As promised, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) finalized the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 Quality Payment Program. This new payment system will replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and is meant to, as stated in a recent HHS press release, “equip clinicians with the tools and flexibility to provide high quality, patient care.”
With the press release, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell reminds us that the bipartisan legislation was designed with “input from thousands of clinicians and patients across the country.” Burwell also insists that the final rule addresses the need for flexibility, simplicity and support for small practices. She states that the rule is only a step, thus far, in an “iterative process for implementing the new law,” and that they will continue to host listening and learning sessions throughout the country. CMS Acting Administrator, Andy Slavitt points out that with the new rule, CMS announced the effort to provide more options for participating in an Advanced APM. He estimates that approximately 25 percent of eligible Medicare clinicians could be in an advanced APM by the second year of the program
Both Slavitt and Burwell urge participants to interact with the new Quality Payment Program website here and to provide feedback and comments during the comment period, up to 60 days after the release of the new rule.