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News & Press: Legislative News

Important MACRA update from the FMA

Tuesday, October 18, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: DCMS
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The following is an update from the Florida Medical Association regarding MACRA:

On Friday, October 14, CMS released the final implementing rule for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). While the final rule does not halt the implementation of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or adopt all of the recommendations that the FMA and other medical societies fought for, it does provide for changes that will make it much easier for physicians to participate in CMS’ Quality Payment Program (QPP).


Provided is a high-level summary of two of the most substantial changes announced in the final rule:


The low-volume threshold has been greatly increased, thereby exempting more physicians from MIPS. Under the final rule, eligible clinicians or groups who do not exceed $30,000 of billed Medicare Part B allowed charges or 100 Part B-enrolled Medicare beneficiaries will be excluded from MIPS. CMS notes that the same low-volume threshold will apply to both individual MIPS eligible clinicians and groups because groups have the option to elect to report at an individual or group level.


This change will come as welcome news to many small practices. The previous threshold, which was set at $10,000 in allowed charges and 100 or fewer patients, was absurdly inadequate by any standard. The revised threshold, while still less than ideal, is a substantial improvement.


The reporting requirements needed to avoid penalties have been drastically reduced. Reporting even a single quality measure or improvement activity will be enough to avoid a penalty in the first year of MIPS. Reporting additional data can lead to potential bonuses.


More information on the changes included in the final rule, and what those changes will mean for physicians, will be published in this weeks’ FMA News. Stay tuned.