In 1916, Americans danced to the phonograph, John D. Rockefeller became the world’s first billionaire, and more people rode a horse or walked to work than drove or rode in an automobile.
As America’s population continues to age, there’s more need than ever for increased access to diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases. Consider that approximately 50 million Americans, or one in five adults, suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or other autoimmune diseases. Women are more likely than men to be affected, with some estimates indicating that 75 percent of those affected — some 37 million people — are female.
When Congress finally eliminated the SGR, which was the Medicare payment formula for physician services that caused much anxiety and frustration for physicians every December, it set the stage for a massive shift in the way Medicare pays physicians for their services. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) requires Medicare to begin paying physicians based in part on the “value” of the services they provide. Many believe this is the end of traditional fee-for-service, volume-based payments.