CMS Finalizes Changes to Advance Innovation, Restore Focus on Patients

CMS Press Release (11/01/18)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized proposals to address provider burnout and offer clinicians immediate relief from onerous paperwork tied to outdated billing practices. The final 2019 Physician Fee Schedule and the Quality Payment Program (QPP) rule updates Medicare payment policies to promote access to virtual care, easing health information exchange via improved interoperability and modernizing QPP measures to focus on those most meaningful to positive outcomes. In addition, the rule changes certain policies under Medicare's accountable care organization program that simplify quality measures to reduce burden and encourage better health outcomes. Final policies for Year 3 of the QPP will further CMS' Meaningful Measures initiative while easing clinician burden, ensuring a focus on outcomes and interoperability. An opt-in policy enables certain clinicians with a low volume of Medicare patients to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System program if they elect to do so. Furthermore, CMS will permit clinicians at a healthcare facility to use facility-based scoring to mitigate the onus of reporting separately from their facility. The final rule is forecast to save clinicians $87 million in reduced administrative costs next year and $843 million over the next 10 years.

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