The American Medical Association (AMA) today (6/27/16) submitted comprehensive comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlining changes that should be made to the proposed rule on Medicare payment and delivery reform, as created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The AMA’s detailed recommendations seek to ensure that the new programs reward physicians for the improvements they make to their practice and the quality of care they provide to their patients. With the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) and its yearly, systemic threats of payment cuts now behind us, the AMA is urging changes across the programs, including specific revisions to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Alternative Payment Model (APM) option.
In its letter to CMS, the AMA outlines critical steps the agency should take to ensure a smooth transition to the new payment system so physicians have time to adopt and invest in practices that result in improved patient care. These steps include:
• Creating a transitional reporting period for the first year, beginning July 1, to allow sufficient time to prepare physicians and enable a successful launch of the new Medicare payment and delivery system;
• Providing more flexibility for solo physicians and small group practices, such as