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© 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved.
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Delivering Care Under the
MACRA Final Rule
Implementation Considerations and Implications
November 18, 2016
Presented by
2ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Mark Lutes
Chair, Board of Directors and Member of the Firm
mlutes@ebglaw.com
202.861.1824
Robert F. Atlas
President and Strategic Advisor, EBG Advisors
batlas@ebgadvisors.com
202.861.1834
Lesley R. Yeung
Associate
lyeung@ebglaw.com
202.861.1804
© 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved. | ebglaw.com
Value-Based Purchasing (“VBP”) Roadmap
3
© 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved. | ebglaw.com
VBP Goals For Medicare
4
 In January 2015, HHS Secretary Burwell declares VBP goals for the Original
Medicare program
 As of March 2016, HHS announced that 30 percent of Medicare payments
are tied to alternative payment models that reward quality over quantity
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act
(“MACRA”): Physician Payment Reform
 Federal legislation was enacted in April 2015 that repeals the Sustainable
Growth Rate (“SGR”) formula under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
• Eliminates physician payment rate cuts under SGR; sets annual updates of 0.5%
from July 1, 2015 through the end of 2019
• In 2019 and after, physician payments vary based on quality performance and
value through:
oMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (“MIPS”) or
oAdvanced Alternative Payment Models (“APMs”)
 October 14, 2016 – CMS issued a final rule implementing MIPS and APM
incentives under the new “Quality Payment Program”
• Available at https://qpp.cms.gov/education
5
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The Future of Physician Payments:
Summary of Payment Mechanisms
6
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Will This All Change Under the New
Administration?
 MACRA is the result of broad bipartisan agreement
 The financial incentives to move physicians toward APM participation were
part of the bipartisan agreement  Republican administration is not likely to
completely eliminate mechanisms that allow CMS to create APMs for
physicians
 Republican administration may be more sympathetic to further
administratively easing the implementation of MIPS but otherwise will
proceed with the law
7
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MACRA Proposed Rule: Feedback from
Stakeholders
 Comments to the MACRA proposed rule were due on June 27, 2016
• Over 3,900 public comments submitted from various stakeholders (individuals,
healthcare professionals, professional societies, trade associations, hospitals,
health systems, manufacturers, insurers, employers, patient advocacy groups,
state/local governmental entities, etc.)
8
 Areas of concern included in public comments:
• Implementation timeframe is too fast
• MIPS reporting and measurement system is too
complex
• Performance period is too far removed from the
reward/penalty
• Bar is set too high for participation in Advanced
APMs
• MIPS/APM requirements will lead to the disappearance of solo/small practices
• Primary care focused; limited Advanced APM opportunities for specialists
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
MACRA Implementation: Moving From
Proposed to Final
9
CMS BLOG
http://blog.cms.gov/2016/09/08/QualityPaymentProgram-PickYourPace
September 8, 2016
By Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of CMS
“Plans for the Quality Payment Program in 2017: Pick Your Pace"
As the baby boom generation ages, 10,000 people enter the Medicare program each day. Facing
that demand, it is essential that Medicare continues to support physicians in delivering high-quality
patient care. This includes increasing its focus on patient outcomes and reducing the obstacles that
make it harder for physicians to practice good care.
The bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) offers the
opportunity to advance these goals and put Medicare on surer footing. Among other policies, it
repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate formula and its annual payment cliffs, streamlines the existing
patchwork of Medicare reporting programs, and provides opportunities for physicians and other
clinicians to earn more by focusing on quality patient care. We are referring to these provisions of
MACRA collectively as the Quality Payment Program.
We received feedback on our April proposal for implementing the Quality Payment Program, both in
writing and as we talked to thousands of physicians and other clinicians across the country.
Universally, the clinician community wants a system that begins and ends with what's right for the
patient. We heard from physicians and other clinicians on how technology can help with patient care
and how excessive reporting can distract from patient care; how new programs like medical homes
can be encouraged; and the unique issues facing small and rural non-hospital-based
physicians. We will address these areas and the many other comments we received when we
release the final rule by November 1, 2016.
But, with the Quality Payment Program set to begin on January 1, 2017, we wanted to share our
plans for the timing of reporting for the first year of the program. In recognition of the wide diversity
of physician practices, we intend for the Quality Payment Program to allow physicians to pick their
pace of participation for the first performance period that begins January 1, 2017. During 2017,
eligible physicians and other clinicians will have multiple options for participation. Choosing one of
these options would ensure you do not receive a negative payment adjustment in 2019. These
options and other supporting details will be described fully in the final rule.
First Option: Test the Quality Payment Program.
With this option, as long as you submit some data to the Quality Payment Program, including data
from after January 1, 2017, you will avoid a negative payment adjustment. This first option is
designed to ensure that your system is working and that you are prepared for broader participation
in 2018 and 2019 as you learn more.
Second Option: Participate for part of the calendar year.
You may choose to submit Quality Payment Program information for a reduced number of days.
This means your first performance period could begin later than January 1, 2017 and your practice
could still qualify for a small positive payment adjustment. For example, if you submit information for
part of the calendar year for quality measures, how your practice uses technology, and what
improvement activities your practice is undertaking, you could qualify for a small positive payment
adjustment. You could select from the list of quality measures and improvement activities available
under the Quality Payment Program.
Third Option: Participate for the full calendar year.
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
MACRA Final Rule: Changes to Make Quality
Payment Program More Accessible
 “Pick-Your-Own-Pace” Approach
• The first performance year (2017), and possibly some or all of the second
performance year (2018), will be a transition period for clinicians
• Clinicians will be able to choose one of four options for participating in MIPS or
APMs
 Reducing the Reporting Burden
• CMS decreased the number of measures required to meet MIPS performance
standards and eliminated the Resource Use Measures for 2017
 Relief for Small Practices
• CMS revised the low-volume threshold so that more small practices would be
excluded from participation in MIPS
 Increasing Opportunities for Participation in Advanced APMs
• CMS plans to expand the number of Advanced APMs available for participation in
2017 and 2018
10
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“Pick-Your-Own-Pace” Approach: MIPS/APM
Participation During Transition Period
11
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Overview of Advanced APMs
 From 2019-2024, participants in Advanced APMs are eligible for an annual
lump-sum bonus of 5% of estimated Medicare payments for the preceding
year
• The bonus payment would be in addition to any shared savings bonuses or fees
that the clinician receives for participating in the Advanced APM
 Advanced APMs must require participating clinicians to:
• Take on “more than nominal” financial risk (or participate in certain patient-
centered medical homes)
• Report quality measures that are comparable to the measures adopted under
MIPS
• Use certified EHR technology (“CEHRT”)
12
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Final APM Policies: Identifying Advanced APMs
 MACRA defines APMs to include:
• Models being tested by the CMS
Center for Medicare and Medicaid
Innovation (under section 1115A of
the Social Security Act, other than
a Health Care Innovation Award)
• Accountable Care Organizations
(“ACOs”) participating in the
Medicare Shared Savings Program
• Models tested under the Health
Care Quality Demonstration
Program
• Demonstrations required by
Federal Law
13
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Final APM Policies: Expanding the List of
Eligible Advanced APMs
 CMS issued a proposed rule on July 25, 2016 that:
• Implements a new mandatory bundled payment program for cardiac care
• Expands the existing Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (“CJR”) model to
include other hip surgeries
• Introduces a new model to increase use of cardiac rehabilitation
• Creates new pathways for bundled payment models to qualify as Advanced APMs
 For 2018, CMS expects that the following models will be Advanced APMs:
14
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Final APM Policies: Financial Risk Standard
 In general, financial risk occurs if CMS:
• withholds payment,
• reduces payment rates, or
• requires an Advanced APM Entity to make payments to CMS if actual
expenditures exceed expectations
 The financial risk standard does not include reductions in otherwise
guaranteed payments made under the terms of the APM
 CMS declined to include business expenses in the final financial risk
standard
15
APMs with no downside risk do not qualify as
Advanced APMs
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Final APM Policies: “More than Nominal”
Financial Risk
 Example:
• APM Entity’s Medicare Parts A and
B revenue = $10 million
o Revenue-based standard: at least
$800,000 of the APM Entity’s
revenue must be at risk
• Benchmark spending for the
services and population in the APM
= $25 million
o Benchmark-based standard: at
least $750,000 of the APM Entity’s
expenditures must be at risk
16
Risk standard for 2017 and 2018
Total Amount Owed/Forgone: equal to
at least:
(1) 8 percent of the average estimated
total Medicare Parts A and B
revenues of participating APM
Entities (“revenue-based standard”)
(2) 3 percent of the expected
expenditures for which an APM Entity
is responsible under the APM
(“benchmark-based standard”)
* CMS did not finalize marginal risk and
minimum loss rates included in the
proposed rule
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Final APM Policies: “Significant Share” of
Revenue
 Clinicians must receive a
“significant share” of their
revenue through participation in
an advanced APM to be eligible
for the 5% bonus
 Partial qualifying mechanism
allows clinicians that fall short of
revenue requirements to report
MIPS measures and receive
corresponding incentives or to
decline to participate in MIPS
 Favorable scoring under the MIPS
clinical practice improvement
activities (“CPIA”) performance
category
17
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Final APM Policies: Determining Qualified APM
Participants
50% of Advanced APM participants*
must use CEHRT to document care and
communicate with patients and other
health care professionals
18
Proposed
Rule
Final
Rule
 Advanced APM participants eligible
for bonus payment determined based
on CMS’s review of the Advanced
APM Entity’s Participation List on the
following dates:
* CMS did not finalize the proposal to increase
the threshold for CEHRT use to 75% in 2018
QP Status based on:
 APM
 APM Entity
 TIN/NPI
Combination
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Final APM Policies: Other Payer Advanced
APMs
 Starting in 2021 (based on performance in 2019), participation in Other Payer
Advanced APMs may allow clinicians to qualify for 5% APM bonus payment
 Other Payer Advanced APMs must meet 3 criteria:
• Require use of CEHRT
• Apply quality measures comparable to MIPS quality measures
• Include a payment arrangement that:
o Requires participants to bear more than nominal financial risk if actual aggregate
expenditures exceed expected aggregate expenditures, or
o Is a Medicaid Medical Home Model
 Other Payer Advanced APMs may include:
• State Medicaid programs
• Commercial payers
• Medicare Advantage (“MA”) plans
19
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Final APM Policies: MA Plan Participation
 Clinician participation in MA plans
could qualify as an Other Payer
Advanced APM, but only if the 3
criteria are met
 An arrangement where the MA plan
pays the provider on a FFS basis
would not be considered an Other
Payer Advanced APM  there is no
risk connected to actual cost of care
exceeding projected cost of care
 Report to Congress looks at
incorporating APMs into MA plans
https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-
Advantage/Plan-Payment/Downloads/Report-to-
Congress-APMs-and-Medicare-Advantage.pdf
20
MA Plan Penetration:
Medicare Managed Care Rising
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of CMS data, 2016
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Advanced APM Participation: Expectations and
Considerations
 CMS expects that Advanced APM participation will increase over time
 Clinicians need to determine where they stand
• Are you currently participating in an APM or a patient-centered medical home? If
not, do you plan to start participating in one in 2017?
o CMS plans to re-open applications for CPC+ and Next Generation ACO models and
expand the number of eligible Advanced APMs in 2017 (for participation in 2018)
• Is your APM on the current list of Advanced APMs, or is it one of the bundled
payment models CMS has proposed to expand to meet Advanced APM criteria?
• Does the APM include the reporting of quality measures that are comparable to
MIPS measures, use of CEHRT, and financial risk?
• How much of your revenue is tied to the APM?
21
Number of
Clinicians
2017
(Proposed Rule)
2017
(Final Rule)
2018
Lower Bound 30,658 70,000 125,000
Upper Bound 90,000 120,000 250,000
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Advanced APM Participation: Understanding
the Economics
 Clinicians need to weigh the benefits and risks of Advanced APM
participation
• Does the 5% bonus payment outweigh the risks associated with Advanced APM
participation (e.g., start-up/business expenses, opportunity costs, downside risk)?
• Are you ready for a move to APM participation (organizationally, clinically,
financially)?
• Does participation in an APM that qualifies for scoring benefits under MIPS make
more sense because it may be easier to achieve positive MIPS payment
adjustments and not be subject to downside risk through the APM?
• How can your efforts with other payers impact Advanced APM qualification?
 Important: moving toward an APM may be necessary in the long-run, given
that those participating in Advanced APMs receive higher annual payment
updates starting in 2026 – 0.75% vs. 0.25% – and the impact of
compounding over time
22
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Advanced APM Participation: Moving Forward
If There Is No Existing Pathway
 If there are no existing opportunities to participate in an Advanced APM,
clinicians should consider:
• Submitting proposals to the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory
Committee (“PTAC”)
• Negotiating payment arrangements with other payers that would qualify as Other
Payer Advanced APMs
• Participating in APM development and adoption efforts through the Health Care
Payment Learning & Action Network (“HCP-LAN”)
23
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Overview of MIPS
 MIPS streamlines multiple
quality programs to link FFS
payments to quality and
value
• Current Meaningful Use,
Value-Based Modifier, and
Physician Quality Reporting
System (“PQRS”) penalties
sunset at the end of 2018
• Reporting requirements roll
into a single program
 MIPS performance starts in
2017
 MIPS payment adjustments
start in 2019
24
Merit-Based Incentive
Payment System
Meaningful
Use of
EHRs
Physician
Value-
Based
Payment
Modifier
Physician
Quality
Reporting
System
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Final MIPS Policies: Eligibility for Participation
 MIPS applies to physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists,
physician assistants, and certified registered nurse anesthetists
• CMS may add other health care professionals in 2021 and beyond
This could include physical or occupational therapists, speech-language
pathologists, audiologists, certified nurse midwives, clinical social workers,
clinical psychologists, and registered dietitians or nutrition professionals
 MIPS does not apply to:
• Clinicians in their first year of Medicare Part B participation
• Participants in Advanced APMs who qualify for the bonus payment
• Clinicians below the low volume threshold
Low volume defined in final rule as:
25
Medicare
billing charges
≤ $30,000*
100 or fewer
Medicare
patients
OR
* CMS originally proposed $10,000 for the low volume threshold
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Final MIPS Policies: Payment Adjustments
 Based on the MIPS composite performance score, eligible clinicians will
receive positive, negative, or neutral adjustments to their Medicare Part B
base payment rate
 MIPS adjustments are budget neutral  a scaling factor (up to three times)
may be applied to the upward adjustments to make total upward and
downward adjustments equal
26
+/-
4%
+/-
5%
+/-
7%
+/-
9%
2019 2020 2021 2022 and
beyond
Maximum
Adjustments
to Medicare
Part B Base
Payment
Rate
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Final MIPS Policies: Composite Performance
Score Weights
 A single MIPS composite performance score will be calculated for eligible
clinicians based on four weighted performance categories
27
MIPS Performance
Categories
Quality – PQRS
measures
Resource Use – Cost
measures
Clinical Practice
Improvement – Care
coordination, shared
decision-making,
expanding practice access
Advancing Care
Information – Meaningful
use measures
60%
50%
30%
10%
30%
15% 15% 15%
25% 25% 25%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
100%
2019 2020 2021 and beyond
* CMS originally proposed that Resource Use measures would account for
10% of the composite performance score for 2019
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Final MIPS Policies: Measure and Activity
Reporting
28
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Final MIPS Policies: Data Submission Criteria
and Timeframes
January 1,
2017
June 30,
2017
October 2,
2017
November
2017
29
January 2, 2018
February 2018
March 31, 2018
1st Performance Period
CMS Web
Interface and
CAHPS
Administration
group
registration
deadline
CAHPS Administration Period (3 months) –
sample of Part B patients provided by CMS
Submission Period for Registries, QCDRs,
EHRs, Attestations (3 months) – 50% of
patients meeting measure criteria*
Submission Deadline
for claims reporting –
50% of applicable
Part B patients*
Submission Period for CMS Web Interface
(8 weeks/TBD) – Sample of Part B patients
provided by CMS
Last day for
90-day
reporting to
begin
Full-year
reporting
begins
* CMS originally proposed data completeness thresholds of 90% for
reporting through registries, QCDRs, EHRs and 80% for claims reporting;
data completeness threshold will increase to 60% in 2018
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Final MIPS Policies: Quality Performance
Category
Weight
(Year 1)
Assessment Performance Standard Submission
60% Up to 6 measures,
including 1 outcome measure*
If outcome measure is not available,
report 1 other high priority measure
(appropriate use, patient safety,
efficiency, patient experience, care
coordination measures)
If fewer than 6 measures apply to
clinician, report on each applicable
measure, or 1 specialty-specific
measure set
* CMS did not finalize proposal to
require reporting of cross-cutting
measure
Measure benchmarks to assign
points
 3-10 points based on
performance compared to
benchmark when measure has
a benchmark, has at least 20
cases, and meets data
completeness standard
 3 points if measure does not
have a benchmark, does not
have at least 20 cases, or does
not meet data completeness
standard
Bonus points with a minimum floor
for all measures, including points
for high priority measures and
submission using CEHRT
 Claims
 Qualified Clinical
Data Registry
(“QCDR”)
 Qualified registry
 EHR
 CMS Web Interface
(groups of 25 or
more)
 CAHPS for MIPS
survey
 Administrative
claims for all-cause
hospital readmission
measure (no
submission
required)
30
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Quality Performance Category
31
 Considerations:
• Which measures are applicable to you/your practice?
