified fee-for-service system, and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs), which is for physicians who are already participating in one of the eligible advanced alternative payment models.

“The QPP is a zero-sum gain program, which means that there will be winners and losers,” Welch notes. “Physicians could see their pay increase or decrease by as much as four percent in 2019, depending on what they do in 2017.” 

Welch adds that, “It is critical for physicians to figure out how to fulfill the QPP reporting requirements to avoid any payment cuts in 2019 – as well as determining whether they will go above and beyond the minimum requirements to position themselves for a pay increase in 2019.”

And she stresses that no matter what transpires with federal legislation in the coming months, “It is highly unlikely that the MACRA provisions will be repealed in the foreseeable future.” 

MAG sponsors the ‘Top Docs’ program at 12 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Between downloads and live listeners, MAG's ‘Top Docs’ show has reached more than 10,000 listeners – which includes people in all 50 states and 84 countries. 

MAG’s ‘Top Docs Radio’ show is supported with a grant from Health Care Research, a subsidiary of Alliant Health Solutions. 

Welch counsels physicians, physician practices, and health care technology clients in transactional, regulatory, administrative law, and litigation matters on a national basis. Contact Welch at 404.253.6047 or swelch@polsinelli.com.

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