The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced last week it would offer more flexibility for practices in meeting the new Quality Payment Program requirements as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) legislation is implemented.
The Quality Payment Program (QPP), 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. Clinicians can choose how they want to participate in the QPP based on their practice size, specialty, location or patient population.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma explained that the proposed rule is aimed at improving 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.”
American Medical Association (AMA) President David O. Barbe, MD, commended CMS for hearing the concerns of practicing physicians regarding MACRA implementation.
“CMS is proposing a number of policies to help physicians avoid penalties under the Quality Payment Program. In particular, it is suggesting several actions to assist small practices. The Administration showed it heard the concerns raised by the AMA on behalf of practicing physicians,” he said in a statement. “Not all physicians and their practices were ready to make the leap, and many faced daunting challenges. This flexible approach will give physicians more options to participate in MACRA and takes into consideration the diversity of medical practices throughout the country.”
He went onto say: “The Administration has taken another step to make sure the promise of MACRA – where physicians are rewarded for improvement and for delivering high-quality, high-value care – will be fulfilled. Patients and physicians will benefit from the new MACRA approach, as flexibility is vital when implementing a wide-ranging reform.”
Read the proposed rule and learn more about it with this fact sheet. Also, access helpful MACRA resources provided by the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI).
Also, please note, the AMA has developed a short video, entitled “One patient, one measure, no penalty: How to avoid a Medicare payment penalty with basic reporting,” which is accessible on the AMA web site at  The AMA says it wants to help as many physicians as possible avoid a negative 4 percent Medicare payment reduction in 2019.