Editor’s note: As The ASCO Post went to press, the Department of Health & Human Services finalized a landmark new payment system for Medicare clinicians. The system, known as MACRA, (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015), replaces the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate and will equip clinicians with flexibility needed to provide high-quality, patient-centered care. Here, ASCO President Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO, comments on the decision. Watch upcoming issues for more on MACRA.
ASCO applauds the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for taking a critical step toward transitioning Medicare from volume-based reimbursement to a system that emphasizes high-quality, patient-centered care. In today’s release of the MACRA Quality Payment Program, CMS has demonstrated welcomed flexibility and choices for clinicians.
We are particularly encouraged that CMS has introduced a Quality Payment Program transitional period for 2017 and has included the general oncology specialty measure set in the final rule after removing it from the proposed rule. We are also very pleased to see special considerations being given to small and rural practices, which will help ensure that care for vulnerable patients with cancer will not be disrupted during this period of transition.
ASCO commends CMS for listening and responding to the feedback it received from across the medical community and for making substantive changes that will reduce reporting burden and facilitate transition to alternative payment models. We will closely review the details of the final rule and offer a detailed analysis of the rule for our members. ■
— Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO