On April 27, CMS released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Supported by a bipartisan majority and stakeholders, such as patient and medical associations, the MACRA legislation ended more than a decade of last-minute fixes and potential payment cliffs for Medicare doctors and clinicians. It also made numerous improvements to America’s health care system.
Proposed MACRA Requirements
Currently, Medicare measures the value and quality that physicians and other clinicians provide through a patchwork of programs. In the MACRA legislation, Congress streamlined these programs into a single framework to help clinicians transition to payments based on value from payments based on volume. The proposed rule would implement changes through this unified framework known as the Quality Payment Program, which includes two paths:
1. The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS): Most Medicare clinicians will initially participate in the Quality Payment Program through MIPS. MIPS allows Medicare clinicians to be paid for providing high value care through success in four performance categories:
- Quality (50 percent of total score in year 1)
- Advancing Care Information (25 percent of total score in year 1)
• Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (15 percent of total score in year 1)
- Resource Use (10 percent of total score in year 1)
2. Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs): Clinicians who take a further step toward care transformation would be exempt from MIPS reporting requirements and qualify for financial bonuses. These models include:
- Comprehensive ESRD Care Model (Large Dialysis Organization arrangement)
- Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+)
- Medicare Shared Savings Program – Track 2
- Medicare Shared Savings Program – Track 3
- Next Generation ACO Model
- Oncology Care Model Two-Sided Risk Arrangement (available in 2018)
For More Information on the MACRA proposed rule, please review the press release. And please watch for a separate listserv regarding MACRA webinar information and registration details.
How to Submit Comments
The public can submit comments in several ways, including via electronic submission or mail by June 27, 2016:
- Electronically: Once the NPRM is published in the Federal Register, you may submit electronic comments to http://www.regulations.gov.
- By regular mail
- By express or overnight mail
- By hand or courier