As many of you know, 2016 was scheduled to be the last participation year of the CMS Incentive Programs. Beginning in 2017, a new quality regime was due to go into effect under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which would effectively combine the current incentive programs into a single monolithic structure known as MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System). Providers would have an option of avoiding the MIPS meat-grinder by participating in an “advanced” alternative payment model (APM).
I have written an extensive article on all these changes and what you can expect in an upcoming edition of the Anesthesia Business Journal. However, in the last few hours, the apple-cart has been upset and upended. It is being reported by multiple sources that the acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Andy Slavitt, testified today before the Senate Finance Committee that the MACRA provisions may be delayed. This potential postponement of MIPS and the APM regulations is said to be due to the government’s growing concern that providers may not be ready to roll with the vast changes inherent in the new payment system by this coming January. For this reason, CMS is considering pushing back the start date.
The Proposed Rule relative to MIPS and APMs was published in the Federal Register this past April, with the Final Rule not expected until later this year. Based on today’s testimony by the acting administrator of CMS, we are left in limbo as it concerns the future of quality. Medac will update you once a final decision has been issued.
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