AUG 31, 2017
Congress Is Academy's Next Stop to Relieve Physicians of Medicare Burdens
The Academy last week asked that the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means pursue legislation that can provide physicians with regulatory relief. Our action plan for the committee can bolster the Academy’s IRIS® Registry while improving ophthalmologists’ chance at quality-program success.
The Ways and Means Committee oversees the Medicare program. It asked us last month to identify ways to give physicians regulatory relief from administrative burdens.
We suggested that Congress enact legislation to achieve the following:
- Give ophthalmologists who participate in the Academy’s IRIS Registry a 5 percent pay increase. Physicians who participate in patient-centered medical homes and other alternative payment models receive a similar increase.
- Clarify that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services does not have to remove all topped-out measures from the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.
- Empower the IRIS Registry to develop more relevant and meaningful quality measures beyond the current 30 allowed.
- Give CMS additional flexibility to delay the implementation of MIPS’ cost category.
Previously, we suggested that the committee use a technical correction to clarify that CMS should not apply bonuses and penalties to physicians’ Part B drug payments.
We also seek a fix to existing Medicare Advantage prior-authorization issues. We believe prior authorizations currently put massive burdens on physicians. This costs you quality time with your patients. Research shows that the national time-cost of prior-authorization is at least $23 billion annually.