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CMS Proposes New MACRA Rules

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposed rule relating to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The proposed rule would set the parameters for Year 2 of the QPP. Calendar year 2017, the first year of the QPP, has been a transition year in which providers could choose to participate in one of two tracks to meet the requirements under the QPP: (1) the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System track; or (2) the Advanced Alternative Payment Model track. The Year 2 proposed rule continues to offer flexibility to clinicians by allowing them to continue using the 2014 edition of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) into 2018, although CMS will encourage providers to adopt use of 2015 edition CEHRT by providing a bonus to providers who use a 2015 EHR system in 2018.

Also under the proposed rule, CMS would make certain modifications to the QPP to allow more small physician practices to be exempt from complying with some of the MACRA requirements. Under the current rule, physician practices must have less than $30,000 in Medicare Part B allowed charges or fewer than 100 Medicare Part B patients to be exempt. Under the new rule, CMS would expand the exemption threshold to physician practices with less than $90,000 in Medicare Part B allowed charges or fewer than 200 Medicare Part B patients. Additionally, the proposed rule would contain certain other administrative changes that would ease some of the other administrative burdens contained in the original rules. CMS is accepting comments on the proposed rule until August 21, 2017.

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