AWIR December Advocacy Newsletter
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Winter has arrived with many celebratory traditions and that beloved one, the end of the year crunch to finish and be ready to start fresh in January. This year on January 1st we have yet more to learn to navigate with the first year of reporting for MACRA. Very little will impact your practice as much as this massive overhaul of reimbursement rules from CMS. I encourage you to get a cup of something warm and sit down to start reading and engaging with your practice manager, EMR and staff to be ready. Remember this is the first year of reporting and it will affect your reimbursement for the 2019 year.
Included in this newsletter are links to articles on the ACR work force study, CMS fee schedule for 2017, the Part B demo project and MACRA. These key topics will update you on where things are now regarding these topics. All will impact our practices or have the potential to as we go forward. I urge you to go through them during this end of the year season and prepare for 2017.

Stephanie Ott, MD
AWIR Board member
Chair for Advocacy

Enjoy this mid-winter season especially with the wonderful diverse traditions surrounding it, blessings to you all however this time is special to you.  Plan for warmer weather by saving the date for the 2017 AWIR Annual Meeting in Hilton Head August 17-20, 2017.
Registration is now open! Look forward to seeing you all there.

The MACRA rules were modified and released in November, please take time to review the changes on the ACR and CSRO websites. CMS created several ways to report, even part of a year to keep from losing money with decreased reimbursement. The time you put into preparing will pay off in 2019.

The ACR is looking into APMs for rheumatologists as well as options to best prepare and participate in both pathways of MACRA. ACR has a subcommittee looking into the APM model(s) for rheumatology and an update will be provided later. Click on the links below to start learning and preparing!


Links to more MACRA information from CSRO

A recent article from the ACP outlines Medicare physician fees for 2017 that we all should become familiar with. This does have direct impact on reimbursement for 2017.
CMS rules:
  • Medicare physician fee schedule 2017
  • Hospital outpatient payment system
Results of the 2015 US Rheumatology Specialists Workforce Study are staggering and sobering, but also enlightening. It shows us the growing number of women in the rheumatology work force and the huge need for increased funding for our trainees and to expand our training opportunities.

2015 US Rheumatology Specialists Workforce Study
With the results of the election no one is certain what will happen with the Part B Demo. A lot of speculation surrounds this topic, but there is no clear cut answer. There will be more information to come in coming weeks. Read more details of up to date thoughts surrounding Part B in this article.
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