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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