Lawmakers propose legislation that repeals the SGR formula and introduces a Medicare physician payment system that rewards merit over quantity of services and incentivizes physicians to participate in alternative payment models. Some specifics include:
- Medicare would eliminate the scheduled three percent reductions in reimbursements for failing to comply with MU criteria, as well as the escalating penalties of up to five percent in 2019
- Medicare would drop the two percent penalty scheduled for 2017 for failing to report PQRS measures
- Physician payments would increase 0.5 percent a year for five years
- EHRs would be required to be interoperable by 2017 and providers would be prohibited from deliberately blocking information sharing with other EHR vendor products
- Technical assistance funding would double for small practices with 15 or fewer professionals
- Beginning in 2017, HHS would monitor clinicians for the appropriate use of advanced diagnostic imaging based on appropriate use criteria. Physicians deemed “outliers” for non-use or non-compliance of appropriate use would be subject to prior authorization for applicable imaging services.
CMS announces a one month extension of the deadline for EPs to attest for MU for the Medicare 2013 reporting period. In its email announcement CMS did not provide an explanation for moving the deadline to March 31.
Georgia Physicians for Accountable Care selects eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record to advance its ACO objectives.
A screening program for abdominal aortic aneurysms integrated into an EHR reduced the number of unscreened at-risk men by more than 50 percent within 15 months, according to a Kaiser Permanente study.
The NCQA recognizes the 180-provider HealthPoint Medical Group (FL) as the first practice to earn NCQA Patient-Centered Specialty Practice Recognition for its efforts collaborating with patients to improve quality.