No Time to Read CMS' Massive MACRA Final Rule? Read the AAFP's Executive Summary Instead

By: Guest Author | Posted on: Oct 30, 2016

This article was originally published on aafp.org. View the original article by clicking here

October 26, 2016 12:15 pm News Staff – When HHS released CMS' final rule(qpp.cms.gov) addressing implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) on Oct. 14, family physicians across the country became slightly less anxious about their future.

At least they would have some guidance as to what was expected of them during the nation's transition to value-based payment models.

But the long and complicated final rule was a roadblock to many, including this family physician who posted a comment after the AAFP News story about the final rule was published online. She began by saying, "I was going to print off and read the final rule for MACRA but was daunted by the 2,200+ page length of the document."

Well, now busy family physicians can read an executive summary(5 page PDF) created by AAFP experts who have read the rule and pulled out the sections most relevant to family medicine.

The authors of the summary condensed the really important details into five pages.

MACRA summary, Healhcare, Obamacare, Health Insurance, Hospital Costs

Summary Highlights

Some of the highlights of the summary include these need-to-know informational nuggets:

  • CMS' inclusion of a "pick-your-pace" policy gives physicians choices as to how fast they proceed and includes an optional 90-day reporting period in 2017.
  • If a practice participates in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for any period of time in 2017, no penalty will be assessed in 2019.
  • All physicians who participate in Medicare Part B will receive a positive 0.5 percent payment update for services provided in 2017.
  • Physicians should plan to participate in 2017 -- even if only by reporting on one measure or improvement activity; failure to do so will result in a 4 percent negative adjustment in 2019 Medicare Part B payments.

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