The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule that would make changes in the second year of the Quality Payment Program, as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The agency’s goal is to simplify the program, especially for small, independent, and rural practices, while ensuring fiscal sustainability and high-quality care within Medicare, according to a press announcement.
“We’ve heard the concerns that too many quality programs, technology requirements, and measures get between the doctor and the patient,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “That’s why we’re taking a hard look at reducing burdens. By proposing this rule, we aim to improve Medicare by helping doctors and clinicians concentrate on caring for their patients rather than filling out paperwork. CMS will continue to listen and take actionable steps towards alleviating burdens and improving health outcomes for all Americans that we serve.”
The Quality Payment Program, updated annually as part of MACRA, is meant to promote greater value within the health care system. Clinicians who participate in Medicare serve more than 57 million seniors. They can choose how they want to participate in the Quality Payment Program based on their practice size, specialty, location, or patient population.
In addition to amending some existing requirements, the proposed rule contains new policies for doctors and clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program that would encourage participation in either advanced alternative payment models (APMs) or the merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS).
In addition, the CMS has used clinician feedback to shape the second year of the program. If finalized, the proposed rule would further advance the agency’s goals of regulatory relief, program simplification, and state and local flexibility in the creation of innovative approaches to health care delivery, according to the press release.
Moreover, the CMS is making it easier for rural and small providers to participate.
FierceHealthcare has listed some of the major changes proposed under the rule: