MedPAC votes to recommend repeal of MIPS
By Grant Huang
Director of Content
A top Congressional advisory body has voted to recommend that Congress repeal the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and replace it with a simpler quality reporting system that would not be mandatory in the way that MIPS is.
The 14-2 vote by members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) was criticized by some provider stakeholder groups on the grounds that MIPS was well underway, that many providers had invested significant time and resources into participation, and that MedPAC’s alternative program would not be consistent with the legislative intention of the MACRA law that created MIPS.
Anders Gilberg, vice president of government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), issued a statement opposing the move by MedPAC. While the MGMA acknowledges that MIPS can be “unduly burdensome,” Anders said in a statement, the group also believes that MedPAC’s vote asking Congress to repeal the program “fails to adequately address the problem and does not reflect the current value-based landscape.”
The American Medical Association (AMA) also objected to MedPAC’s Jan. 11 vote, arguing instead for reforms and changes to be made to MIPS as part of CMS’ ongoing Quality Payment Program (QPP) rulemaking process.
MIPS is a key cog of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) that was passed with bipartisan support in 2015. While providers have complained about its reporting requirements, the lop-sided impact of its administrative burdens on small groups, and the rapid implementation time-table, most of the industry has focused on MIPS preparation and gradual reform of the program via QPP rulemaking.
An actual repeal of MIPS would require another act of Congress and support from the Trump administration. Seema Verma, the new CMS administrator appointed by President Trump, has voiced support for MIPS and pledged to simplify the reporting process while reducing its impact on smaller practices.