Physician Practice

CMS says MACRA delay is possible

Physician Practice Insider, July 27, 2016

CMS may consider delaying implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), Andy Slavitt, CMS acting administrator, said during a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee July 13. Although the implementation date is set for January 1, 2017, Slavitt agreed with members of the committee that the current deadline may not be realistic for physician practices, particularly small or solo physician practices. The final rule will not be released until November 1, leaving physicians with only two months to prepare.

Slavitt said CMS is looking into options to ease the transition for physician practices, including alternate start dates and shorter reporting periods.

Both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) have lobbied for delaying MACRA and said Slavitt’s comments were encouraging. In a June 24 letter, the AAFP said MACRA implementation should be delayed to 2018 and raised concerns that the virtual reporting groups, a tool that would allow smaller practices to join virtual groups and participate in group reporting, would not be available until 2018.

A number of measures discussed by senators and Slavitt during the meeting closely mirror suggestions made by the AMA. This may indicate that CMS is listening to physicians’ concerns and will take steps to support small practices during the transition, the AMA said.

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