HRS Leadership Series: Message From Our President Michael R. Gold, MD, PhD, FHRS

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) will make significant changes to how Medicare pays for physician services. The law also repealed the flawed Medicare physician sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and replaced it with predictable payment increases.

Addressing MACRA: Medicare Payment Reform

HRS is strongly committed to working with the medical community to activate MACRA's substantial changes to the healthcare system. These reforms have the potential for improvements over the incentive programs in prior law, including reduced penalties, more support for positive incentive payments, simpler requirements, and fewer administrative burdens.

We recently provided feedback on proposed policies related to the implementation of the new physician payment system authorized under MACRA in our public comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In the letter, we urge CMS to balance administrative simplicity with a clinician's ability to select the measures and level of accountability that are most appropriate for patient care. HRS recognizes that the proposed system places too much emphasis on compliance and reporting to avoid penalties. Instead, the regulation should focus on more meaningful activities that make sense to the provider and improve patient care. Along with our colleagues in other medical specialties, we stressed to CMS that new policies should be phased in prior to widespread implementation.

While we await the MACRA final rule which will be released by November 1, we encourage you to learn more about the upcoming changes and how it will affect heart rhythm care. When the final rule is released and implementation begins, we will provide frequent information to our members. During this time, we recommend you review the information on the MACRA Resource Center, which includes a high-level summary of the regulation's key components. The site also includes a 30-minute complimentary on-demand webinar that provides an overview of the proposed program.


Michael R. Gold, MD, PhD, FHRS
Heart Rhythm Society