Tag Archives: MACRA

CMS Proposes Changes to for Second Year of Medicare Physician Quality Payment Program

CMS has proposed new regulations to continue implementing the “Quality Payment Program” (QPP) — the new Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) update framework mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). As previously reported, starting in 2017, physicians will be paid under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or the Advanced … Continue Reading

CMS Expects Almost All Eligible Clinicians in Advanced APMs to Meet Qualifying APM Participant Status for 2017

CMS expects nearly 100% of eligible clinicians in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) to meet the Medicare Qualifying APM Participant (QP) standard for performance year 2017 and be eligible to receive a 5% APM incentive payment in 2019 under Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) rules. This projection is based on an … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Two-Track System to Implement MACRA Medicare Physician Payment Policy Changes

Temporary Transition Policies Reduce Threat of Negative Adjustments in 2019, But Adds to Complexity On November 4, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is publishing a sweeping final rule reforming the Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) update framework, as mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).  Beginning … Continue Reading

PTAC Announces Timeline for Submission of Physician-Focused Alternative Payment Model Proposals

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) established the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) to provide recommendations on arrangements that meet the criteria for a physician-focused payment model (PFPM) under the reformed system for updating the Medicare physician fee schedule. The PTAC has announced that it will begin accepting letters … Continue Reading

CMS Announces Flexibility for Physician First-Year Participation in MACRA Quality Payment Program

In a recent blog post, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt announced CMS’s plans to give physicians more options for complying with significant upcoming changes to Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) rules – which will help physicians avoid triggering a negative payment adjustment in the first year of the program. As previously reported, the Medicare Access … Continue Reading

CMS Seeks Input on “Evolution” of State Innovation Models Initiative, Including Potential Inclusion in MACRA Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs)

CMS is soliciting public input on the “evolution” of its State Innovation Models (SIM) Initiative, which was launched in 2013 to accelerate state design and testing of multi-payer payment and delivery models to generate savings and improve care for Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries. In a September 8, 2016 press release, … Continue Reading

MACRA Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee to Meet September 16

The Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee will meet on September 16, 2016.  The Committee will continue discussions about the process by which physician focused payment model proposals will be received and reviewed by the Committee in accordance with regulations implementing Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) physician payment reforms. … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Three New “Episode Payment Models” for Cardiac Care, Hip/Femur Fracture Cases, Plus Changes to CJR Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced proposals for three new “episode payment models” that, like the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model, would mandate provider participation in selected geographic areas. The episodes included in these payment models would address care for heart attacks, coronary artery bypass graft, and surgical hip/femur … Continue Reading

CMS Unveils New Mandatory Medicare Bundled Payment Models for Cardiac & Hip Fracture Cases, Plus Proposed Refinements to CJR Program

On July 25, 2016, CMS announced ambitious, multi-pronged plans to expand mandatory Medicare coordinated care/bundled payment programs, promote the use of cardiac rehabilitation services, refine current Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model (CJR) rules, and integrate bundled payment programs into the upcoming Medicare physician quality/payment framework. The proposed “Advancing Care Coordination through Episode Payment Model” … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Plan to Expand Medicare/Private Claims Data Available for Care Improvement

CMS has published a final rule to allow organizations approved as “qualified entities” to confidentially share or sell analyses of Medicare and private-sector claims data to providers, employers, and other groups who can use the data to support improved care. CMS expects the rule to lead to “more transparency regarding provider and supplier performance and … Continue Reading

MedPAC Issues Recommendations on Medicare Drug, Post-Acute Care, and Other Payment Policies

MedPAC has released its June 2016 Report to the Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. The report includes recommendations for a number of Medicare policy reforms and analyses of various health care market developments. Several chapters address Medicare drug policy, including a review of external factors that influence the prices Medicare pays … Continue Reading

Ways and Means Committee Approves Bill to Make Reforms to Medicare Hospital and Other Payment Policies

The House Ways and Means Committee has approved an amended version of H.R. 5273, the “Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016.”  While most of the provisions address Medicare payment policies pertaining to hospitals (including long term care hospitals (LTCHs) and hospital outpatient departments), certain other reimbursement policies, including Medicare Advantage and physician payment … Continue Reading

CMS Corrects Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, Electronic Health Record Incentive Program Final Rules

CMS has published corrections to its November 16, 2015 Medicare physician fee schedule final rule with comment period for 2016, applicable beginning January 1, 2016. Among other things, CMS is correcting an omission of language restating the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) requirements that apply to groups of 100 or more eligible … Continue Reading

Recent Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Recent Congressional hearings focusing on health policy topics include the following: House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on HHS cybersecurity responsibilities, Medicare and Medicaid program integrity, the Administration’s proposed Medicare Part B drug payment model, and patient-focused health insurance reforms. House Ways and Means Committee hearings on implementation of the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Implementation of MACRA Physician Payment Reforms

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed regulations to implement major reforms of the Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) update framework that were mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).  As discussed in our client alert, MACRA repealed the longstanding sustainable growth rate (SGR) methodology for updating … Continue Reading

Recent Congressional Health Policy Hearings

A number of recent Congressional hearings have focused on health policy topics, including the following: A House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing on “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015: Examining Physician Efforts to Prepare for Medicare Payment Reforms.” A House Judiciary Constitution and Civil Justice Subcommittee hearing on oversight of the False … Continue Reading

Energy & Commerce Committee Hearing to Focus on Physician Preparation for MACRA Reforms (April 19)

On April 19, 2016, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health is holding a hearing entitled “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015: Examining Physician Efforts to Prepare for Medicare Payment Reforms.”  The hearing will focus on major physician organizations’ investments in the development of alternative payment models, quality measures, and practice improvements.… Continue Reading

ONC Seeks Input on MACRA EHR Interoperability Requirements

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is seeking comments on how to achieve widespread exchange of health information through interoperable certified electronic health record (EHR) technology nationwide by the end of 2018, as is called for by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).  MACRA also mandates … Continue Reading

CMS Moving Ahead on Medicare Physician Payment Reform; Proposed MACRA Rule at OMB

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is now reviewing a highly-anticipated Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed rule to implement major Medicare physician payment reform provisions included in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).  As previously reported, MACRA repealed the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and directed … Continue Reading

March Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Congressional committees have held hearings recently on various health policy issues, including: Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on CMS implementation of the Medicare physician fee schedule reform provisions included in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), financing and delivery of long-term care, and the public health response to the Zika virus. A Ways … Continue Reading

CMS Proposal Would Expand Medicare/Private Claims Data Available for Care Improvement

CMS has issued a proposed rule that would allow organizations approved as “qualified entities” to confidentially share or sell analyses of Medicare and private-sector claims data to providers, employers, and other groups who can use the data to support improved care.  Qualified entities would be required to combine the Medicare data with other claims data … Continue Reading

First Meeting of MACRA Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee Set for Feb. 1, 2016

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) includes payment incentives to encourage providers to participate in alternative payment models (APMs) that focus on coordinating care, improving quality, and reducing costs. MACRA established the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) to provide recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on … Continue Reading

CMS Seeks Comments on Draft Physician Fee Schedule Quality Measure Development Plan

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) requires CMS to develop quality measures that will apply to Medicare payments to physicians when new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Medicare alternative payment model (APM) provisions go into effect (MIPS and APM payment adjustments begin in 2019).  Pursuant to this mandate, CMS has … Continue Reading
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