Viewpoint: The not-so-hidden agenda of MACRA pushes ACOs

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act — which replaces the sustainable growth rate in determining physician's Medicare Part B payments — is simply pushing the federal agenda to grow accountable care organizations, according to an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal.

Lanhee Chen, PhD, director of domestic-policy studies at Stanford (Calif.) University and James Capretta, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute authored the opinion, stating that MACRA and its 962-page rule "empowers the federal bureaucracy at the expense of the doctor-patient relationship, putting the quality of American healthcare at risk."

The rule would allow the federal coverage to control almost every aspect of physician care in the U.S., according to Mr. Capretta and Dr. Chen. In particular, they said it "forces" physicians to join ACOs through more favorable incentives under its alternative payment model arm, which rewards ACO-like programs. Yet these programs are not proven, they wrote, and they shift control from physicians to larger organizations.  

"A better plan would use competition and consumer choice to reward physicians for providing high-quality care at affordable and easily ascertained prices, without coercion by the federal government. The results would be better for physicians and their patients — not to mention taxpayers," the authors wrote.

Read the full opinion here.


More articles on accountable care:

IRS ruling denying tax exemption poses barriers to ACOs
Tampa Bay CIN has garnered $4.1M in shared savings
Humana launches orthopedic bundle in Tenn., expands Ohio bundles

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