In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which changed the way that Medicare pays clinicians by establishing two new payment “tracks”: The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) track.
Initially, most clinicians will be paid under the MIPS track, which will adjust clinicians’ Medicare payments up or down based on performance metrics. These new payment adjustments don’t start until 2019, but will be based on performance measurement that began in 2017. On May 31 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma announced in a blog post that about 91 percent of clinicians eligible to participate in MACRA’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) submitted data in the program’s first reporting year, surpassing CMS’ goal of 90 percent participation.
Verma stated “What makes these numbers most exciting is the concerted efforts by clinicians, professional associations and many others to ensure high quality care and improved outcomes for patients.” While excited about the participation, Verma was not shy in stating more efforts are needed to reduce regulatory burden.