HIMSS News

CMS Proposes Changes to 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program

Physicians discussing electronic health record

On July 12, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their proposed changes to the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) which include their proposed updates to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) in the Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2019; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements Proposed Rule.

CMS notes that these proposals will modernize Medicare payment policies to promote access to virtual care, saving Medicare beneficiaries time and money while improving their access to high-quality services no matter where they live. The QPP proposal would make changes to quality reporting requirements to focus on measures that most significantly impact health outcomes. The proposed changes would also encourage information sharing among health care providers electronically, so patients can see various medical professionals based on their needs and expect that their updated medical records will follow them through the healthcare system. This proposal also makes important changes to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) “Promoting Interoperability” performance category (formally known as Advancing Care Information) to support greater electronic health record (EHR) interoperability and patient access to their health information, as well as to align this clinician program with the proposed new “Promoting Interoperability” program for hospitals.

HIMSS will continue to provide updates and additional resources on this proposal ahead of the close of the comment period on September 10, 2018, as well as information once the rule is finalized in the fall of 2018. HIMSS will be commenting on the Proposed Rule and will do outreach to incorporate membership input in our comment letter.

CMS created a fact sheet on the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule piece of the proposed rule as well as a separate fact sheet on the 2019 Quality Payment Program piece of proposed rule.