The CME Coalition has submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) applauding their proposal to reward physicians for their participation in certain continuing medical education (CME) activities. Under the proposal, quality improvement continuing medical education (CME) would be recognized as a Clinical Practice Improvement Activity (CPIA) under the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) — a physician reimbursement system created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). As detailed in the proposed rule (pg. 1042), CMS recommends that “completion of an accredited performance improving medical education program” be included under the list of CPIAs under MIPS — one of the key policy changes proposed for the Quality Payment Program Year 2.
CME Coalition Submits Proposals to Include CME in 'Practice Improvement Activities' Under Physician Payment Reform
On February 27, 2017, the CME Coalition responded to a "call for activities" from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on activities for inclusion in the list of acceptable Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIA) under the new Medicare physician payment program known as MIPS. The proposals outline how quality and performance improvement CME have a direct impact on improving clinical practice and patient care.
The CME Coalition has submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the agency's final rule regarding the definition of practice improvement activities in the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Following the Coalition's comments on the proposed rule, the Coalition again asks that CMS continue to explore the potential role that continuing medical education (CME) can play as a clinical practice improvement activity. In its final rule, CMS acknowledged public comments encouraging the inclusion of CME as an improvement activity under the MACRA regulatory regime, and the CME Coalition hopes to work with CMS in order to include CME in the 2018 proposed fee schedule. In explaining its request, the CME Coalition notes that CME is "a leading means by which physicians, develop and maintain the knowledge, skills, and practice performance that leads to imporved performance and optimal patient outcomes."
The comments in full are available below.
Several hundred leading healthcare practitioners, plus scores of stakeholder groups representing millions of the nation’s healthcare providers, submitted comments in support of encouraging the use of accredited CME to improve the quality of healthcare under the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), according to analysis conducted by the CME Coalition. Over 300 endorsements for CME were submitted in response to CMS’ call for public comment on implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), including comments from leading physician groups, CME providers, and other stakeholders.
The CME Coalition recently submitted comments to CMS to encourage the agency to include continuing medical education (CME) within the definition of clinical practice improvement activities (CPIA) under the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). As the Coalition explains, "CME has long been recognized as an effective means by which physicians demonstrate engagement in continued professional development. Consistent with the intent of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), CME encourages physicians to develop and maintain the knowledge, skills, and practice performance that leads to optimal patient outcomes. Simply put, without translating the new payment system into meaningful actions for physicians, the promise of MACRA will never be fully achieved."