Public Release: 

American College of Rheumatology releases statement on CMS final rule on MIPS and APMs

American College of Rheumatology

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized its policy implementing the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) incentive payment provisions in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), collectively referred to as the Quality Payment Program.

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) issued an initial comment stating it is "encouraged to see that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is listening to the concerns raised by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) regarding the need for reporting requirements that are simple, transparent, and tenable - especially for small and rural rheumatology practices."

The statement continues on to express optimism regarding "the broadening of exemptions from the program, which will help to protect small practices that already struggle to keep up with administrative burdens" and the inclusion of qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs) - including ACR's Rheumatology Informatics System for Effectiveness (RISE) registry - "as a reporting mechanism that MIPS-eligible clinicians and groups can use as intermediaries to submit data on measures and activities, decreasing the burden to individual rheumatologists."

The ACR's policy and legislative staff are closely examining the rule to determine whether some of the other key concerns raised by the rheumatology community - such as the inherent problems with the Resource Use category of MIPS, and the formidable barriers that exclude many rheumatologists from participating in the Alternative Payment Model (APM) track - have been sufficiently addressed.


The statement is available on the ACR website at

About the American College of Rheumatology

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) provides education, research, advocacy and practice management support to more than 6,400 U.S. rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals. In doing so, the ACR advocates for high-value, high-quality healthcare policies and reforms that will ensure safe, effective, affordable and accessible rheumatology care. Learn more at

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