• When will you be ready to report measures?
o One time, 90-day, full year reporting options
• How many measures will you report?
o 1 measure, more than 1 measure, 6 measure reporting options
• What reporting mechanism makes the most sense for you/your practice?
• What clinical/administrative processes need to be put in place to ensure that you
perform well?
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Final MIPS Policies: Resource Use Performance
Category
Weight
(Year 1)
Assessment Performance Standard Submission
0% 10 episode-based measures* related
to:
 Mastectomy
 Aortic/Mitral Valve Surgery
 Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
 Hip/Femur Fracture or
Dislocation Treatment
 Cholecystectomy and Common
Duct Exploration
 Colonoscopy and Biopsy
 Transurethral Resection of the
Prostate
 Lens and Cataract Procedures
 Hip Replacement or Repair
 Knee Arthroplasty
* CMS did not finalize all 41 proposed
clinical condition and episode-based
measures
Measure benchmarks to
assign points
 Administrative claims
(no submission
required)
32
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Resource Use Performance Category
33
 Considerations:
• Which episode-based measures are applicable to you/your practice?
• Should your ordering patterns change based on resource use considerations?
• Although resource use will not be taken into account for the 2017 performance
year, how can you prepare for 2018?
 Note: CMS may add resource use measures in future years that address new
areas of Medicare spending that have historically been excluded from these
programs, such as drug spending
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Final MIPS Policies: Clinical Performance
Improvement Activities Performance Category
Weight
(Year 1)
Assessment Performance Standard Submission
15% Up to 4
improvement
activities for a
minimum of 90
days
For groups
with fewer
than 15
participants or
if clinician is in
rural or health
professional
shortage area
(“HPSA”), up to
2 activities for
a minimum of
90 days
Based on participation in finalized improvement activities in
the following subcategories:
 Expanded practice access
 Population management
 Care coordination
 Beneficiary engagement
 Patient safety and practice assessment
 Participation in an APM
 Promoting health equity and continuity
 Social and community involvement
 Achieving health equity
 Emergency preparedness and response
 Integration of primary care and behavioral health
Based on participation as a patient-centered medical home or
comparable specialty practice (full credit)
Based on participation as an APM (full credit for current APMs;
for future APMs, assigned score will be at least half credit)
 Attestation
 QCDR
 Qualified registry
 EHR
 CMS Web
Interface (groups
of 25 or more)
34
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Clinical Performance Improvement Activities
Performance Category
35
 Considerations:
• Which improvement activities do you currently participate in?
• Are there activities that you could realistically start, in order to maximize your
potential score?
• Is it realistic to participate in a patient-centered medical home or APM to gain
more points?
• Do any of the special considerations – for small groups and those in rural
areas/HPSAs – apply to you?
• What reporting mechanism would be most efficient?
• Can you report any designated improvement activities using CEHRT to achieve a
bonus score under the ACI performance category?
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Advancing Care Information Performance
Category
Weight
(Year 1)
Assessment Scoring Submission
25% Report 5 measures for base score:
 Security risk analysis
 ePrescribing
 Patient access
 Summary of care measure
 Send summary of care record
Earn performance score points for reporting:
 Patient access
 Patient-specific education
 View, download and transmit
 Secure messaging
 Patient-generated health data
 Summary of care measure
 Send summary of care record
 Clinical information reconciliation
 Immunization registry reporting
Earn bonus score for reporting improvement activities
that utilize CEHRT and for reporting to public health or
clinical data registries
Based on participation (base
score) and performance
(performance score)
 Base score: achieved by
meeting the Protect Patient
Health Information objective
(security risk analysis
measure) and reporting the
numerator and denominator
for additional required
measures
 Performance score: between
zero and 10 or 20 percent per
measure based on measure
reporting rate
 Bonus score: up to 15 percent
 Attestation
 QCDR
 Qualified
registry
 EHR
 CMS Web
Interface
(groups of 25 or
more)
36
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Advancing Care Information Performance
Category
37
 Considerations:
• How do you currently use information technology or EHRs?
• What opportunities are there for you to expand/enhance that use?
• What measures are you able to report?
o 5 base score measures, additional performance score measures, bonus score measures
• What reporting mechanism would be most efficient?
© 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved. | ebglaw.com
MIPS Participation: Areas for Discussion
38
 CMS has taken steps to simplify reporting under MIPS and to allow 2017 to
be a transition period
• Most clinicians should be able to avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2017
• Only those who do nothing at all will be penalized
• Shifting competition considerations (for positive payment adjustment and
“exceptional performer” adjustment) as CMS has excluded more clinicians and
seeks to offer more opportunities for Advanced APM participation
© 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved. | ebglaw.com
MIPS Participation: Areas for Discussion (cont.)
39
 Clinicians need to use 2017 to determine how to fully participate in future
years to avoid negative payment adjustments
• Is consolidation or disaggregation necessary to maximize potential MIPS
performance?
• Are there partnerships or financial relationships that could help improve MIPS
performance or ease the transition to APM participation?
• Do you need to seek new vendor relationships to ensure you are able to report
measures?
