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A Victory for Patient Care and Mobilization

Fraser Cobbe, Orange County Medical Society/Seminole County Medical Society

As we continue to pour over the details of the MACRA Final Rule (2,000+ pages) it is clear that CMS has been listening and is taking measures to make sure physicians spend less time reporting and more time caring for their patients.

According to Politico, CMS met with over 100,000 physicians and received over 4,000 comments on the proposed rule. The physician community was rightfully concerned with the breadth and scope of the rule. To their credit, CMS actively engaged in meaningful dialogue with the medical community and has drastically reduced the complexity and risk for physicians as they move forward with implementation in 2017.

The attention grabbing headline from the proposed rule was a chart released by CMS that showed that some 87 percent of solo practitioners were likely to receive financial penalties based on their projections. That same table based on the Final Rule projects that 10 percent of physician practices of fewer than nine physicians will be penalized. While the physician community must still be concerned with those that will be penalized under the final rule, there is no doubt that the task has been made more achievable.

The engagement of the physician community in this process should be noted as well. Concerned with the complexity and punitive nature of the proposed rule, organized medicine was mobilized in an effort to promote meaningful and thoughtful adjustments to the regulations. Those efforts have resulted in appropriate changes. This is an important illustration of how successful organized medicine can be when unified and engaged.

The role of organized medicine will grow in importance over the coming months as we assist our members in understanding this new payment methodology. While the stakes and complexity of MACRA may have been reduced, it is clear that the movement toward pay for performance and value will continue. Organized Medicine will be ready to help our members succeed.

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