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CMS Administrator Seema Verma Announces that 91% of Eligible Physicians Participated in the First Year of the Quality Payment Program; Promises Additional Policies to Reduce Burden Following Passage of MACRA Technical Corrections

In a blog post this week, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced that overall participation in the Quality Payment Program (QPP), which includes MIPS and Advanced APMs, exceeded CMS’ estimates and that 91% of eligible physicians participated in one of the programs. She also stated that even though so many physicians were able to participate, CMS is continuing to seek ways to reduce administrative burden associated with the program. She touted the changes made in the 2018 final rule to reduce burden, such as the extended transition flexibility to avoid a penalty by submitting minimal data, small practice accommodations, increased low volume threshold, and the continued use of 2014-certified EHR technology. In addition, she promised that CMS would be proposing additional policies to reduce burden based on the ASCRS-supported technical corrections to the MACRA statute passed earlier this year. While the blog post does not provide details of those proposed policies, the MACRA technical corrections give CMS the authority to extend the transition period an additional three years and keep the Cost category weight at below 30% of the final MIPS score for three additional years. In addition, the MACRA technical corrections removed Part B drugs from MIPS eligibility determinations and payment adjustments. The 2019 proposed rule is expected this summer. We will alert members when it is released.

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