Changes to Medicare will soon have a major impact on physicians’ bottom lines.The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS) is fast-tracking its shift to value-based payments, with the introduction of new regulations, reporting requirements and financial consequences.
As a result, physicians could experience a substantial difference in their Medicare Part B payments. Whether that change is positive or negative,though, depends upon their preparedness.
For most private-practice physicians, the situation demands immediate attention. That’s because each year’s reported data – for 2016 and beyond – will affect payments two years later. Moreover, Medicare is switching from an incentive-based system to one with mounting penalties. Independent practices are especially vulnerable due to the complexity of these changes. Larger practices will be affected first, then smaller groups, and finally, solo practitioners.
Act Now -- Or Lose Ground
Doctors can take incremental steps to get ready, but it's vital to move forward now. For physicians, it’s sink-or-swim time. The waters of this paradigm shift are about to surge dramatically and will continue to rise each year after 2016.Virtually all doctors will be affected by these changes, which include substantial penalties for those who underperform on quality and cost measures in comparison to their peers. On the plus side, physicians who perform well under the new rules will receive additional reimbursement from Medicare.