• Are there certain types of vendors that you should consider working with to help
improve MIPS performance? Are those vendors willing to take on risk/guarantee
performance under MIPS?
Questions?
40ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Mark Lutes
Chair, Board of Directors and Member of the Firm
mlutes@ebglaw.com
202.861.1824
Robert F. Atlas
President and Strategic Advisor, EBG Advisors
batlas@ebgadvisors.com
202.861.1834
Lesley R. Yeung
Associate
lyeung@ebglaw.com
202.861.1804
© 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved.
ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com
Thank you.

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Delivering Care Under the MACRA Final Rule: Implementation Considerations and Implications

  • 1. © 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Delivering Care Under the MACRA Final Rule Implementation Considerations and Implications November 18, 2016
  • 2. Presented by 2ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Mark Lutes Chair, Board of Directors and Member of the Firm mlutes@ebglaw.com 202.861.1824 Robert F. Atlas President and Strategic Advisor, EBG Advisors batlas@ebgadvisors.com 202.861.1834 Lesley R. Yeung Associate lyeung@ebglaw.com 202.861.1804
  • 3. © 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved. | ebglaw.com Value-Based Purchasing (“VBP”) Roadmap 3
  • 4. © 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved. | ebglaw.com VBP Goals For Medicare 4  In January 2015, HHS Secretary Burwell declares VBP goals for the Original Medicare program  As of March 2016, HHS announced that 30 percent of Medicare payments are tied to alternative payment models that reward quality over quantity
  • 5. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (“MACRA”): Physician Payment Reform  Federal legislation was enacted in April 2015 that repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate (“SGR”) formula under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule • Eliminates physician payment rate cuts under SGR; sets annual updates of 0.5% from July 1, 2015 through the end of 2019 • In 2019 and after, physician payments vary based on quality performance and value through: oMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (“MIPS”) or oAdvanced Alternative Payment Models (“APMs”)  October 14, 2016 – CMS issued a final rule implementing MIPS and APM incentives under the new “Quality Payment Program” • Available at https://qpp.cms.gov/education 5
  • 6. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com The Future of Physician Payments: Summary of Payment Mechanisms 6
  • 7. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Will This All Change Under the New Administration?  MACRA is the result of broad bipartisan agreement  The financial incentives to move physicians toward APM participation were part of the bipartisan agreement  Republican administration is not likely to completely eliminate mechanisms that allow CMS to create APMs for physicians  Republican administration may be more sympathetic to further administratively easing the implementation of MIPS but otherwise will proceed with the law 7
  • 8. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com MACRA Proposed Rule: Feedback from Stakeholders  Comments to the MACRA proposed rule were due on June 27, 2016 • Over 3,900 public comments submitted from various stakeholders (individuals, healthcare professionals, professional societies, trade associations, hospitals, health systems, manufacturers, insurers, employers, patient advocacy groups, state/local governmental entities, etc.) 8  Areas of concern included in public comments: • Implementation timeframe is too fast • MIPS reporting and measurement system is too complex • Performance period is too far removed from the reward/penalty • Bar is set too high for participation in Advanced APMs • MIPS/APM requirements will lead to the disappearance of solo/small practices • Primary care focused; limited Advanced APM opportunities for specialists
  • 9. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com MACRA Implementation: Moving From Proposed to Final 9 CMS BLOG http://blog.cms.gov/2016/09/08/QualityPaymentProgram-PickYourPace September 8, 2016 By Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of CMS “Plans for the Quality Payment Program in 2017: Pick Your Pace" As the baby boom generation ages, 10,000 people enter the Medicare program each day. Facing that demand, it is essential that Medicare continues to support physicians in delivering high-quality patient care. This includes increasing its focus on patient outcomes and reducing the obstacles that make it harder for physicians to practice good care. The bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) offers the opportunity to advance these goals and put Medicare on surer footing. Among other policies, it repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate formula and its annual payment cliffs, streamlines the existing patchwork of Medicare reporting programs, and provides opportunities for physicians and other clinicians to earn more by focusing on quality patient care. We are referring to these provisions of MACRA collectively as the Quality Payment Program. We received feedback on our April proposal for implementing the Quality Payment Program, both in writing and as we talked to thousands of physicians and other clinicians across the country. Universally, the clinician community wants a system that begins and ends with what's right for the patient. We heard from physicians and other clinicians on how technology can help with patient care and how excessive reporting can distract from patient care; how new programs like medical homes can be encouraged; and the unique issues facing small and rural non-hospital-based physicians. We will address these areas and the many other comments we received when we release the final rule by November 1, 2016. But, with the Quality Payment Program set to begin on January 1, 2017, we wanted to share our plans for the timing of reporting for the first year of the program. In recognition of the wide diversity of physician practices, we intend for the Quality Payment Program to allow physicians to pick their pace of participation for the first performance period that begins January 1, 2017. During 2017, eligible physicians and other clinicians will have multiple options for participation. Choosing one of these options would ensure you do not receive a negative payment adjustment in 2019. These options and other supporting details will be described fully in the final rule. First Option: Test the Quality Payment Program. With this option, as long as you submit some data to the Quality Payment Program, including data from after January 1, 2017, you will avoid a negative payment adjustment. This first option is designed to ensure that your system is working and that you are prepared for broader participation in 2018 and 2019 as you learn more. Second Option: Participate for part of the calendar year. You may choose to submit Quality Payment Program information for a reduced number of days. This means your first performance period could begin later than January 1, 2017 and your practice could still qualify for a small positive payment adjustment. For example, if you submit information for part of the calendar year for quality measures, how your practice uses technology, and what improvement activities your practice is undertaking, you could qualify for a small positive payment adjustment. You could select from the list of quality measures and improvement activities available under the Quality Payment Program. Third Option: Participate for the full calendar year.
