Physician Practice

MACRA: Physician groups praise flexible reporting options

Physician Practice Insider, September 20, 2016

CMS is giving physicians four quality reporting options in an attempt to ensure physicians do not receive a negative payment adjustment due to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in 2019. Physician groups are praising CMS’ September 8 announcement delaying the reporting requirements established under MACRA.

Prior to last week's announcement, physicians were facing full implementation of the of the value-based payment system for Medicare reimbursement under MACRA starting January 1, 2017. The reporting requirements are considered onerous by many, and providers and payers pressed Medicare for postponement over the summer.

In Thursday's announcement, the CMS granted physicians four "pick-your-pace" options to comply with MACRA's reporting requirements next year:

  • Submitting enough data to the Quality Payment Program "to ensure that your system is working and that you are prepared for broader participation in 2018 and 2019"
  • Submitting the full set of performance data for less than the full 2017 calendar year
  • Submitting the full set of performance data for the full 2017 calendar year
  • Participating in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model in 2017

"By adopting this thoughtful and flexible approach, the Administration is encouraging a successful transition to the new law by offering physicians options for participating in MACRA. This approach better reflects the diversity of medical practices throughout the country," Andrew Gurman, MD, president of the Chicago-based American Medical Association, said in a prepared statement September 8.

Nitin Damle, MD, FACP, president of the Philadelphia-based American College of Physicians, says granting flexibility in the reporting requirements will help physicians chart the best financial course for their practices as the new payment system is implemented.

"The minimal reporting option will also allow for a longer transition period for those practices that still need time to adjust for the new MACRA performance requirements without being at risk of negative adjustments, while other practices that are able to more fully participate in 2017, for some or all of the year, could qualify for 'small' to 'modest' positive adjustments," Damle said in a statement issued September 9.

This article originally appeared on HealthLeaders Media. Click here to read the full article.

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