CMS Releases Final MACRA Rules

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) repeals the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) methodology for updates to the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and replaces it with a new approach to payment called the Quality Payment Program that rewards the delivery of high-quality patient care through two avenues: Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APMs) and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for eligible clinicians or groups under the PFS. This final rule with comment period establishes incentives for participation in certain Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and includes the criteria for use by the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) in making comments and recommendations on physician-focused payment models (PFPMs). Alternative Payment Models are payment approaches, developed in partnership with the clinician community, that provide added incentives to deliver high-quality and cost-efficient care. APMs can apply to a specific clinical condition, a care episode, or a population. This final rule with comment period also establishes the MIPS, a new program for certain Medicare-enrolled practitioners. MIPS will consolidate components of three existing programs, the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Physician Value-based Payment Modifier (VM), and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program for Eligible Professionals (EPs), and will continue the focus on quality, cost, and use of certified EHR technology (CEHRT) in a cohesive program that avoids redundancies. In this final rule with comment period we have rebranded key terminology based on feedback from stakeholders, with the goal of selecting terms that will be more easily identified and understood by our stakeholders.

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