The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed changes to the Quality Payment Program instituted by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 that aim to simplify the program. The proposed changes would occur in the second year of the Quality Payment Program and would especially help streamline the requirements for small, independent and rural healthcare practices, “while ensuring fiscal sustainability and high-quality care within Medicare,” CMS reports (http://ow.ly/U9rN30cQpuA.)
Under the program, healthcare providers that bill more than $30,000 to Medicare Part B and care for more than 100 patients a year should start recording their quality data and documenting how they are using technology to support their practice, ACA International’s Collector magazine editor Anne Rosso May previously reported.
The first performance period of the program is currently underway and during this time providers can pick their pace to report data to Medicare. They can choose to test the Quality Payment Program on a limited basis, participate for only part of the calendar year or participate for the full calendar year. This reduced set of requirements for 2017 gives providers time to fine-tune their basic infrastructure and get familiar with what’s expected of them.
The proposed rule for 2018, “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 Advanced Alternative Payment Models or the Meritbased Incentive Payment System,” CMS reports. CMS has also used feedback from healthcare providers to craft the second year of the program.
“We’ve heard the concerns that too many quality programs, technology requirements, and measures get between the doctor and the patient,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in the news release. “That’s why we’re taking a hard look at reducing burdens. By proposing this rule, we aim to improve Medicare by helping doctors and clinicians concentrate on caring for their patients rather than filling out paperwork.”
Healthcare providers who participate in Medicare serve more than 57 million seniors and the Quality Payment Program is designed to promote greater value within the industry. If finalized, the proposed rule would further advance the agency’s goals of regulatory relief, program simplification, and state and local flexibility in the creation of innovative approaches to healthcare delivery, CMS reports.
More information on the Quality Payment Program is available here: qpp.cms.gov and in a fact sheet from CMS: http://ow.ly/CXKn30dRMTH