“We’re Listening” – CMS Issues Final Rule for Year 2 of the Quality Payment Program and Highlights Efforts to Continue Flexibilities and Reduce Clinical Burdens
On November 2, 2017, CMS issued the final rule with comment for the second year (2018) of the Quality Payment Program as well as an interim final rule. Continuing with its theme of a CMS that is “listening to feedback,” CMS continued many of its flexibilities from the transition year (2017). For example, clinicians will be able to continue using 2014 or 2015 Certified Electronic Health Record Technology in 2018. CMS also indicated that year three (2019) will be more “robust” with enhancements such as the addition of virtual groups. All of this highlights CMS’ continued efforts to reduce burdens on clinicians and provide a roadmap for increased participation in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).
One of the chief complaints from clinicians in this era of transition from volume to value-based reimbursement is the increased burden of administrative tasks that reduce their time with patients. The final rule recognizes CMS’ recent “Payment over Paperwork” initiative and includes as part of that