Andy Slavitt, CMS Acting Administrator, published a blogpost detailing different options that eligible clinicians may follow for participation in MACRA in 2017. Earlier this year, ASA submitted comments on the MACRA proposed rule arguing that CMS not sacrifice the care necessary in developing a smart and defensible payment program under MACRA for an aggressive implementation timeline. It appears that CMS has listened to ASA and others in the physician community in granting flexibility to physicians seeking to participate in the program.
As discussed in the CMS blog, eligible clinicians may have up to four options to avoid negative adjustments under MACRA in 2017.
The U.S. Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in Spring 2015 to replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). In doing so, Congress sunsets the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM) and the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program after 2018.
Under MACRA, ASA members and other health care professionals will receive future Medicare payments by participating (dependent upon patient population and volume) in one of two broad categories for MACRA: payments through the Merit-based Incentive Payment Systems (MIPS) or through an Alternative Payment Model (APM). The payment system will begin in 2019 and be based in many instances upon 2017 performance.
ASA responded to the CMS MACRA Proposed Rule on June 27, 2016. ASA expects the final rule will be posted in late 2016. Read ASA Comments on the MACRA Proposed Rule.
The ASA had a measured response to MACRA Legislation in 2015 – not endorsing or opposing the legislation – because of both MACRA’s uncertainties and its failure to directly address the “33 percent” problem.