SGR & Medicare Updates
Register now to view the CMS live webcast sessions during the CMS eHealth Summit on ICD-10 on Friday, February 14, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. The program includes sessions on Readiness from the Provider Perspective, during which providers will discuss their experiences, best practices, tools and resources for the transition to ICD-10, sessions on Readiness from the Vendor, Clearinghouse and Payer Perspective as well as a session on CMS’ Readiness for Provider Coordination.
Click Here to view the agenda and register for the webinar.
SGR REPEAL BILL GOES TO CONGRESS
The bipartisan bill, SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 (H.R. 4015/ S. 2000) is advancing to both chambers of Congress. If both the Senate and the House pass the bill, it will go to the President for his signature and the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) will immediately be repealed. In addition, the bill would provide a 0.5% pay increase for physicians annually for five years starting April 1, 2014 through December 31, 2018.
The bill would also replace the Value Based Purchasing (VBP) program with a similar Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and would continue consolidation and streamlining of federal incentive programs. The MIPS would start in 2018 and would provide bonuses and penalties based on flexible performance requirements to meet the needs of specialties.
Under the MIPS, physician performance would be accessed in four categories:
- Quality Reporting – using the PQRS and other measures
- Resource Use – based on the CMS Value-Based Payment Modifier program’s cost measures
- Clinical Practice Improvement Activities – activities that will help transition providers to Alternate Payment
- Models including Accountable Care Organizations and Medical Homes
Providers will receive a composite score based on their performance in these four categories but will only be accessed on measures that are applicable to their practice.
The bill would encourage provider participation in alternative payment models through additional incentive payments.
While this bill has support in both chambers of Congress, the price tag for the bill is estimated to be $125 billion and Congress will have to come up with a plan to pay for it.
ASCO provides the following link to contact your lawmakers and ask them to support S. 2000/H.R. 4015. ASCO will continue to provide the latest developments on SGR repeal at http://ascoaction.asco.org.
CMS EXTENDS DEADLINE TO ATTEST FOR MEANINGFUL USE
On Friday, Feb. 7, CMS announced the extension of the deadline for eligible professionals to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program 2013 reporting year from 11:59 pm ET on February 28, 2014 to 11:59 pm ET March 31, 2014.
CMS states that this extension will allow more time for providers to submit their meaningful use data and receive an incentive payment for the 2013 program year, as well as avoid the 2015 payment adjustment. Click Here to go to the CMS EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation page.