Monthly Archives: November 2016

Medicare 2017

Medicare deductible for 2017 has been published and will go up to $183. The 2016 deductible was $166.

Medicare fees for 2017 are yet to be published, but once finalized we will notify all members. Be aware that the fees when first published may update so do not be surprised what they are first published that is not later amended fee schedule before January 1, 2017.

Quality Payment Program (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) MACRA , Merit-based Incentive Performance System MIPS performance reporting similar to PQRS)

First and foremost do not panic or make any rush decisions. This new reporting requirement, for the most part, is the revised phase of PQRS and the chiropractic profession has time to decide in what ways they may choose or not choose to participate and additionally have an exemption. A D.C. has all the way to October 1, 2017, to make a choice of participation and the reporting will potentially result in a bonus payment in 2019. Note this just like the 2 year lag for PQRS reporting it is the same. Note PQRS reductions will still apply for 2017 and 2018 depending on your compliance for that reporting in in 2015 and 2016 respectively

Chiropractors are included in the definition of “physician” under section 1861(r) of the Act, and therefore, are MIPS, eligible clinicians.

Avoiding penalties under MACRA or MIPS just got easier. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the final MACRA regulation will exempt physicians from any risk of penalties if they choose one of three distinct reporting options in 2017

  • Option one: Test the program
    As long as you submit some data to the Quality Payment Program, including data from after Jan. 1, you will avoid a negative payment adjustment. This option is intended to ensure that the system is working and that physicians are prepared for broader participation in the coming years as they learn more.
  • Option two: Partial-year reporting
    Physicians can choose to report Quality Payment Program information for a reduced number of days. Your first performance period could begin well after Jan. 1 and your practice could still qualify for an incentive payment.
    If you submit information for part of the calendar year for quality measures, how your practice uses technology and what improvement activities your practice is undertaking you could qualify for a small positive payment adjustment.
  • Option three: Full-year reporting
    If your practice is ready to get started on Jan. 1, you can choose to report Quality Payment Program information for the full calendar year. Your first performance period would begin on Jan. 1, and if you submit information for the entire year your practice could qualify for a modest positive payment.

Frankly, the full ruling is not clear nor has its final publishing. I would take a precipitous choice but a wait and see as to what protocol may work best for your practice and note the potential exemptions that also may apply before undertaking a reporting that may or may not provide a cost benefit to your office.

As more and clear information becomes available we will keep our members apprised. All the information will be also provided to at our continuing education seminars.