Press Releases

Statement from the American College of Rheumatology Regarding CMS Final Rule on MIPS and APMs

While we have not had time to review the final rule in its entirety, we are 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. Giving providers the flexibility of multiple options for participation in the first and second years will help ensure a smooth transition to the new payment system, and the continued delivery of quality care to Medicare patients living with rheumatic diseases. We also appreciated the broadening of exemptions from the program, which will help to protect small practices that already struggle to keep up with administrative burdens, along with the reduction in the number of required measures to be reported.

We were also pleased to see that qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs) – including ACR’s Rheumatology Informatics System for Effectiveness (RISE) registry – were included 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. Utilizing QCDRs to streamline and integrate quality reporting programs will give providers more flexibility and help realize the shared goal of improving patient outcomes under MACRA.

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.

Jocelyn Givens
404-633-3777, ext. 810


The American College of Rheumatology 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.

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