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Washington Debrief: CMS Releases CPC+ Sites, Details Track 1 and Track 2 Payment Methods

August 8, 2016
by Leslie Kriegstein, Vice President of Congressional Affairs, CHIME
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Meaningful Use

CMS Releases CPC+ Sites and Details Track 1 and Track 2 Payment Methods

Key Takeaway: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announces Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) payment model details.

Why it Matters: CMS has created CPC+ to facilitate primary care practices to better support patients with chronic diseases including delivering preventive care and more coordinated care. CPC+ offers a pathway for practices interested in qualifying for the incentive payment for Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) through the proposed Quality Payment Program. CMS estimates that up to 5,000 primary care practices serving an estimated 3.5 million beneficiaries could participate in the model. CPC+ is a five-year model starting in January 2017. 57 yet-to-be-named practices are expected to participate. CMS is accepting applications between August 1 and September 15 from those in selected states/regions.

There will be two participation tracks. Practices applying to Track 2 will need to submit a letter of support from their health IT vendor(s) that outlines vendors' commitment to supporting the practice with advanced health IT capabilities. CMS will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with those health IT vendors supporting Track 2 practices selected to participate in CPC+.

Quality Measurement

CMS Releases IPPS Final Rule and eCQMs Mandates 

Key Takeaway: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to require full-year reporting of eight electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) in 2017 and 2018. 

Why it Matters: In the proposed IPPS rule CMS called for increasing the number of eCQMs from four in 2016 to 15 in 2017. CMS elected in the final rule to, among other things:

  1. Decrease their proposal of 15 eCQMs down to eight for 2017 reporting/2019 payment and for 2018 reporting/2020 payment years.
  2. Increase the reporting period from a quarter in 2016 to a full year in 2017.
  3. Update the Extraordinary Circumstances Extensions or Exemptions (ECE) policy by:
    1. Extending the ECE request deadline for non-eCQM circumstances from 30 to 90 calendar days following an extraordinary circumstance, beginning in FY 2017 as related to extraordinary circumstance events that occur on or after October 1, 2016; and
    2. Establishing a separate submission deadline of April 1 following the end of the reporting calendar year for ECEs related to eCQMs beginning with an April 1, 2017 deadline and applying for subsequent eCQM reporting years.

CHIME comments on the proposed rule called for retaining four eCQMs for 2017 and a reporting period of a quarter. We will continue to advocate for greater flexibility for quality reporting to ease burdens on providers.


New Guidance on Internet of Things

Key Takeaway: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the Release of Special Publication 800-183, Network of 'Things.'

Why it Matters: NIST recently announced the release of Special Publication (SP) 800-183, Networks of ‘Things’. SP 800-183 offers an underlying and foundational understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) based on the realization that IoT involves sensing, computing, communication, and actuation. The material presented here is generic to all distributed systems that employ IoT technologies (i.e., ‘things’ and networks). SP 800-183 is targeted at computer scientists, IT managers, networking specialists, and networking and cloud computing software engineers who are seeking guidance into how best to leverage this new distributed computing paradigm. It also offers IT and software professionals with a common vocabulary from which discuss this technology. NIST Public Affairs Office issued a press release of the Special Publication.

NIST Cybersecurity Framework Update Forthcoming

Key Takeaway: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is developing a minor update of its Cybersecurity Framework based on feedback from its users.