With Kidney Week 2016 in review and the end of the year rapidly approaching, one New Year’s treat is already waiting for everyone. It arrived January 1, 2017, as scheduled. The New Year heralds the beginning of the new Quality Payment Program (QPP) that was created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
Congress passed MACRA in 2015 with large bipartisan vote margins in both the Senate and House of Representatives. There is widespread consensus that while parts of the program may have to be adjusted if the Affordable Care Act is repealed or modified, the new Medicare reimbursement program will proceed largely intact.
American Society of Nephrology (ASN) President Raymond C. Harris, MD, FASN, spoke eloquently about the future of nephrology in his Kidney Week President’s Address as ASN marked its 50th anniversary. With the future in mind, Dr. Harris emphasizes that “the move to a quality-driven health care system is real and a part of the future for the nephrology care team and everyone else in medicine. As such, we all need to familiarize ourselves with this new Medicare payment system and get started.”
Responding to concerns raised by ASN and other peer societies regarding the short timeline to prepare for the new program, Medicare determined that 2017 will be a transition year. As such, the Quality Payment Program in 2017 will have reduced reporting requirements and lower scoring thresholds to allow clinicians the opportunity to adjust to the new reimbursement system. Here’s what everyone needs to know.