MACRA toolkit: 10 reads on the new Medicare payment model beginning in 2017

The first performance year for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act — the landmark bipartisan law that replaces the sustainable growth rate formula in determining physician payments under Medicare Part B — begins Jan. 1. 

Here are 10 stories that provide an overview of what will happen on Jan. 1, how to prepare and where to learn more. 

1. CMS releases MACRA final rule: 10 things to know
After a listening tour and nearly 4,000 public comments, CMS released the final rule for the Quality Payment Program, which is another name for MACRA's two tracks: the Advanced Alternative Payment Model and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System. Read on for the 10 most important details of the final rule. 

2. MIPS breakdown: 6 must-know parts of the MACRA final rule
Here is an expert's take on MIPS, which is likely to be the more common track among providers in MACRA's initial years.  

3. MACRA final rule is here: 9 reactions, afterthoughts & takeaways
Overwhelmed? Relieved? You are not alone. Find out how nine industry leaders reacted to the final rule.

4. CMS adds advanced APM opportunities under MACRA 
CMS is continuing to add opportunities for physicians to get involved with an APM, which offers greater potential bonus payments than the MIPS track. Here are some of the most recent additions. 

5. CMS finalizes cardiac bundle, expands CJR: 10 things to know
CMS' mandatory bundled payment program for heart attacks and bypass surgeries and expanded Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model both qualify for as advanced APMs. Learn more about the models here. 

6. CMS releases Track 1+ ACO model details: 5 things to know
CMS added another option under the Medicare Shared Savings Program to help small physician practices and small rural hospitals start taking on risk. And it qualifies as an APM beginning in 2018. 

7. CMS releases online tool for Quality Payment Program
CMS rolled out a website for sharing data electronically through the program. Learn more about the application program interface, called the Explores Measures tool. 

8. AHA launches MACRA 101 video series
Brush up on MACRA with these short videos from the American Hospital Association. 

9. AMA releases online tools to help physicians with MACRA
The American Medical Association is offering a handful of tools to help providers prepare, including a payment model evaluator.  

10. HHS announces $100M to assist Medicare physicians comply with MACRA
Find out more about available funding to support the transition to value-based payments.  


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