CMS taps physician expertise to relieve administrative burden under MACRA

CMS is launching a physician-led initiative to reduce administrative burden and improve satisfaction within the Medicare program, the agency announced Thursday.

The long-term effort, led by senior CMS physicians, will begin with an 18-month pilot project to reduce medical review without sacrificing integrity for physicians participating in some Advanced Alternative Payment Models under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. These APMs are considered the most advanced models of care under the proposed MACRA rule because they require a provider to shoulder more than nominal two-sided risk. APMs that will be included in the pilot include Next Generation Accountable Care Organizations, Medicare Shared Savings Program Track 2 and 3 ACOs, Pioneer ACOs and Oncology Care Model 2-sided Track participants.

"Physicians and their care teams are the most vital resource a patient has. As we implement the Quality Payment Program under MACRA, we cannot do it without making a sustained, long-term commitment to take a holistic view on the demands on the physician and clinician workforce," Andy Slavitt, CMS acting administrator, said in a statement. "The new initiative will launch a nationwide effort to work with the clinician community to improve Medicare regulations, policies and interaction points to address issues and to help get physicians back to the most important thing they do — taking care of patients."

The initiative will be led by Shantanu Agrawal, MD, the deputy administrator and director of CMS' Center for Program Integrity. Leaders at CMS' 10 regional offices will lead the initiative on a local level — gathering input from physician practices at local meetings in the next six months and regularly after.

"CMS is turning a new page in assessing not only how to reward for quality, but also to reduce administrative hurdles," Dr. Agrawal said in a statement. "I look forward to hearing about what steps we can take to make the practice of medicine in Medicare more efficient and rewarding."

Find out more about the initiative here.


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