Physicians will begin to see a .5 percent increase on all Medicare payments beginning with July 1, 2015, dates of service. The increase was part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), a law designed to permanently repeal the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. MACRA was approved by the House of Representatives in late March and then finalized by the US Senate and signed into law by President Barack Obama in mid-April, but the first fee increases didn’t take effect until July 1.
In addition to the increase for the second half of 2015, physicians will receive a .5 percent increase each year through 2019. At that point, payment increases—or penalties—will be assessed based on a new value-based formula known as the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) which streamlines and improves on the Physician Quality Reporting System, the Value-Based Payment Modifier, and the Meaningful Use of EHRs. Beginning again in 2026, MACRA will allow providers meeting certain criteria to receive annual updates of .75 percent, while all other professionals would receive annual updates of .25 percent.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has published the updated fee schedules for all carriers. As well, Indiana and Michigan providers can find the fee schedules updated on the WPSMedicare website. Medicare Administrative Carriers (MACs) for other states will provide the same information based on their covered localities.
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