American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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FEDERAL | ASPS Continues to Advocate for Provider Friendly MACRA Rules

Last month, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health conducted a hearing on implementation of the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act (MACRA). MACRA, which was enacted roughly a year ago to replace the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), was the subject of another hearing last week.

Physicians from the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians testified at the hearing, and ASPS and the Alliance of Specialty Medicine entered a statement into the record detailing specialty medicine's ongoing concerns with MACRA implementation.

ASPS and the Alliance made numerous arguments regarding the development of Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and alternative payment models (APMs) for Congress to consider. These statements included:

  • That for MACRA to be successful, the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) must be thoughtfully developed instead of pieced together from other existing, deeply flawed federal programs.
  • That because the largest barrier for plastic surgeons to meaningfully participate in current programs and MIPS is a severe lack of relevant quality measures, a significant investment in developing quality measures for physician specialties must be made.
  • That CMS must support the development of quality measures through financial investment, technical assistance and access to data.
  • Thanking Congress for including a mechanism for recognizing physician-focused payment models through the Physician Focused Payment Model Technical Advocacy Committee (PTAC), while also expressing concern regarding recent statements from CMS suggesting too limited a role for PTAC.

ASPS and the Alliance are continuing to engage with Congress to pressure CMS to adhere to Congressional intent in MACRA rulemaking, as well as to keep an eye on the ever growing regulatory burden that is being imposed on physicians. This month, in fact, ASPS members lobbied Congress to pressure CMS to release this funding during the Southeast and Midwest Regional Fly-In.