- CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said Monday that his agency will implement the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act over 10 years, using an “outside-in approach we label ‘user-driven policy design.’”
- Speaking at the American Medical Association annual meeting in Chicago, Slavitt said his staff met with more than 6,300 stakeholders nationwide before publishing the MACRA implementation final rule in April.
- Through those sessions, CMS identified four crosscutting themes that will underscore its value-based payments programs.
“I will confess this a new way of working for CMS,” Slavitt said, citing the agency’s willingness to toss out the existing Meaningful Use requirements based on negative provider feedback.
Signed into law in April, MACRA replaces Meaningful Use, the Physician Quality Reporting System and the Value Modifier with the single, aligned Quality Payment Program (QPP). The change will cut down on reporting requirements, eliminate duplication and reduce the number of measures physicians need to assess. Those participating in alternative payment models will see requirements even further reduced.
Slavitt outlined four policy priorities for the QPP:
- Be patient-centered both in the focus of the program and at CMS generally, to ensure the highest quality and most coordinated care for beneficiaries and the least disruption for providers;
- Allow practices to adapt the program as much as possible to meet the unique needs of their patients and make adjustments over time;
- Focus on special concerns of small practices and those in rural and underserved areas; and
- Simplify as much as possible so that physicians will have more time to spend with patients.
Slavitt also discussed steps to improve value-based payments, including:
- Provide reports and using quality measures that are timely and helpful to practice improvement;
- Allow physicians more say in selecting measures; and
- Focus solely on what’s relevant to their specialty or practice.
In March, HHS officials announced they had reached the goal of typing 30% of Medicare payments to alternative payment models that value quality over quantity of care. In a recent survey by McKesson Health Solutions, payers reported being 58% along the continuum toward full value-based reimbursement—up 10% since 2014.