MGMA lays out priorities in welcome letter to CMS head

The letter was sent the same day Chiquita Brooks-LaSure was sworn into her post as administrator of CMS.

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is seeking to a get a jumpstart on working with the newly minted head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure was sworn in May 27 after being confirmed the day before. Her confirmation saw five Republican senators cross the aisle in voting for a nominee set forth by President Joe R. Biden.

In a letter to Brooks-LaSure, MGMA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Anders Gilberg lays out recommendations that the organization seeks to work with the agency on to reduce the regulatory burden on practices.

On prior authorizations MGMA recommends that Medicare Advantage plans should be included in the scope of the CMS Interoperability and Prior Authorization Rule. The move would improve the exchange of health care data and streamline the processes related to prior authorization.

MGMA also recommends that CMS allow permanent coverage of audio-only telemedicine services as well as leveraging CMS’ authority to make other telemedicine flexibilities permanent. These flexibilities include reimbursing telehealth visits at the in-person rate and eliminating geographic and originating site restrictions, according to the letter.

Changes to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) recommended by the organization include implementing an automatic hardship exception for the 2021 performance year, providing meaningful reform and transparency in the methodology that CMS uses to calculate scores int eh MIPS cost category, implementing MIPS Value Pathways after the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic and after CMS receives sufficient input from the community, and maintaining MIPS performance category weights and performance thresholds from 2021 to 2022, the letter says.

CMS should also support the development of new, voluntary, physician-led alternative payment models (APMs) and also offer participants in advanced APMs the option to mitigate downside financial risk in exchange for reduced upside risk for all performance years impacted by the public health emergency, according to the letter.

The full text of the letter can be found here.