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MIPS in 2019: Changes are coming

Nov. 26, 2018

CMS has made several changes to the 2019 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) as part of the final 2019 Medicare physician fee schedule. While CMS did not finalize any sweeping changes to the program, physicians should be aware of changes to MIPS weights and scoring, the low-volume threshold exemption, and other provisions that will impact reporting in 2019. Read more in Dermatology World Weekly.


AADA statement on MACRA and MIPS for E&C Health Subcommittee

July 26, 2018

In a statement for the U.S. House of Representatives' Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee oversight hearing entitled “MACRA & MIPS: An Update on the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System,” the AADA shared its concerns regarding cost performance, detailed needed changes to the Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) measures approval process, discussed ongoing difficulties with electronic health record (EHR) vendors and data blocking, and highlighted additional ways to reduce physician burden.

Click here to read the letter.


Proposed CMS rule overhauls E/M visit codes, reduces modifier 25 payment

June 12, 2018

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today released its proposed 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule, which also includes changes to its proposed policies for the 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP) established under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). In addition to proposing an overhaul of evaluation and management (E/M) visits, the AADA is very concerned that CMS also is proposing a payment reduction for E/M visits billed with a procedure.

AADA staff continues analyzing the proposed rule and plans to submit comments to CMS by Sept. 10, 2018. This Academy webpage includes the AADA's initial topline analysis of the proposed rule, and will be updated with additional details following further review. Information will also be made available in Dermatology World Weekly.


AMA, AADA call for reduced 2018 MIPS quality reporting period

April 20, 2018

The American Medical Association recently led letter calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reduce the 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) quality measure reporting performance period due to CMS delays as well as administrative burdens associated with reporting. The AADA joined nearly 50 medical associations in signing onto the letter. Read the letter here.

The letter asks that the 2018 MIPS reporting period be reduced from a full calendar year to a minimum of 90 consecutive days as the result of a lack of timely, direct notification regarding whether a physician is MIPS-eligible. Furthermore, the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website will not be updated with 2018 information until the summer of 2018, at the earliest. This will make it difficult for physicians to meet the full-year quality data reporting requirements for 2018. The letter also calls for a reduced reporting period for future MIPS program years to reduce administrative burdens.


AADA submits statement on MACRA implementation

March 21, 2018

The House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Health held an oversight hearing today entitled "Implementation of MACRA's Physician Payment Policies." The AADA submitted a statement for the committee hearing record, which highlighted ongoing concerns with 1) attribution of costs under the cost performance category of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS); 2) concerns regarding the measures approval process for Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs) like DataDerm; and 3) the blocking of electronic health record data from being accessed by QCDRs. Read the statement.


Stopgap funding bill includes health care wins

February 9, 2018

The AADA is pleased with a bill passed by Congress today that, in addition to funding the government through March 23, repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and stops an effort to extend the misvalued codes policy, two top AADA legislative priorities.

These successes culminate efforts by hundreds of AADA members who lobbied their members of Congress at annual AADA Legislative Conferences, in response to grassroots calls to action, and in comment letters to Congressional leaders.

IPAB created the potential to impose indiscriminate new payment cuts on physicians, while the misvalued codes policy required CMS to cut the Medicare Fee Schedule by .5% by correcting “misvalued” codes or through across-the-board cuts.

Additionally the bill includes AADA-supported provisions that:

  • Relieve MACRA burdens through adjustments to MIPS, including eliminating mandates that EHR standards become more stringent each year.
  • Expand access to telehealth services within Medicare Advantage beginning in 2020.
  • Fund Community Health Centers for two years. 

While the Academy applauds the above positive actions, concerns remain about provisions that lower automatic updates to the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule from .5% to .25% and extend mandatory Medicare Sequestration cuts another year. The bill also reduces funding to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which covers skin cancer prevention, among other priorities. The Academy will continue longstanding advocacy efforts supporting fair and reasonable Medicare payment and adequate funding for prevention and public health awareness.

On February 7, the AADA provided its comments regarding provisions in the legislation. Look for additional updates on how these changes will affect dermatologists in upcoming issues of Dermatology World Weekly and on AAD.org.​


AADA comments on 2018 Medicare physician fee schedule & Quality Payment Program/MACRA rules

December 29, 2017

The AADA submitted comments on the 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule as well as the final rule for the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP), established under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Both rules were released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in November.

Click here to read the AADA's comments on the 2018 Medicare Physician Free Schedule rule.

Click here to read comments on the 2018 Quality Payment Program/MACRA rule.


AADA, coalition letter on preserving patient access to Part B treatments

December 6, 2017

Several medical societies including the American Academy of Dermatology Association sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to preserve patients' access to critical Part B drug treatments by preventing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from applying Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) score adjustments to Medicare Part B payments. In its 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP) final rule, CMS announced it will be imposing these payment adjustments to Part B drug payments in addition to physicians' services under the Medicare fee schedule.  The letter requests a technical correction to curtail this policy and preserve patient access to the services and treatments they need.  To read the letter, click here.


2018 Medicare physician fee schedule & Quality Payment Program/MACRA rules out today, House passes IPAB repeal

November 2, 2017 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today released the 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule as well as the final rule for the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP), established under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). CMS indicates these rules reflect the agency’s broader strategy of relieving regulatory burdens for providers, particularly for small and solo practices. Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which would be charged with making significant cuts to Medicare when government spending on the program reaches a certain threshold. Much of what is being announced today reflects wins for the Academy, and is a result of the AADA’s regulatory relief priority and advocacy over the past 10 months.

Read the AADA breaking news alert with more information. While the House today passed legislation repealing IPAB, it is unclear whether the Senate will also act. Send a letter to your Senators in favor of IPAB repeal through the AADA’s Advocacy Action Center.


AADA sends regulatory relief recs to Medicare Red Tape Relief Project

August 25, 2017 

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) today sent a letter to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee offering recommendations for the Committee’s Medicare Red Tape Relief Project ― an initiative that seeks to mitigate burdensome Medicare regulations. Among several recommendations, the AADA suggested the streamlining of drug prior-authorization requirements.


CMS releases proposed 2018 Medicare Fee Schedule

July 13, 2017

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today released the proposed 2018 Medicare Fee Schedule. Read the AADA breaking news alert with more information. AADA staff continues to analyze the rule, will be publishing other analyses, and plans to submit comments to CMS by September 11, 2017.


2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP) proposed rule just released

June 20, 2017 

Late this afternoon, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) released its anticipated proposed rule outlining policies for the 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP). The American Academy of Dermatology Association is pleased that CMS has listened to physician groups such as ours and incorporated several important changes to the program. Read more.


CMS announces new MACRA physician payment rule

October 14, 2016
The new MACRA rule takes effect Jan. 1, 2017, with “ramp up” time for physicians who wish to participate; participating physicians could see as much as + 4% bonus payment in 2019. Read more.


CMS announces new flexibility on MACRA, final rule to be released this fall

September 8, 2016
CMS announced the agency's plans to allow providers to “pick their pace” for participating in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) that was created under the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The proposal outlines several options for physicians to report in the first year of the program while avoiding penalties. Read more.


AADA voices dermatology’s concerns to CMS and congressional leaders about the proposed MACRA rule

July 27, 2016
The AADA is leading an aggressive effort to share our perspective and secure changes in the final rule that will enable dermatologists to succeed as Medicare moves from a pay-for-volume to a pay-for-value system. Read more.