Did the ACA change how much my doctor is paid by Medicare?

The ACA temporarily increased Medicare payments by 10% for certain services provided by primary care practitioners (including doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) as well as general surgeons practicing in underserved areas.  These increases were in place from 2011 through the end of 2015.

Until April 2015, Medicare was required to pay doctors based on a certain formula.  The ACA did not make any changes to that formula, but Congress repealed it in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).   Among other things, this law created a new method for determining how Medicare pays physicians. Specifically, Medicare payments to physicians will be based on either their participation in an alternative payment model that assumes financial risk, or their performance on quality and spending measures. Medicare is currently working on implementing this new system, which will begin to affect physician payments in 2019.


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