AAOS Hosts MACRA Briefing on Capitol Hill
On Tuesday, May 31, the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to educate congressional staffers and health care leaders about the importance of MACRA implementation and the issues currently raised by the proposed rule. Council on Advocacy Chair Thomas C. Barber, MD, presented on behalf of AAOS and stressed key areas of concern, including risk adjustment, small practice issues, infrastructure needs, measure development, and more. He also discussed the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model as it related to alternative payment models (APMs) under MACRA.
View Dr. Barber’s entire presentation online here.
Signed into law last year, MACRA reforms how doctors are reimbursed for treating Medicare patients and creates new two tracks for payment. First, it replaces the existing Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Value-Based Modifier, and “Meaningful Use” of Electronic Health Records (EHR) programs with a new, single Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program that expands the pay-for-performance incentives in the fee-for-service system. The second track, Alternative Payment Models (APMs), provides bonus payments for physicians who participate in Advanced APMs that hold providers financially accountable for health care costs.
AAOS President Gerald R. Williams, Jr., MD recently commented on the importance of the proposed rule, stating that physician involvement in the development and implementation of MACRA “is critical.”
“While CMS has recognized some of our concerns, including adding flexibility to quality reporting and responding to specialty-specific needs, there are a number of issues that still need to be addressed,” Williams stated. “The importance of this proposed rule cannot be overstated. As specialty physicians, orthopaedic surgeons face unique challenges and require specialty-specific tools, measures, and other considerations in order to successfully participate in quality performance programs and APMs. We look forward to working closely with CMS to refine MACRA provisions and ensure physician payment reform ultimately improves the care of musculoskeletal patients.”
AAOS has developed a summary of the proposed rule and will be coordinating formal written comments with state and specialty societies. The deadline for comments is 5 p.m. on June 27, 2016. Find all of our MACRA news and resources at www.aaos.org/macra, read the proposed rule online here, and email us with any questions or concerns at MACRA@aaos.org.