On Wednesday, April 27, CMS released a 962-page proposed rule to revamp Medicare’s physician pay system. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) replaces the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula with the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) that can increase or decrease pay based on performance. Physicians may also choose instead to participate in Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and receive a 5 percent pay bump. The proposed rule is a first step to implementation of these systems. Physician payment adjustments based on MIPS and APMs won’t begin until 2019, but payments at that time will be based on physician performance during the 2017 calendar year.
The American Medical Association responded to the release of the new rule and stated, “Our initial review suggests that CMS has been listening to physicians’ concerns. In particular, it appears that CMS has made significant improvements by recasting the EHR Meaningful Use program and by reducing quality reporting burdens.” CMS has scheduled a “listening session” about the proposed rule for May 10 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EDT.
Finalizing this regulation in time for the 2017 performance year will be a monumental task for CMS, which AAHKS will be closely involved in. Look for thorough summaries and analysis of the proposed rule to come from AAHKS shortly.