CMS will give providers flexibility on MACRA requirements

The CMS on Thursday announced it will allow providers to choose the level and pace at which they comply with the new payment reform model aimed at emphasizing quality patient care over volume.

The announcement comes after intense pressure from industry stakeholders and policymakers to ease implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which is set to start Jan. 1, 2017. Two months ago, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said the agency was considering delaying the start date.

Next year, eligible physicians and other clinicians will be given four options to comply with new payment schemes such as the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or an alternative payment model such as accountable care organizations.

By Virgil Dickson

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