  • 10. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com MACRA Final Rule: Changes to Make Quality Payment Program More Accessible  “Pick-Your-Own-Pace” Approach • The first performance year (2017), and possibly some or all of the second performance year (2018), will be a transition period for clinicians • Clinicians will be able to choose one of four options for participating in MIPS or APMs  Reducing the Reporting Burden • CMS decreased the number of measures required to meet MIPS performance standards and eliminated the Resource Use Measures for 2017  Relief for Small Practices • CMS revised the low-volume threshold so that more small practices would be excluded from participation in MIPS  Increasing Opportunities for Participation in Advanced APMs • CMS plans to expand the number of Advanced APMs available for participation in 2017 and 2018 10
  • 11. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com “Pick-Your-Own-Pace” Approach: MIPS/APM Participation During Transition Period 11
  • 12. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Overview of Advanced APMs  From 2019-2024, participants in Advanced APMs are eligible for an annual lump-sum bonus of 5% of estimated Medicare payments for the preceding year • The bonus payment would be in addition to any shared savings bonuses or fees that the clinician receives for participating in the Advanced APM  Advanced APMs must require participating clinicians to: • Take on “more than nominal” financial risk (or participate in certain patient- centered medical homes) • Report quality measures that are comparable to the measures adopted under MIPS • Use certified EHR technology (“CEHRT”) 12
  • 13. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final APM Policies: Identifying Advanced APMs  MACRA defines APMs to include: • Models being tested by the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (under section 1115A of the Social Security Act, other than a Health Care Innovation Award) • Accountable Care Organizations (“ACOs”) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program • Models tested under the Health Care Quality Demonstration Program • Demonstrations required by Federal Law 13
  • 14. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final APM Policies: Expanding the List of Eligible Advanced APMs  CMS issued a proposed rule on July 25, 2016 that: • Implements a new mandatory bundled payment program for cardiac care • Expands the existing Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (“CJR”) model to include other hip surgeries • Introduces a new model to increase use of cardiac rehabilitation • Creates new pathways for bundled payment models to qualify as Advanced APMs  For 2018, CMS expects that the following models will be Advanced APMs: 14
  • 15. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final APM Policies: Financial Risk Standard  In general, financial risk occurs if CMS: • withholds payment, • reduces payment rates, or • requires an Advanced APM Entity to make payments to CMS if actual expenditures exceed expectations  The financial risk standard does not include reductions in otherwise guaranteed payments made under the terms of the APM  CMS declined to include business expenses in the final financial risk standard 15 APMs with no downside risk do not qualify as Advanced APMs
  • 16. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final APM Policies: “More than Nominal” Financial Risk  Example: • APM Entity’s Medicare Parts A and B revenue = $10 million o Revenue-based standard: at least $800,000 of the APM Entity’s revenue must be at risk • Benchmark spending for the services and population in the APM = $25 million o Benchmark-based standard: at least $750,000 of the APM Entity’s expenditures must be at risk 16 Risk standard for 2017 and 2018 Total Amount Owed/Forgone: equal to at least: (1) 8 percent of the average estimated total Medicare Parts A and B revenues of participating APM Entities (“revenue-based standard”) (2) 3 percent of the expected expenditures for which an APM Entity is responsible under the APM (“benchmark-based standard”) * CMS did not finalize marginal risk and minimum loss rates included in the proposed rule
  • 17. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final APM Policies: “Significant Share” of Revenue  Clinicians must receive a “significant share” of their revenue through participation in an advanced APM to be eligible for the 5% bonus  Partial qualifying mechanism allows clinicians that fall short of revenue requirements to report MIPS measures and receive corresponding incentives or to decline to participate in MIPS  Favorable scoring under the MIPS clinical practice improvement activities (“CPIA”) performance category 17
  • 18. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final APM Policies: Determining Qualified APM Participants 50% of Advanced APM participants* must use CEHRT to document care and communicate with patients and other health care professionals 18 Proposed Rule Final Rule  Advanced APM participants eligible for bonus payment determined based on CMS’s review of the Advanced APM Entity’s Participation List on the following dates: * CMS did not finalize the proposal to increase the threshold for CEHRT use to 75% in 2018 QP Status based on:  APM  APM Entity  TIN/NPI Combination
  • 19. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final APM Policies: Other Payer Advanced APMs  Starting in 2021 (based on performance in 2019), participation in Other Payer Advanced APMs may allow clinicians to qualify for 5% APM bonus payment  Other Payer Advanced APMs must meet 3 criteria: • Require use of CEHRT • Apply quality measures comparable to MIPS quality measures • Include a payment arrangement that: o Requires participants to bear more than nominal financial risk if actual aggregate expenditures exceed expected aggregate expenditures, or o Is a Medicaid Medical Home Model  Other Payer Advanced APMs may include: • State Medicaid programs • Commercial payers • Medicare Advantage (“MA”) plans 19
  • 20. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final APM Policies: MA Plan Participation  Clinician participation in MA plans could qualify as an Other Payer Advanced APM, but only if the 3 criteria are met  An arrangement where the MA plan pays the provider on a FFS basis would not be considered an Other Payer Advanced APM  there is no risk connected to actual cost of care exceeding projected cost of care  Report to Congress looks at incorporating APMs into MA plans https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare- Advantage/Plan-Payment/Downloads/Report-to- Congress-APMs-and-Medicare-Advantage.pdf 20 MA Plan Penetration: Medicare Managed Care Rising Source: Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of CMS data, 2016
  • 21. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Advanced APM Participation: Expectations and Considerations  CMS expects that Advanced APM participation will increase over time  Clinicians need to determine where they stand • Are you currently participating in an APM or a patient-centered medical home? If not, do you plan to start participating in one in 2017? o CMS plans to re-open applications for CPC+ and Next Generation ACO models and expand the number of eligible Advanced APMs in 2017 (for participation in 2018) • Is your APM on the current list of Advanced APMs, or is it one of the bundled payment models CMS has proposed to expand to meet Advanced APM criteria? • Does the APM include the reporting of quality measures that are comparable to MIPS measures, use of CEHRT, and financial risk? • How much of your revenue is tied to the APM? 21 Number of Clinicians 2017 (Proposed Rule) 2017 (Final Rule) 2018 Lower Bound 30,658 70,000 125,000 Upper Bound 90,000 120,000 250,000
