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FEDERAL | New CMS Guidance Indicates Physicians Will Have More MACRA Participation Options

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that physicians will be allowed to choose the level and pace at which they comply with implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act's (MACRA) Quality Payment Program, which is set to start on January 1, 2017. Eligible physicians and other clinicians will have multiple options for participation to ensure that they do not receive a negative payment adjustment in 2019:

  • Under the first option, providers can test the Quality Payment Program. As long as some data is reported, providers will avoid a negative payment adjustment and help ensure that their systems are prepared for broader participation in 2018.
  • Providers also have the option of participating for only part of the calendar year. Through reporting for a reduced number of days, physicians could still qualify for a small payment adjustment.
  • Those clinicians who are fully prepared can choose to participate for the full calendar year, which might result in a modest positive payment adjustment.
  • Finally, providers have the option of participating in an advanced alternative payment model (APM) in 2017.

Other details about CMS' plans for the Quality Payment Program will be described in the final rule, expected to be released in November.

ASPS's Comments on the MACRA Proposed Rule