Physicians Decry Broken Promise of Medicare Raise in 2016
Written by Editor   
Monday, November 30, 2015 09:20 AM

The law that repealed Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula for physician pay called for an annual raise of 0.5% from 2016 through 2019 as part of a transition to value-based reimbursement.

When Congress passed the law in April, some leaders of organized medicine noted that the modest raise lagged behind the inflation rate, but said it was better than nothing. It was certainly better than the disastrous 21% pay cut that the SGR formula would have triggered in 2016. 

However, the promised raise of 0.5% turned into a 0.3% pay cut in the fine print of the final 2016 Medicare fee schedule. The reason? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and several other laws that set Medicare reimbursement policy trumped MACRA.

Organized medicine isn't taking it too well. "It's a morale breaker."

Primary care physicians will feel the 0.3% Medicare rate cut more keenly than their specialist peers.  "Any cut is a financial hit."