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CMS News: MACRA Final Rule 2018 for Quality Payment Program

Posted by The CareSync Team

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Nov 7, 2017 9:24:09 AM

Important information about MACRA Final Rule 2018 on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) has been released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS continues to support value-based care with several Quality Payment Program (QPP) updates through the MACRA Final Rule 2018. Here are 5 important highlights from the announcement.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule that clarifies the current administration’s direction for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and the Quality Payment Program (QPP), which was originally initiated by the act.

The primary focus of this MACRA Final Rule 2018 aims at alleviating burden on physicians and clarifying policies related to QPP based on feedback received over the first year of implementation. The Quality Payment Program is progressing into its second year after being implemented through rulemaking in January 2017.

“During my visits with clinicians across the country, I’ve heard many concerns about the impact burdensome regulations have on their ability to care for patients,” said Seema Verma, Administrator of CMS, in a press release by the agency. “These rules move the agency in a new direction and begin to ease that burden by strengthening the patient-doctor relationship, empowering patients to realize the value of their care over volume of tests, and encouraging innovation and competition within the American healthcare system.”

VC funding for health IT companies exceeded $5B for the first time in 2016. Read more about this.

Notable Highlights of the MACRA Final Rule 2018 for Quality Payment Program

  • Exemptions from the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track have been expanded, which means fewer physicians are required to participate in 2018.
  • The number of providers who qualify for the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) track is expected to double due to the MACRA Final Rule 2018, adding more weight to this track over MIPS.
  • This MACRA Final Rule sees the addition of a hardship exception for any small practices and clinicians impacted by the series of natural disasters occurring earlier this year, including hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Providers in areas impacted by hurricanes will not have to submit 2017 MIPS data, without threat of penalty.
  • Small practices and solo physicians can choose to participate in MIPS as virtual groups rather than on their own in order to reduce administrative costs and burden.
  • Bonus points are offered to those treating a large number of complex patient populations.

The Executive Summary and Fact Sheet, posted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, provide additional details on the MACRA Final Rule 2018.

There will be a CMS webinar on Nov. 14 for anyone interested in more information on the MACRA Final Rule 2018 and Quality Payment Program 2. Register here at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website.

Comments are being accepted by the CMS on this MACRA Final Rule 2018 and QPP until January 2018.

Further Understanding MACRA Final Rule 2018

Download a free healthcare white paper about MACRA, MIPS, Chronic Care Management, value-based care. Click here.Get more CMS news and information about QPP, Advanced APMs, MIPS, and MACRA by downloading a free MACRA white paper from CareSync™, the top choice in Chronic Care Management companies.

Game Changer: Preparing for Success With MACRA” will be a valuable tool in helping you understand the intricacies of the Quality Payment Program, the differences between the MIPS and Advanced APM tracks, and how implementing a Chronic Care Management program and other care coordination services from CareSync can help you succeed under MACRA.

To learn more, contact sales@caresync.com or call CareSync at 1-800-501-2984.

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