Tag Archives: Physician Payments

CMS Publishes Final Rule Updating 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rates and Policies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its final Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) for calendar year (CY) 2017.  In addition to updating MPFS rates and policies, the final rule makes numerous other Medicare policy changes, including updates to Stark Law regulations related to unit-based compensation and new enrollment requirements for providers and … 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

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 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Update for 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its proposed rule to update the Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) for calendar year (CY) 2017. The proposed rule contains numerous Medicare payment and policy proposals, including consideration of potentially misvalued codes, revisions to diagnostic imaging policies, updates to Stark Law regulations, and new enrollment … 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  As discussed in our client alert, MACRA repealed the longstanding sustainable growth rate (SGR) methodology for updating … Continue Reading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

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

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 Schedules Call on MACRA Global Surgery Data Requirement (Jan. 20)

On January 20, 2016, CMS is holding a call on data collection requirements related to global surgical periods as mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).  Under this provision, the Secretary is directed to periodically collect information from a representative sample of physicians regarding the number and level of services and … Continue Reading

CMS Provides More Time to Comment on MACRA Physician Payment Reforms

CMS has extended the comment period on its October 1, 2015 request for information (RFI) regarding implementation of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and promotion of alternative payment models in accordance with MACRA. The comment period, which originally was scheduled to end on November 2, 2015, has been extended until November 17, 2015. CMS also … Continue Reading

CMS Seeks Input on MACRA Physician Payment Reform Implementation

On October 1, 2015, CMS published a request for information (RFI) regarding implementation of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) provisions that mandate significant reforms of the Medicare physician payment system. As previously reported, MACRA repealed the sustainable growth rate methodology (SGR) for updating the Medicare physician fee schedule, and after a … Continue Reading

Proposed CY 2016 MPFS Rule Takes First Steps in Implementing MACRA Reforms

On July 15, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its proposed rule to update the Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) for CY 2016 – the first rulemaking since the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) repealed the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.  Under the proposed rule, the 2016 … Continue Reading

GAO Criticizes Medicare Physician Payment Ratesetting Process

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report pointing out potential shortcomings in the data and process used by CMS to establish the relative values (and consequently the reimbursement levels) for Medicare physician services. In particular, the GAO expresses concern that the American Medical Association/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) process for … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs MACRA: Permanently Reforms Medicare Physician Reimbursement Framework, Includes Other Health Policy Provisions

Today President Obama signed into law H.R. 2, the "Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015" (MACRA), which reforms Medicare payment policy for physician services and adopts a series of policy changes affecting a wide range of providers and suppliers. Most notably, MACRA permanently repeals the statutory Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, achieving a goal that has eluded Congress for years. Now, after a period of stable payment updates, MACRA will link physician payment updates to quality, value measurements, and participation in alternative payment models.… Continue Reading

Obama Administration Releases FY 2016 Budget Proposal with Medicare/Medicaid Provisions

On February 2, 2015, the Obama Administration released its proposed federal budget for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The budget would impact all types of health care providers, health plans, and drug manufacturers if adopted as proposed – which is unlikely given Republican control of the House and Senate. Nevertheless, Congress can be expected to consider … Continue Reading

President Signs Tax Bill with Medicare Provisions, Ebola Treatment/Vaccine Bill

In December 2014, President Obama signed into a law H.R. 5771, a tax extender bill that includes the “Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014.” As discussed in a previous post, the law, P.L. 113-295, includes three Medicare provisions to finance the ABLE Act: revisions to payment adjustments for Medicare physician fee schedule misvalued … Continue Reading

CMS Revises Down 1st Quarter 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Conversion Factor

CMS has posted a January 2015 release of the National Physician Fee Schedule Relative Value File, reflecting a conversion factor (CF) of $35.7547 – down slightly from the $35.8013 included in the 2015 final MPFS rule published on November 12, 2014.  CMS is expected to publish a notice explaining the reasons for the revised CF. … Continue Reading

CMS Publishes Final 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule for 2015

On November 12, 2014, CMS published its final rule to update the Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) for CY 2015. Highlights of the sweeping rule include the following: The Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) of 2014 provides for a 0% update to the conversion factor (CF) for MPFS services furnished between January 1, 2015 … Continue Reading

MedPAC Meeting on Medicare Policy Issues (Oct. 9-10)

MedPAC is meeting on October 9 and 10, 2014 to discuss a variety of Medicare policy issues, including: international comparison of rates paid to hospitals; sharing risk in Medicare Part D; potentially inappropriate opioid use in Medicare Part D; the next generation of Medicare beneficiaries; private-sector initiatives to manage post-acute care; and validating relative value … Continue Reading
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