In Virginia (and in many other states), NPs who do not have an autonomous practice must practice under the direct supervision of a physician as part of a patient care team, pursuant to what is called a “Practice Agreement,” or, “Collaborative Practice Agreement.” A Practice Agreement is an agreement between an NP and the NP’s supervising physician that describes the relationship between the parties, including the procedures to be followed and acts to be performed by the NP in the course of providing care to patients.
Last week, CMS issued a Proposed Rule suggesting changes for Year 2 of the Quality Payment Program ("QPP"), established under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. The changes are aimed at reducing administrative and financial burdens of the QPP on physician practices, particularly small independent practices and practices serving rural communities. Per CMS, the Proposed Rule "continues the slow ramp-up of the Quality Payment Program by establishing special policies for Program Year 2 aimed at encouraging successful participation in the program while reducing burden, reducing the number of clinicians required to participate, and preparing clinicians for the CY 2019 performance period."
Have you decided which MACRA participation option your practice will choose in the 2017 transition year? What you choose now (and how you implement) determines your payment adjustment for Medicare Part B billings in 2019 and beyond. In the second blog post of our MACRA series, we talk about the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and what it means for physicians.
The Final MACRA Rule relaxed the more stringent proposed requirements for 2017, so whether you choose to dip your toe in the water or take the full-on MACRA plunge, now is the time to get MACRA-ready and avoid reimbursement penalties. What does MACRA mean for your practice? That's a question we can help answer.
On May 23, 2016, the Department of Labor passed long-awaited overtime pay rules, modifying the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for the first time in 12 years. The overtime rules apply to all industries across the country, but will like have a major impact on the healthcare industry, especially independent physician and other clinician employers. The rule significantly increases the amount of money an employee must be paid for that employee to qualify as exempt from the overtime pay rules. This means a much larger pool of employees that now qualify for overtime pay (an additional 4.2 million Americans), and likely significant cost increases for employers. Some healthcare employers will be hit harder than others.
The biggest takeaway from this proposed Rule? Physicians should start planning for this change IMMEDIATELY to best position their practice for financial sustainability. This rule establishes the new Quality Payment Program (QPP) framework, which consists of two new pathways for provider evaluation and payment—the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and participation in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). The QPP stems from the changes passed as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), passed in April of last year. Participation in one of the QPP pathways will form the new basis for the level of payment for services Medicare Part B providers will receive. CMS will begin collecting data beginning in 2017. They will analyze the data for one year, and then use the data to adjust Medicare payments for eligible providers starting January 1, 2019.