The AHA today strongly urged the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to “draw upon data and experience from the field” before proposing policy changes to the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System and Advanced Alternative Payment Models for clinicians. “The first performance period for the MIPS and APMs began on Jan. 1, 2017 – less than two months ago,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. “As a result, clinicians and hospitals with whom they partner are at the very beginning of putting the [Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act] policy requirements into action. Furthermore, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has appropriately deemed the first year of the MIPS as a ‘transition year’ to enable clinicians to gain experience under the programs before increasing requirements. As a result, the significant policy changes discussed by the commission at its January 2017 meeting do not yet have the benefit of data and experience.” AHA also shared its policy proposals to improve access to more affordable drug therapies, and expressed concern with certain MedPAC proposals to address rapid growth in Part B drug spending.