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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Submits Comment Letter on Final Rule for MACRA Physician Payment System

    Len Marquez, Senior Director, Government Relations

    The AAMC Dec. 19 submitted a comment letter in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final rule with a comment period on the Medicare Access CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) physician payment system.

    The new payment system, also referred to as the Quality Payment Program (QPP), involves two payment options for physicians: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alterative Payment Models (APMs). CMS will begin to measure performance for physicians and other clinicians through MIPs in calendar year 2017 with payment adjustments based on their performance beginning in 2019 [see Washington Highlights, Oct. 14].

    In the comment letter, the AAMC notes that it “appreciates” CMS’s efforts to provide maximum “flexibility during the initial year through the ‘Pick Your Pace’ approach,” which allows more time to adapt to the new quality payment system. Additionally, the AAMC recommended that CMS “risk adjust outcome, population based, and resource use measures to appropriately account for clinical complexity and sociodemographic factors.”

    In addition to other recommendations, the AAMC requested that CMS develop an additional option to submit quality information that would allow large multi-specialty groups to have sub-groups under the same Tax Identification Number to be assessed in the QPP.  The AAMC also commended “CMS for changing provisions in the rule to allow more opportunities for physicians to be qualified APM participants and receive the 5 percent incentive payment.”

    The AAMC has additional resources available on its MACRA webpage to assist organizations, and CMS has made additional information available on its website.