NCHC CEO John Rother Calls MACRA Implementation a Win for Affordability

NCHC Writer
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Contact:      Nisha Bhat
                     National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC)
                     [email protected]
                     202-638-7151, ext. 106

                 NCHC CEO John Rother Calls MACRA Implementation a Win for Affordability
Coalition Urges Congress to Make Chronic Care Bill a Top Priority
Statement by National Coalition on Health Care President and CEO
John Rother on today’s MACRA rule

“Today’s final rule on MACRA implementation is a milestone in the shift away from volume-based, fee-for-service physician payment. It represents an important victory in ongoing efforts to improve the affordability of Medicare and health care generally.

“But with costs climbing in Medicare and system-wide, Congress should build on MACRA and make bipartisan chronic care legislation a top priority.

“NCHC will be examining the details of today’s regulation—and if necessary advocating for improvements.  But we know two things already:  First, physicians and other health professionals will face significant incentives to embrace new models of care and delivery. Second, due to statutory barriers, clinician practices and provider organizations are denied the tools needed to optimally respond to those incentives.

“If we want Alternative Payment Models (APMs) to deliver, Congress must act to help clinicians who are embracing these new models. That’s why the chronic care legislation under development by the Senate Finance Committee’s Chronic Care Working Group and work on targeted telehealth and Medicare Shared Savings Program legislation in the House of Representatives represent important next steps. Enactment of a broad chronic care package would:

  • Expand Independence at Home, an outstanding, cost-saving home-based primary care model, into a permanent option for those Medicare clinicians who want to focus on frail beneficiaries;
  • Enable practices, hospitals, and health plans to deploy both high-tech telehealth interventions and high-touch long-term services and supports; and
  • Permit Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), other APMs, and health plans to implement value-based insurance designs (VBID), an approach that targets cost-sharing reductions and enhanced benefits to the patients who need them most.

“Physicians and other health professionals will face challenges making the new Quality Payment Program work. But ultimately, the success of MACRA and the affordability of health care in general hinges on whether they can embrace a new, better approach to both medical care and the business of health care. Congress should be doing all it can to help.”