  • 22. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Advanced APM Participation: Understanding the Economics  Clinicians need to weigh the benefits and risks of Advanced APM participation • Does the 5% bonus payment outweigh the risks associated with Advanced APM participation (e.g., start-up/business expenses, opportunity costs, downside risk)? • Are you ready for a move to APM participation (organizationally, clinically, financially)? • Does participation in an APM that qualifies for scoring benefits under MIPS make more sense because it may be easier to achieve positive MIPS payment adjustments and not be subject to downside risk through the APM? • How can your efforts with other payers impact Advanced APM qualification?  Important: moving toward an APM may be necessary in the long-run, given that those participating in Advanced APMs receive higher annual payment updates starting in 2026 – 0.75% vs. 0.25% – and the impact of compounding over time 22
  • 23. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Advanced APM Participation: Moving Forward If There Is No Existing Pathway  If there are no existing opportunities to participate in an Advanced APM, clinicians should consider: • Submitting proposals to the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (“PTAC”) • Negotiating payment arrangements with other payers that would qualify as Other Payer Advanced APMs • Participating in APM development and adoption efforts through the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network (“HCP-LAN”) 23
  • 24. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Overview of MIPS  MIPS streamlines multiple quality programs to link FFS payments to quality and value • Current Meaningful Use, Value-Based Modifier, and Physician Quality Reporting System (“PQRS”) penalties sunset at the end of 2018 • Reporting requirements roll into a single program  MIPS performance starts in 2017  MIPS payment adjustments start in 2019 24 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System Meaningful Use of EHRs Physician Value- Based Payment Modifier Physician Quality Reporting System
  • 25. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final MIPS Policies: Eligibility for Participation  MIPS applies to physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, physician assistants, and certified registered nurse anesthetists • CMS may add other health care professionals in 2021 and beyond This could include physical or occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, certified nurse midwives, clinical social workers, clinical psychologists, and registered dietitians or nutrition professionals  MIPS does not apply to: • Clinicians in their first year of Medicare Part B participation • Participants in Advanced APMs who qualify for the bonus payment • Clinicians below the low volume threshold Low volume defined in final rule as: 25 Medicare billing charges ≤ $30,000* 100 or fewer Medicare patients OR * CMS originally proposed $10,000 for the low volume threshold
  • 26. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final MIPS Policies: Payment Adjustments  Based on the MIPS composite performance score, eligible clinicians will receive positive, negative, or neutral adjustments to their Medicare Part B base payment rate  MIPS adjustments are budget neutral  a scaling factor (up to three times) may be applied to the upward adjustments to make total upward and downward adjustments equal 26 +/- 4% +/- 5% +/- 7% +/- 9% 2019 2020 2021 2022 and beyond Maximum Adjustments to Medicare Part B Base Payment Rate
  • 27. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final MIPS Policies: Composite Performance Score Weights  A single MIPS composite performance score will be calculated for eligible clinicians based on four weighted performance categories 27 MIPS Performance Categories Quality – PQRS measures Resource Use – Cost measures Clinical Practice Improvement – Care coordination, shared decision-making, expanding practice access Advancing Care Information – Meaningful use measures 60% 50% 30% 10% 30% 15% 15% 15% 25% 25% 25% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 2019 2020 2021 and beyond * CMS originally proposed that Resource Use measures would account for 10% of the composite performance score for 2019
  • 28. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final MIPS Policies: Measure and Activity Reporting 28
  • 29. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final MIPS Policies: Data Submission Criteria and Timeframes January 1, 2017 June 30, 2017 October 2, 2017 November 2017 29 January 2, 2018 February 2018 March 31, 2018 1st Performance Period CMS Web Interface and CAHPS Administration group registration deadline CAHPS Administration Period (3 months) – sample of Part B patients provided by CMS Submission Period for Registries, QCDRs, EHRs, Attestations (3 months) – 50% of patients meeting measure criteria* Submission Deadline for claims reporting – 50% of applicable Part B patients* Submission Period for CMS Web Interface (8 weeks/TBD) – Sample of Part B patients provided by CMS Last day for 90-day reporting to begin Full-year reporting begins * CMS originally proposed data completeness thresholds of 90% for reporting through registries, QCDRs, EHRs and 80% for claims reporting; data completeness threshold will increase to 60% in 2018
  • 30. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final MIPS Policies: Quality Performance Category Weight (Year 1) Assessment Performance Standard Submission 60% Up to 6 measures, including 1 outcome measure* If outcome measure is not available, report 1 other high priority measure (appropriate use, patient safety, efficiency, patient experience, care coordination measures) If fewer than 6 measures apply to clinician, report on each applicable measure, or 1 specialty-specific measure set * CMS did not finalize proposal to require reporting of cross-cutting measure Measure benchmarks to assign points  3-10 points based on performance compared to benchmark when measure has a benchmark, has at least 20 cases, and meets data completeness standard  3 points if measure does not have a benchmark, does not have at least 20 cases, or does not meet data completeness standard Bonus points with a minimum floor for all measures, including points for high priority measures and submission using CEHRT  Claims  Qualified Clinical Data Registry (“QCDR”)  Qualified registry  EHR  CMS Web Interface (groups of 25 or more)  CAHPS for MIPS survey  Administrative claims for all-cause hospital readmission measure (no submission required) 30
  • 31. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Quality Performance Category 31  Considerations: • Which measures are applicable to you/your practice? • When will you be ready to report measures? o One time, 90-day, full year reporting options • How many measures will you report? o 1 measure, more than 1 measure, 6 measure reporting options • What reporting mechanism makes the most sense for you/your practice? • What clinical/administrative processes need to be put in place to ensure that you perform well?
