Dr. Joe Schlecht started out as a country osteopathic physician 43 years ago in the small town of Jenks, Okla. Today, he runs a two-doctor primary-care practice in what has become a fast-growing suburb of Tulsa.
Schlecht isn't afraid of MACRA, although he knows the design of the new Medicare payment system will be challenging for small practices like his. “Most primary-care physicians are still practicing like they did 10 years ago. They don't even know how to spell MACRA,” he said.
MACRA will provide technical assistance to eligible professionals in small practices and to practices in health professional shortage areas. MACRA has allocated $20 million a year from fiscal 2016 through 2020 for this assistance.
Schlecht thinks his group, which is affiliated with the 70-member multispecialty Warren Clinic in Tulsa, and other small practices, even in rural areas, can come out on top with MACRA.
He has confidence because his group benefited from participating in Medicare's experimental Comprehensive Primary Care initiative offering population-based care-management fees and shared-savings opportunities to participating primary-care practices. Similar population-based incentives will be offered through MACRA.