Flaws in those plans and other areas of CMS policy-making are unsettling to MGMA-ACMPE and other physician groups. Among the problems, says Brennan, is that CMS is moving toward revamped regulations, even though there aren't assurances that current programs will be regulated properly.
For physicians, "there are a lot of administrative burdens, so the CMS regulations are a considerable drain on the time and resources on medical practices," Brennan says.
MGMA-ACMPE includes 22,500 members who manage and lead 13,200 organizations. Its 280,000 physician members provide more than 40% of the healthcare services delivered in the U.S, the group says. Its constituency, obviously, represents only a certain group of the estimated 1 million physicians in this country, many of whom who are represented by dozens of other organizations. But the group's outrage reflects concerns by other groups, who also have their struggles with CMS.
One such group is the American Association of Medical Colleges, which includes 141 accredited medical schools, and nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems.
Similarly, the AAMC has concerns over lack of standards, puzzling and confusing data questions, and contradictory elements of planning in the CMS proposals, Mary Patton Wheatley, MS, director of health care affairs for AAMC, tells me.
In its response to the physician fee schedule plan, AAMC noted that 6% of a practice's 2016 Medicaid payments are "at risk" based on reporting and performance in 2014. By having unclear objectives and standards, Wheatley says CMS is hindering physicians' chances to meet expectations. "It is essential that the Medicare program move ahead at a reasonable pace and with clear rules that are well understood," AAMC wrote to CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner.