As a clinician in America today, there can be intense pressure to focus on multiple things at once. Our priority is providing high quality patient care, delivered in a timely and safe manner. Patient care has to be the focus every day. Everything is built on that. Unfortunately, it’s all of the other changes going on in medicine that make it increasingly difficult to maintain that focus. Today, I can’t open a medical journal, or walk into the hospital, without thinking about words like bundled care, value based delivery, and disruption. And the more I try to learn about it, the more chaotic the whole thing seems to become. I’m constantly considering how new government mandates and payment reform are going to influence our ability to keep our practices operational and profitable. But regardless of how much turmoil exists, I’ve come to realize that this is the new normal in American medicine. This type of disruption and instability will be here to stay not only because patients are consuming health care differently, but also because the financial pressures to develop cost containing measures while still delivering quality care are strengthening.
Last Friday, CMS released the final rules for MACRA, a program that represents a fundamental shift to the way providers are reimbursed by Medicare. The rule is designed to give physicians more flexibility to provide high quality, safe, and effective care. But, it’s important to know that the rule can impact your income both positively or negatively.
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