On Mar. 15 the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent congressional agency charged with advising Congress on issues affecting Medicare, released to Congress its Medicare Payment Policy report, which calls for the replacement of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) with a new system called the Voluntary Value Program (VVP).

MIPS was established through the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and has been in effect since Jan. 1, 2017. It is designed to improve care by providing payment adjustments to eligible clinicians who report practice-specific quality data. However, some stakeholders have judged MIPS to increase administrative burden and be overly focused on process measures rather than patient outcomes.

The VVP would work differently than MIPS by issuing an across-the-board withhold of all fee schedule payments. Clinicians who participate in an Advanced Alterative Payment Model (APM) would receive the withheld amount. Clinicians who enter into a group and report on population-based measures related to quality, patient experience, and value also would be eligible for an incentive payment on top of the withheld amount.

The recommendations put forth by MedPAC are nonbinding.

For additional information on MIPS, visit the MACRA page on the AASM website or contact coding@aasm.org.