News & Press: Quality Improvement

Take Steps to Avoid a Medicare Payment Penalty

Tuesday, December 19, 2017  

The American Medical Association (AMA) is reminding physicians that the Medicare reimbursement system has changed, and, if you have not done so already, you have until December 31, 2017, to take a few simple steps to avoid a Medicare payment penalty in 2019.

The changes are part of the government’s implementation of MACRA, the new Medicare law that will affect physicians and practices of all sizes.  2017 is the first year of reporting under MACRA’s Quality Payment Program.

For those who were not prepared for full participation this year, reporting quality information on just one patient and one measure in 2017 will allow physicians to avoid a Medicare payment penalty in 2019. A full MACRA resource center is available on the AMA's website, as well as the "one patient, one measure, no penalty" campaign, offering a step-by-step guide to completing the process. The AMA has also produced a MACRA podcast series on ReachMD, including an episode with tips for small practices.

With just a small investment of time, physicians can select a quality measure to report on that makes sense for their practice based on their patient population or the procedures performed most frequently. Additionally, practices with 15 or fewer clinicians can access support for selecting and reporting on appropriate measures to satisfy requirements under MIPS. For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) offers free, customized technical assistance through the Small, Underserved and Rural Support initiative.

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