Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma identified several priorities for the agency during the recent 2019 CMS Quality Conference.

The event, held Jan. 29-31 in Baltimore, brought together 3,000 leaders from across the health care spectrum to discuss quality improvement. The theme of the conference was, “Innovating for Value and Results.”

Priorities described by Verma were:

  • Advancing the use of technology in Medicare, which includes an emphasis on the eMedicare initiative and a review of CMS processes in paying for new technologies
  • Potential payment adjustments for rural providers, including potential adjustments to the Medicare Area Wage Index and establishment of a new program designed to assist local communities in improving systems of care as they simultaneously focus on quality improvement
  • Encouraging more providers to enter value-based payment models by exploring models for complex conditions and removing barriers from participation in value-based payment models

Verma specifically mentioned the Stark Law as one of those barriers. While the AASM continues to advocate for a legislative exception to the Stark Law for all sleep medicine physicians, CMS actions may provide regulatory relief for those sleep physicians who are participating in value-based payment models.

The AASM will continue to monitor CMS announcements and provide updates to the AASM membership.