  • 32. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final MIPS Policies: Resource Use Performance Category Weight (Year 1) Assessment Performance Standard Submission 0% 10 episode-based measures* related to:  Mastectomy  Aortic/Mitral Valve Surgery  Coronary Artery Bypass Graft  Hip/Femur Fracture or Dislocation Treatment  Cholecystectomy and Common Duct Exploration  Colonoscopy and Biopsy  Transurethral Resection of the Prostate  Lens and Cataract Procedures  Hip Replacement or Repair  Knee Arthroplasty * CMS did not finalize all 41 proposed clinical condition and episode-based measures Measure benchmarks to assign points  Administrative claims (no submission required) 32
  • 33. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Resource Use Performance Category 33  Considerations: • Which episode-based measures are applicable to you/your practice? • Should your ordering patterns change based on resource use considerations? • Although resource use will not be taken into account for the 2017 performance year, how can you prepare for 2018?  Note: CMS may add resource use measures in future years that address new areas of Medicare spending that have historically been excluded from these programs, such as drug spending
  • 34. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Final MIPS Policies: Clinical Performance Improvement Activities Performance Category Weight (Year 1) Assessment Performance Standard Submission 15% Up to 4 improvement activities for a minimum of 90 days For groups with fewer than 15 participants or if clinician is in rural or health professional shortage area (“HPSA”), up to 2 activities for a minimum of 90 days Based on participation in finalized improvement activities in the following subcategories:  Expanded practice access  Population management  Care coordination  Beneficiary engagement  Patient safety and practice assessment  Participation in an APM  Promoting health equity and continuity  Social and community involvement  Achieving health equity  Emergency preparedness and response  Integration of primary care and behavioral health Based on participation as a patient-centered medical home or comparable specialty practice (full credit) Based on participation as an APM (full credit for current APMs; for future APMs, assigned score will be at least half credit)  Attestation  QCDR  Qualified registry  EHR  CMS Web Interface (groups of 25 or more) 34
  • 35. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Clinical Performance Improvement Activities Performance Category 35  Considerations: • Which improvement activities do you currently participate in? • Are there activities that you could realistically start, in order to maximize your potential score? • Is it realistic to participate in a patient-centered medical home or APM to gain more points? • Do any of the special considerations – for small groups and those in rural areas/HPSAs – apply to you? • What reporting mechanism would be most efficient? • Can you report any designated improvement activities using CEHRT to achieve a bonus score under the ACI performance category?
  • 36. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Advancing Care Information Performance Category Weight (Year 1) Assessment Scoring Submission 25% Report 5 measures for base score:  Security risk analysis  ePrescribing  Patient access  Summary of care measure  Send summary of care record Earn performance score points for reporting:  Patient access  Patient-specific education  View, download and transmit  Secure messaging  Patient-generated health data  Summary of care measure  Send summary of care record  Clinical information reconciliation  Immunization registry reporting Earn bonus score for reporting improvement activities that utilize CEHRT and for reporting to public health or clinical data registries Based on participation (base score) and performance (performance score)  Base score: achieved by meeting the Protect Patient Health Information objective (security risk analysis measure) and reporting the numerator and denominator for additional required measures  Performance score: between zero and 10 or 20 percent per measure based on measure reporting rate  Bonus score: up to 15 percent  Attestation  QCDR  Qualified registry  EHR  CMS Web Interface (groups of 25 or more) 36
  • 37. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Advancing Care Information Performance Category 37  Considerations: • How do you currently use information technology or EHRs? • What opportunities are there for you to expand/enhance that use? • What measures are you able to report? o 5 base score measures, additional performance score measures, bonus score measures • What reporting mechanism would be most efficient?
  • 38. © 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved. | ebglaw.com MIPS Participation: Areas for Discussion 38  CMS has taken steps to simplify reporting under MIPS and to allow 2017 to be a transition period • Most clinicians should be able to avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2017 • Only those who do nothing at all will be penalized • Shifting competition considerations (for positive payment adjustment and “exceptional performer” adjustment) as CMS has excluded more clinicians and seeks to offer more opportunities for Advanced APM participation
  • 39. © 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved. | ebglaw.com MIPS Participation: Areas for Discussion (cont.) 39  Clinicians need to use 2017 to determine how to fully participate in future years to avoid negative payment adjustments • Is consolidation or disaggregation necessary to maximize potential MIPS performance? • Are there partnerships or financial relationships that could help improve MIPS performance or ease the transition to APM participation? • Do you need to seek new vendor relationships to ensure you are able to report measures? • Are there certain types of vendors that you should consider working with to help improve MIPS performance? Are those vendors willing to take on risk/guarantee performance under MIPS?
  • 40. Questions? 40ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Mark Lutes Chair, Board of Directors and Member of the Firm mlutes@ebglaw.com 202.861.1824 Robert F. Atlas President and Strategic Advisor, EBG Advisors batlas@ebgadvisors.com 202.861.1834 Lesley R. Yeung Associate lyeung@ebglaw.com 202.861.1804
  • 41. © 2016 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. | All Rights Reserved. ebglaw.com. | ebgadvisors.com Thank you.