MACRA update: CMS considering alternative start date

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MACRA update

In June, Producer Pulse included a story about the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and we have an update. As you may recall, MACRA will move Medicare payments further away from a fee-for-service model and toward a value-based purchasing strategy. It resulted from bipartisan legislation and is set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

In a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing, Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), said the agency is considering ways to delay the start of the measurement period for the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to give physicians more time to prepare.

CMS has taken unprecedented steps to involve stakeholders in the development and implementation of MACRA. The agency has had meetings with more than 64,000 people in various settings and received more than 4,000 formal comments, including comments from Group Health. Slavitt said that stakeholders have echoed common themes: the need for more time to prepare for implementation, worry that solo and small practices may lack necessary resources, concerns about the program’s complexity and administrative burdens, requests for pathways to enable provider participation, and the need to maintain a focus on patients.

A final rule is anticipated by Nov. 1; we will keep you updated.