MACRA and the Changing Medicare Payment Landscape
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is being implemented in 2017 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as the Quality Payment Program (QPP) and will have important and far reaching effects on how physicians are reimbursed and on how they practice. The QPP modifies the Medicare physician payment system by eliminating the Sustainable Growth Rate formula and incorporating the existing Physician Quality Reporting System, EHR Incentive Program, and the Value Modifier into a single new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
The authors reviewed the MACRA legislation as well as the CMS resources on the QPP and other sources to summarize the regulations pertaining to the new program, particularly for the first performance period.
CMS has taken great care to create a smooth transition for Medicare physicians. Clinicians can avoid any penalty for performance in 2017 by submitting a minimal amount of quality data, attesting to a single improvement activity, or successfully attaining the base score for the advancing care information portion of MIPS. The reduced reporting period also makes it possible for participants to begin collecting data as late as October 2nd and still achieve the full possible score in the program.
Surgeons should be taking steps now to ensure that they are prepared to succeed in the QPP. The transition period creates a clear pathway for avoiding penalties while providing an opportunity to test one’s ability to participate and improve performance.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1245/s10434-017-5954-8
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