The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule this month for the 2018 Physician Fee Schedule and final rule with comment period for the Quality Payment Program (QPP). According to a news release by CMS, Seema Verma, Administrator of CMS explained that:
“These rules move the agency in a new direction and begin to ease that burden by strengthening the patient-doctor relationship, empowering patients to realize the value of their care over volume of tests, and encouraging innovation and competition within the American healthcare system.”
While part of CMS’s broader strategy to relieve regulatory burdens for providers, these rules also reflect the agency’s efforts to promote innovation in healthcare delivery aimed at lowering prices, increasing competition and strengthening the relationship between patients and their doctors.
CMS is taking an important step in the Physician Fee Schedule to modernize the Medicare payment system through innovation in the biopharmaceutical market. Beginning in 2018, CMS will update payment for biosimilars, which are lower-cost alternatives to certain types of drugs known as “biologicals.” This change promotes competition to ensure millions of patients will have access to new lower cost therapies.
As reported by CMS this rule will additionally include a number of policies designed to provide clinicians with a smoother transition to the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The QPP final rule includes policies that reduce burden and support clinicians in small and rural practices to successfully participate in this program. CMS is decreasing the number of clinicians required to participate.
For more details visit CMS.gov.