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MACRA: Physician Groups Praise Flexible Reporting Options

By Christopher Cheney  
   September 12, 2016

4 Pick-Your-Pace Options
In Thursday's announcement, CMS gave physicians four options to meet the reporting requirements for the MIPS performance categories next year and ensure that they do not receive a negative payment adjustment in 2019:

  1. 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."
  2. Submitting the full set of performance data for less than the full 2017 calendar year.
  3. Submitting the full set of performance data for the full 2017 calendar year.
  4. Participating in an Advanced APM in 2017.

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.

MACRA, the End of Meaningful Use, and Beyond

"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 Friday.

Although CMS has delayed the reporting requirement for the Quality Payment Program, a key takeaway point from Thursday's announcement is that Medicare's new payment system for physicians will likely launch as planned in 2019, Harold Miller, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh-based Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, told HealthLeaders on Friday.

"This is not delaying implementation of MACRA, it's actually creating a less problematic starting point for the measurement that will go into determining what happens to physicians in 2019."

Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care​ editor at HealthLeaders.

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