News in Brief

MACRA: Now with flexible options to choose from in 2017

CMS is offering physicians the flexibility to test the new system before fully participating in MACRA next year.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is providing new flexibility to physicians regarding MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act), its new payment plan.

Originally, Congress and the agency proposed requiring all physicians to begin their participation on Jan. 1, 2017. Now CMS will allow physicians to choose how they can start participating in MACRA for 2017. The options include:

  • Testing the program.
  • Submitting partial year or full-year reporting in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.
  • Joining an advanced Alternative Payment Model.

Laura Wooster, the AOA vice president for public policy, explains what these different options entail in this video:

Physicians will have flexible options to report Medicare data in 2017.

You also can learn more about these flexible options for reporting data in this blog post written by Andy Slavitt, the CMS acting administrator.

For more information on MACRA, visit

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