CMS Releases Final MACRA/Quality Payment Program Rule

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On October 14, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). MACRA was bipartisan legislation signed into law in April 2015 to permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), streamline physician quality reporting programs, and provide incentive payments for physician participation in alternative payment models. MACRA sunsets the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Value-Based Payment Modifier, and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program and establishes an umbrella Quality Payment Program with two new pathways for payment: 1. Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and 2. Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APMs). The new Quality Payment Program dramatically changes the way Medicare reimburses more than 600,000 clinicians across the country.

CMS made significant changes to the Quality Payment Program in the final rule after receiving feedback from the physician community and medical societies, including ISASS, during the public comment period on the proposed rule.

A full summary of the final rule is available here. CMS is accepting comments on the final rule through December 19, 2016. Comments should be submitted here using the “Comment Now!” button on the right side of the page. The final rule goes into effect January 1, 2017.

For more information on how to prepare your practice for MACRA, please join one of the educational seminars hosted by the American Medical Association (AMA) on December 1, December 6 and December 10:

Thursday, December 1 – 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Atlanta Regional Seminar (streaming and webinar)

Cobb Galleria Center

Atlanta, Georgia

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/macra-regional-seminar-atlanta-tickets-28840143646

 

Tuesday, December 6, 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Physician/Staff Webinar

Registration: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/j8d0v8kh1qr3&eom

 

Saturday, December 10, 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time

San Francisco Regional Seminar (streaming and webinar)

Marriot Marquis

San Francisco, CA

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/macra-regional-seminar-san-francisco-tickets-28863673023