CMS Launches Online Tool to Simplify Quality Payment Program for Clinicians


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a tool to share automatically electronic data for the Medicare Quality Payment Program. This new release is the first in a series that will be part of CMS’s ongoing efforts to spur the creation of innovative, customizable tools to reduce burden for clinicians, while also supporting high-quality care for patients.

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A Consumer’s Guide to Medicare’s New Rules on Doctor Pay


The federal government has issued final regulations that reform the way Medicare pays doctors. If the new rules achieve their intended goal, all Americans — and not just Medicare enrollees — could see improvements in the quality of their care.

The regulations, which were issued last month, stem from legislation Congress passed in April 2015 in an unusually strong bipartisan vote. The new payments will begin in 2019, but they will be based on quality measures physicians report starting in 2017.

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Trump, GOP in Congress Could Use “Must-Pass” Bills to Bring Health Changes


Throughout the campaign, President-Elect Donald Trump’s entire health message consisted of promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

That remains difficult with Democrats still commanding enough power in the Senate to block the 60 votes needed for a full repeal. Republicans could use fast-track budget authority to make some major changes to the law, although that could take some time. In the short term, however, Trump could use executive power to make some major changes on his own.

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Medicare Bars New ‘Seamless Conversion’ Efforts for Some Seniors


The federal government is temporarily blocking more health insurance companies from automatically moving customers who become eligible for Medicare into Medicare Advantage plans while officials review the controversial practice.

They also will issue rules soon for plans that already have permission to make these switches, known as “seamless conversion,” according to a memo from Michael Crochunis, acting director of the Medicare Enrollment and Appeals Group at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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