Washington, DC—the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released the final rule for Medicare’s Quality Payment Program, which implements the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and replaces the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) in June submitted comments to CMS that outlined a number of areas of concern with the original proposal, including the implementation timeline, restrictive requirements for Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs), and the impact on smaller or solo practices. While it appears CMS has been responsive to some of these concerns, AAOS leadership and staff are closely reviewing today’s final rule and will be providing CMS with additional comments. AAOS will also be providing detailed analyses and updates to all AAOS members.
“AAOS acknowledges CMS’s work to hear physician concerns and incorporate important feedback,” said AAOS President Gerald R. Williams, Jr., MD. “The ‘Pick Your Pace’ flexibility for 2017 and improved low-volume threshold, for example, are positive steps in addressing issues identified in the original proposal. Reducing the administrative burden on clinicians and increasing flexibility in reporting requirements and eligibility rules are important; and while AAOS is strongly opposed to mandatory participation in bundled payment models, it is also important to quickly finalize the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR), surgical hip/femur fracture treatment (SHFFT), and Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Advanced APM design parameters. We will continue to work closely with CMS to ensure physician payment reform ultimately improves the care of musculoskeletal patients.”