How the CMS final rule will impact gastroenterologists — 5 insights

CMS issued its 2018 final rule for the Medicare Quality Payment Program. The rule increased ASC reimbursement by 1.2 percent and made five key changes that will impact gastroenterologists.

The American Gastroenterological Association highlighted the changes which are set to take effect Jan. 1, 2018. Performance in 2018 will impact payments in 2020.

Here's what you should know:

1. Merit-Based Incentive Payment System participation will increase in 2018, but it will still be phased.

Cost performance will account for 10 percent of a gastroenterologist's final score, while quality performance will account for 50 percent. Data completeness requirements will increase to 60 percent of the quality performance score.

2. MIPS participation exemptions were expanded by increasing the low-volume threshold to $900,000 or less in Part B allowed charges or by seeing 200 or fewer unique Medicare patients annually.

3. CMS will still accept 2014 Certified Electronic Health Record Technology.

4. Physicians will be able to earn "bonus points" for caring for complex patients, by using 2015 CEHRT and by improving in both quality and cost performance.

5. Smaller practices will have several unique benefits as well. They will be eligible for a hardship exception under the Advancing Care Information performance category, will be awarded bonus points and will have three points awarded for attempted quality performance measures that don't meet completeness requirements.

For more information, click here.

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