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Summary of Senate Committee hearing on MACRA & MIPS

10 May 2019 8:46 AM | NAMEC Staff (Administrator)

A recent Senate Committee on Finance hearing called the "Medicare Physician Payment Reform After Two Years: Examining MACRA Implementation and the Road Ahead" included representatives from the American Medical Association (AMA), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American College of Surgeons (ACS), American Medical Group Association (AMGA), and the Brookings Institution. 

-What is MACRA & MIPS?

MACRA was generally regarded as a positive direction for redirecting the system for how physicians are paid but there were calls for changes in the program.  

MACRA is a landmark regulation that breathed new life into the value-based reimbursement transition. The program is tying a significant portion of Medicare payments to patient outcomes, care quality, and costs.

MIPS was generally viewed as burdensome. There were some calls for it to be completely eliminated. 

John Cullen, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, testified that MIPS 'has created a burdensome and extremely complex program that has increased practice costs and is contributing to physician burnout.' Further, Cullen observed that "understanding the requirements and scoring for each MIPS performance category and reporting data to CMS is a complex task and detracts from physicians’ ability to focus on patients.”

Another statement was critical of MIPS achieving its set goals.

Research examining the structure of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and experience with similar programs suggest that MIPS is unlikely to improve the quality or efficiency of patient care. But MIPS is creating substantial administrative costs.

Additional coverage of this hearing:

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