The American Society of Nephrology’s (ASN) Quality Committee has its hands full in 2018. First, the Quality Payment Program (QPP) created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) enters its second year after a very limited implementation as a transition year in 2017. Foremost, the QPP is beginning to calculate a “cost” section in physician scores and will need to be monitored closely by ASN and other medical societies for unintended consequences. Equally important are efforts to include acute kidney injury (AKI) in the End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System and Quality Incentive Program (PPS/QIP) and increase access to the use of telehealth in the Physician Fee Schedule. Working with regulators on these three major rules will comprise a significant portion of the ASN Policy team’s work in 2018.
In general, three major Medicare rules that largely affect clinician reimbursement and nephrology practice are updated annually and primarily cover the QPP, PPS/QIP, and the Physician Fee Schedule. The ASN Quality Committee, chaired by Daniel E. Weiner, MD, FASN, reviews these rules every year. Medicare rules are issued as proposed first with a 60-day comment period followed by a later issuance of the final rule. The ASN Quality Committee annually provides comment on all three rules and meets with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide input on various issues throughout the year.