AMA commends CMS for QPP proposals

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule that would “make changes in the second year of the Quality Payment Program as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA)…[the] goal is to simplify the program, especially for small, independent, and rural practices, while ensuring fiscal sustainability and high-quality care within Medicare.

CMS says that, “The Quality Payment Program, 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 Quality Payment Program based on their practice size, specialty, location, or patient population.”  

CMS adds that, “The proposed rule would amend some existing requirements and also contains new policies for doctors and clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program that would encourage participation in either Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) or the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Additionally, CMS has used clinician feedback to shape the second year of the program. If finalized, the proposed rule would further advance the agency’s goals of regulatory relief, program simplification, and state and local flexibility in the creation of innovative approaches to healthcare delivery.” 

Finally, CMS says that the rules change would make it “easier for rural and small providers to participate.” 

American Medical Association (AMA) President David O. Barbe, M.D., commended CMS for “hearing the concerns of practicing physicians regarding MACRA implementation.”    

In a statement that was issued on June 20, Dr. Barbe said that, “In proposing these rules, 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.” 

Dr. Barbe also stressed that, “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.”

Click for CMS press release 

Click for proposed rule fact sheet

Click for proposed rule (CMS-5522-P)

Click for CMS QPP web page