A CMS … Proposal
[By Andy Salmen]
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) have finally released the much anticipated unveiling of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) rule proposal.
The goal of this rule is to establish key parameters for the new Quality Payment Program, a framework that includes the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs). These two paths for compliance allow doctors more flexibility in achieving compliance.
MIPS scores clinicians based measures and activities chosen by physicians and is based on their specialty. MIPS would basically streamline and combine three of the different programs that currently exist under Medicare. These programs are Physician Quality Reporting System, the Value-Based Modifier Program, and the ‘Meaningful Use’ of electronic health records.
There will be four performance categories for clinicians (clinicians include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, etc.) to be scored on. These performance categories are:
- Advanced Care Information
- Clinical Practice Improvement Activities
CMS proposed implementing an Advanced Payment Models (APM) pathway, allowing eligible clinicians to become “qualified participants”. This means that eligible clinicians will be able to earn statutorily specified incentives for participation.
CMS predicts most providers to initially opt for MIPS. It is expected that participation in APMs, both number of physicians and number of payment models, will grow over time, as this program will qualify clinicians for financial bonuses in exchange for taking the risks associated with providing “coordinated, high-quality care”, according to CMS.
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