The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released its calendar year 2023 proposed rule for the physician fee schedule. The rule proposes to cut the conversion factor to $33.08 in CY 2023, as compared to $34.61 in CY 2022, which reflects the following: the expiration of the 3% statutory payment increase; a 0.00% conversion factor update; and a budget-neutrality adjustment. In addition, CMS proposes to delay for one year (until Jan. 1, 2024) the implementation of its policy to define the substantive portion of a split (or shared) visit based on the amount of time spent by the billing practitioner. Under this policy, if a non-physician practitioner performed at least half of an E/M visit and billed for it, Medicare would only pay 85% of the PFS rate.

CMS proposes numerous policy changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program. For example, it would modify the manner in which accountable care organizations' benchmarks are calculated to help sustain long-term participation and reduce costs. It also would provide increased flexibility for certain smaller ACOs to share in savings. The rule also proposes updates to MSSP quality-measurement policies, including a new health equity adjustment that would award bonus points to ACOs serving higher proportions of underserved or dually-eligible beneficiaries.

For the Quality Payment Program, CMS proposes five new, optional Merit-based Incentive Payment System Value Pathways that would be available beginning in 2023. These MVPs align the reporting requirements of the four MIPS performance categories around specific clinical specialties, medical conditions or episodes of care. CMS also proposes refinements to the MIPS subgroup reporting process, an increase to the quality data completeness threshold, and changes to the requirements and scoring of the Promoting Interoperability category. The proposed rule also includes requests for input on policy ideas for advancing health equity and transitioning to digital quality measurement.

Comments are due Sept. 7. 

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