Changes in the way Medicare pays physicians are set out in a final rule released Oct. 14 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The rules will increasingly base doctors’ pay on their efficiency and quality of care. Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the rules begin phasing in Medicare’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) which generally offers two approaches to physician compensation: the Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Providers participating in APMs will get higher payments.
The American Medical Association and other physicians' groups said CMS appears to have taken the needs of their members into account in these QPP rules implementing the law, officially known as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Congress cleared the measure last year with strong bipartisan support. Other changes in the law will require more beneficiaries to pay income-based Part B and Part D premiums and limit future Medicare supplement products.