This week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed historic changes that bring the nation one step closer to a modern healthcare system delivering better care for Americans at a lower cost. The goal of these proposals will allow healthcare providers increased time with the patient and less on required paperwork. The ambitious reforms proposed by CMS under Administrator Seema Verma will help deliver on two HHS priorities: creating a value-based healthcare system for the 21st century and making prescription drugs more affordable.

Patients over Paperwork Initiative

These proposals will continue to promote the success of the Medicare Advantage program and patient access to virtual care. Changes will allow Medicare beneficiaries access to high-quality services regardless of where they live. These changes will allow patients to connect to their healthcare team using telecommunication technologies used to determine their need for an in-person clinical evaluation.

The proposed changes will influence the Physician Fee Schedule and the Quality Payment Program reporting requirements that focus specifically on meaningful patient health outcomes. These changes propose information sharing among all health care providers involved in patient care – allowing for the medical record to follow the patient throughout the healthcare system. Merit incentives will be tied to interoperability of the electronic medical record.

Promoting Inoperability Program

CMS proposes changes in the payment amount for new medications under Medicare Part B, so that payment reflects the actual cost of the medication. This change will be effective January 1, 2019, reducing the out-of-pocket costs.

Quality Payment Program’s 3rd year and Key Changes to Implement the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018