Overnight, Congress passed a sweeping two-year budget deal signed into law by President Trump today. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892) is largely a win for physician practices. The law addresses top MGMA priorities, including reducing burden in the MIPS program, eliminating the unelected Medicare cost-cutting board known as the IPAB, and averting a flawed misvalued-code policy that would have resulted in drastic across-the-board payment cuts in 2019 and 2020. MGMA opposed Congress’ use of a .25 reduction to the Medicare physician payment conversion factor next year as a budgetary offset. Its inclusion is a disappointment in an otherwise favorable bill.
Important to medical groups, the bill will:
- Increase flexibility and reduce burden in the Quality Payment Program;
- Eliminate the unelected Medicare cost-cutting board known as the IPAB;
- Extend the work Geographic Practice Cost Index (GPCI) floor for two years through 2019;
- Permanently repeal the Medicare therapy payment cap;
- Incorporate new flexibility for Accountable Care Organizations;
- Expand coverage for telehealth services;
- Decrease requirements in the Meaningful Use Program; and
- Extend Children's Health Insurance Program funding for an additional four years through fiscal year 2027.
MGMA will continue to advocate for Medical Group Practices, and we thank you for your continued grassroots efforts.