CMS Proposes Quality Payment Program Rule
THE CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID Services has proposed a new rule for its Quality Payment Program in an effort to simplify reporting requirements with updates for the second and future years of the program.
In October 2016, CMS published a final rule to implement the Quality Payment Program (QPP) under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), designed to reward providers for value and improved health outcomes. As part of the program, clinicians have two tracks from which to choose—the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or the Advanced Alternate Payment Models (APMs), based on practice size, specialty, location or patient population.
The new approach in MACRA incorporates payments to reward providers for their use of IT and data.
“The proposed rule would amend some existing requirements and also contains new policies for doctors and clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program that would encourage participation in either APMs or the MIPS,” the agency announcement noted.
If finalized, the proposed rule would advance CMS’ goals of regulatory relief, program simplification, and state and local flexibility in creating innovative approaches to healthcare delivery.
The agency says it is sensitive to stakeholder concerns that small, independent and rural practices in particular are not sufficiently prepared for the Quality Payment Program. By providing additional flexibility in its proposed rule, CMS contends that barriers will be reduced.
As for health IT, CMS proposes reduced burdens and increased flexibility to help clinicians successfully participate in QPP by continuing to allow the use of 2014 Edition Certified Electronic Health Record Technology, while encouraging the use of 2015 edition CEHRT.