CMS Unveils Proposed Medicare Rule To Reward Or Penalize Physicians Based On Quality Of Care
The new physician payment system was unveiled Wednesday -- a year after Congress approved the so-called "doc fix" bill.
Feds Propose Docking Or Rewarding Medicare Doctors For Quality
Federal regulators proposed a rule Wednesday that will adjust hundreds of thousands of physicians' Medicare payments to reward or penalize them based on how healthy they keep their patients. The announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services comes a year after Congress passed a law that was known as the "doc fix" bill and prevented a huge cut in Medicare payments. It also authorized HHS to come up with more streamlined ways of paying doctors that emphasize quality over quantity of services. (O'Donnell, 4/27)
Politico Pro Q&A: How Andy Slavitt Plans To Win Doctors' Hearts And Minds Again
Andy Slavitt knows the Obama administration has lost doctors' hearts and minds. But the CMS acting administrator thinks the new physician payment system unveiled on Wednesday is the first step to winning them back, he told POLITICO in an exclusive interview. Appearing on the debut episode of POLITICO's "Pulse Check" podcast, Slavitt said that the new payment system, MACRA, is intended to make amends for the electronic health records Meaningful Use program and other onerous reporting requirements that have left doctors feeling over-regulated and over-measured. (Diamond, 4/27)
Will Medicare's Physician Payment Overhaul Drive More Docs To Hospitals?
The CMS on Wednesday began to answer some of the many questions about how physicians will get paid under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. But some stakeholders were immediately dissatisfied with what they saw, and the 963-page rule may have raised as many questions as it answered. ... the rule, if finalized, could spur even more physicians to join hospital groups. “It creates a bias in the regulations toward larger organizations,” [said Harold Miller, president and CEO of the Center for Healthcare Payment and Quality Reform]. “It's the hospitals that are getting the bulk of the revenue. It doesn't allow a small physician practice to be at risk based on their own revenue.” (Kutscher and Rubenfire, 4/27)
CMS Proposal Would Tie Medicare Payments To Quality Care
Instead of tying doctor’s payments to inflation or other economic indicators under the traditional fee-for-service system, MACRA shifted the Medicare payment system to one based on value. CMS announced Wednesday its “Quality Payment Program,” which acting administrator Andy Slavitt said “replaces what has been this patchwork of incentive and reporting programs with a single platform, where every Medicare physician and clinician has the opportunity to be paid more for better care.” (Owens, 4/27)
Obama Administration Takes Step To Reform Medicare Payments
The rule announced Wednesday gives doctors a choice of two paths, both of which seek to pay them in part based on how well they treat patients. The first path, called the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), would increase or decrease payments up to 4 percent in the first year based on how well doctors meet benchmarks on quality, use of electronic health records, and cost. The second path, known as advanced alternative payment models, would go even further in shifting towards rewarding quality. (Sullivan, 4/27)