CMS gets an earful on proposed MACRA changes

Proposed changes from HIMSS, AMA, AMGA, others

The deadline to submit comments on the sweeping payment and delivery changes proposed by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services was June 27. Most major health organization have made their voices heard.

In letter sent Monday to acting CMS administrator Andy Slavitt, HIMSS lauded the agency for its “transparent and inclusive” efforts to gather industry feedback, and thanked CMS for its attempts to “minimize the administrative burden on organizations and clinicians.”

But it also made clear that the “flexibility” promised by CMS to physicians participating in MACRA’s two main tracks, the Merit Based Incentive Payment System and Alternative Payment Models, may not be as obvious as it appears.

“In creating this flexibility, CMS is proposing a level of complexity that increases the burden on eligible clinicians,” HIMSS wrote.

Moreover, the timeline for the new framework’s rollout – with a final rule and kick-off for the first reporting period both set for Jan. 1, 2017 – is extremely tight. As such, HIMSS has asked CMS change the reporting period for the Advancing Care Information component of MIPS (which would essentially replace meaningful use for Medicare physicians) to 90 days. 

More broadly, HIMSS wants CMS to “redouble its efforts” to ensure clinicians are better educated about MACRA requirements, and that the small practices are not too burdened with bureaucratic hoop-jumping.

Read HIMSS’ full comments here.

The American Medical Association, meanwhile, offered a list of steps CMS should take to ensure  physicians can adequately transition to MIPS and APMs, and “have time to adopt and invest in practices that result in improved patient care.”

Read AMA’s full comments here.

For its part, the Consumer Partnership for eHealth – led by the National Partnership for Women & Families – cheered CMS for making “person-centered uses of health information technology” central to its proposed MACRA programs.

Most notably, CPeH urged CMS to retire the “one patient” requirement, which calculates a providers’ score on for the Advancing Care Information component of MIPS according to e-prescribing, patient access and secure messaging.

Read its full comments here.

The American Medical Group Association, meanwhile asked CMS to “increase possible pathways to participate in Medicare as an advanced Alternative Payment Models” and also aired its own qualms about the condensed time frame in the proposed rule.

“Eligible clinicians and medical groups will not have sufficient time to review and select appropriate quality measures and make the health information technology changes necessary to succeed under MIPS,” according to AMGA.

Read AMGA’s comments here.

Via: CMS gets an earful on proposed MACRA changes from HIMSS, AMA, AMGA, others


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