CMS has released the proposed 2018 regulations for MACRA and is asking for comments. The new changes don’t go far enough to protect independent physicians and their patients from harmful red tape.
Comments are dues August 21 and can be submitted here:
Dr. Marcy Zwelling had put together sample comments to help everyone get the correct message to CMS.
Below are comments that you can cut and paste –
We appreciate the sentiment of the new MIPS regulations, but it does not get the job done for many physicians struggling to go to work and NOT sit behind a computer all day. America’s physicians need to be able to just do our job and struggling with computers does not help us get it done. It is not about micro-managing the regulations; it’s about our professionalism.
We understand the statutory constraints, and we think we have the answer. If the regulations could be edited to read
Clinicians below the low-volume threshold – Medicare Part B allowed charges per physician less than or equal to $90,000 OR 200 or fewer Medicare Part B patients per physician up to a 6 person practice.
Thank you for your serious consideration. While this change does not save all small practices, we feel that this minor change will send the right message to American physicians and will encourage physicians to work with CMS and keep their offices open.
Further, we encourage CMS to follow thru with Dr. Price’s commitment to allow physicians to balance bill as a means of enhancing our patients’ options and keeping physicians’ doors open.
Friend of IP4PI Jane Hughes, MD writes in:
Anyone who thought that things were on hold regarding continued implementation of ACA and the statist move by Medicare via MACRA and its payment scheme called MIPS to centralize and control patient and physician choices needs to read this upcoming offering for unprecedented free CME from one of our premier institutions, Johns Hopkins. Key to centralization is electronic medical records that are interoperable. Read that to mean 24/7 access by government/insurance for data gathering and eventual treatment rubrics. Note that all of these CME hours are not featuring medical or surgical issues, they deal with “educating” and indoctrinating physicians on the advisability of population based care.
This is a sinister turn for the worse. We should have gotten a health plan through in some form to start the dismantling of ACA and trumpet the message that this is the beginning of decentralizing healthcare. Critical to reform of Medicare and getting rid of MACRA is a stable, affordable, and accessible private option.
These sponsoring organizations are proceeding as if nothing has changed. Until Trump appointees get rid of entrenched bureaucrats subversive to the true reform of statist ACA this is no surprise. The collusion with insurance and govt also needs to be exposed. These two forces are insatiable looters of tax monies, people’s premium moneys, individual human dignity, and doctor and physician choices. Note they are offering 58 hours of CME credit/brainwashing. What an impotent feeling to read that even an institution as grand as John Hopkins has succumbed to the George Orwell form of medical care.
CMS ACA MACRA MIPS and APMs discriminate against independent solo and small primary care practices, while unfairly advantaging hospital health systems who employ doctors. Please exempt solo and small physician practices of 9 or fewer doctors or less than 999 Medicare patients. CMS ACA MACRA MIPS and APMs will put small independent practices out of business and will deprive patients of their physician, jeopardizing their health.
Submit your comments at:
IP4PI joins patients and physicians across the United States in cheering the appointment of Congressman and orthopedic surgeon Tom Price, MD to head the Department of Health and Human Services in the incoming Trump administration.
Dr. Price has a long history of standing up for the patient-physician relationship against the myriad forces seeking to intervene to the detriment of quality patient care. And indeed, proponents of top-down government control are quickly sounding the alarm realizing they have an enemy in the congressman & good doctor from Georgia.
We look forward to supporting Dr. Price in his efforts to roll back ObamaCare, MACRA, MU and many other failed policies harmful to American medicine. Proven patient-centered solutions can then be unleashed to increase access to high-quality, low-cost medical care.
Congratulation’s Dr. Price on this well-deserved new job! We are here to help you in this crucial and challenging work over the coming years. The future of American patients and physicians will depend on it.
Twila Brase, President of Citizen’s For Health Freedom writes in:
I’m doing a little “light reading.” See page 193 – 198 of the 2016 Medicare Trustee’s Report:
By the end of the long-range projection period, payment rates for affected providers would be about 57 percent lower than their level in the absence of these reductions. Currently, the Medicare payment rates for inpatient hospital services have declined to about 61 percent of those paid by private health insurance.97 …
It is conceivable that health care providers could improve their productivity, reduce wasteful expenditures, and take other steps to keep their cost growth within the bounds imposed by the Medicare price limitations. For such efforts to be successful in the long range, however, providers would have to generate and sustain unprecedented levels of productivity gains—a very challenging and uncertain prospect.
Opting-out of Medicare seems like a better idea every day – for doctors and patients.
If you’re a cash-based third-party-free practice, I invite you to join CCHF’s new “Wedge of Health Freedom,” an identified free-trade zone in the U.S. and an online site for patients and doctors to join together to break free.
See videos of Dr. Brenda Arnett and Dr. Alieta Eck talking at our launch in D.C. www.JointheWedge.com
Twila Brase RN, PHN
President and Co-founder
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF)
161 St. Anthony Ave, Ste. 923, Saint Paul, MN 55103
Holly Fritch, MD points out:
MACRA violates sound economic principles. It is a false premise (repeatedly stated) that MACRA decreases healthcare costs. Nobel prize winner Coase’s Transaction Cost Theorem states that transaction costs of time, money, and effort, which increase the effort to provide care, result in higher monetary costs.
Get you comments in opposition to MACRA in TODAY! Deadline: June 27 11:59pm Eastern. Comment at: http://bit.ly/macracomment
Jane Hughes, MD writes in:
After wasting billion of dollars on failed ObamaCare exchanges and forcing many Americans off their insurance plans, Washington directed it’s attention to fixing Medicare. Unfortunately, the same people who orchestrated ObamaCare authored the MACRA Law, referred to as the “Doc Fix”.
Nine hundred and sixty-two pages of CMS rules were just released, and groups of physicians from across the country have now had a chance to see what’s in it. Just as we warned in 2009, the news is not good. It shifts money for patient care to data mining patient records, destroying privacy and dignity of patients, forcing doctors through payment manipulations to violate their Hippocratic Oath, and paves the way to a bureaucrat rather than your physician deciding your healthcare options. Of course all this is sold as cost control and quality enhancement. If only. MACRA implementation would be astronomically expensive, ever changing and convoluted, and would destroy individual and small group practices as we watch it implode after billions more wasted healthcare dollars.
There’s still time to stop it.
Register your protest. Visit https://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=CMS-2016-0060 and scroll down to “Comment Now” button.
Let your Representative and Senator know MACRA must be stopped. Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses.