September 18, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: MACRA
Beginning with the 2017 reporting year, eligible physicians who do not participate in the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) will see a negative 4 percent payment adjustment in 2019. QPP is the new physician payment system created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
During the 2017 transition year, CMS will allow physicians to select one of three “pick your pace” participation options. Participating at any level in 2017 will ensure that you will not be hit with the 4 percent pay cut in 2019.
The most lenient participation option—reporting on one patient, one measure—allows physicians to avoid a penalty by "testing" the program to ensure that their systems are working and that they are prepared for broader implementation in 2018 and beyond.
Physicians can choose to report for 90 days and possibly earn a small bonus payment. If you plan to select this 90-day reporting option, your performance period must begin no later than October 2, 2017.
Physicians can also choose, if they are ready, to report a full year of data in 2017 and be eligible to receive a modest bonus, depending on their performance.
Providers with less than $30,000 in Medicare payments or fewer than 100 Medicare patients are exempt from the reporting requirements in 2017. If you are unsure of your QPP participation status, you can look it up here.
FREE assistance for small practices
California physicians in practices of 15 or fewer can receive free assistance to prepare and participate in the QPP through the California Health Information Partnership & Services Organization (CalHIPSO). CalHIPSO will help you select the right participation “pace” for your practice, navigate the new landscape, assess performance data and stay informed about the QPP. Contact CalHIPSO now to register for services and receive no-cost technical assistance.
CalHIPSO is also hosting a California Medical Association (CMA) webinar on September 20 to answer physician questions about MACRA reporting. The webinar will review the pick-your-pace options and ensure you’re satisfying the requirements of your reporting category. It will also highlight resources available to help you avoid a negative payment adjustment and identify successful strategies to improving quality care.
CMA MACRA Resource Center
To help physicians understand the payment reforms and prepare for the transition, CMA has published a MACRA resource page at MACRA. There, you will find an overview of MACRA and a comprehensive list of tools, resources and information from CMA, the American Medical Association and CMS.