CMS releases final rule implementing MACRA provisions of Medicare physician payment system

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday morning released its final rule implementing provisions of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

MACRA repeals the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) methodology for updates to the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and replaces it with a new method to payment, the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The QPP rewards the delivery of high-quality patient care through two paths: Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APMs) and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for eligible clinicians or groups under the PFS. The final rule includes a comment period providing a renewed start for Medicare by focusing payments on care that is best for the patients, providing more options to clinicians for innovative care and payment approaches and reducing administrative burden to give clinicians more time to spend with their patients rather than paperwork.

Along with the announcement, a new Quality Payment Program website was created to explain the new program and help clinicians easily identify measures most meaningful to their practice or specialty.

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The American Hospital Association (AHA) says staff members are reviewing the rule.