Christine Hradsky No Comments

Overnight, Congress passed a sweeping two-year budget deal signed into law by President Trump today. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892) is largely a win for physician practices. The law addresses top MGMA priorities, including reducing burden in the MIPS program, eliminating the unelected Medicare cost-cutting board known as the IPAB, and averting a flawed misvalued-code policy that would have resulted in drastic across-the-board payment cuts in 2019 and 2020.

MGMA opposed Congress’ use of a .25 reduction to the Medicare physician payment conversion factor next year as a budgetary offset. Its inclusion is a disappointment in an otherwise favorable bill.

Important to medical groups, the bill will:

  • Increase flexibility and reduce burden in the Quality Payment Program;
  • Eliminate the unelected Medicare cost-cutting board known as the IPAB;
  • Extend the work Geographic Practice Cost Index (GPCI) floor for two years through 2019;
  • Permanently repeal the Medicare therapy payment cap;
  • Incorporate new flexibility for Accountable Care Organizations;
  • Expand coverage for telehealth services;
  • Decrease requirements in the Meaningful Use Program; and
  • Extend Children’s Health Insurance Program funding for an additional four years through fiscal year 2027.

 


This article originally appeared in MGMA’s Washington Connection newsletter on February 9th, 2018. 


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