October 14,2016

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202)224-4515

Hatch Statement on CMS’s MACRA Quality Payment Rule

Utah Senator Says Final Rule “…marks another critical milestone in the implementation of this historic law.”

SALT LAKE CITY –Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today issued the following statement after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule for implementing the physician payment reforms included in the historic Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA):

“This Congress, Washington acted on what many thought was impossible and put meaningful and bipartisan Medicare reforms back on the books. Replacing the dysfunctional cycle of near annual patches for Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) with an improved payment system rooted in smart policies that were debated and vetted by the Finance Committee has given beneficiaries peace of mind that they will have access to the care they need and deserve.

 “Today’s rule marks another critical milestone in the implementation of this historic law. It demonstrates CMS’s continued commitment to working with American health care providers and reflects the shared goal of allowing doctors and medical centers to shift to the new payment system by participating in the reforms at their own pace, helping to lay the groundwork for a successful transition in 2017.

 “While the rule must be carefully studied and examined in its entirety, this is an important step forward in the process.  I hope CMS will continue to maintain a robust dialogue with Congress, Medicare beneficiaries, and the health care community as a whole to ensure the proper implementation of this critical program.”

Last year, Congress enacted the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, bipartisan legislation that permanently repeals and replaces the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), also known as the “Doc Fix”, with an improved payment system based on legislation that was advanced by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in 2013.

This year, the Senate Finance Committee has tracked the implementation of the new law and held a hearing on the issue in July. This month, Hatch along with Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) outlined, in a letter, ways for CMS to improve its proposed 2017 implementation. The Committee will continue with its ongoing efforts to ensure the law is successfully implemented.