America’s physicians are overwhelmed with new federal regulations and are calling on the government to give them a break, according to the American Medical Association and dozens of national and local medical societies in a new letter to CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

Simultaneous implementation of five initiatives will create extraordinary financial and administrative burdens, and mass confusion, for doctors, the letter says. The initiatives include the value-based modifier, penalties under the e-prescribing program, the Physician Quality Reporting System, EHR meaningful use and ICD-10.

“We urge CMS to re-evaluate the penalty timelines associated with these programs and examine the administrative and financial burdens and intersection of these various federal regulatory programs,” according to the letter. “We also urge CMS to use its discretionary authority provided by Congress under these programs to develop solutions for synchronizing these programs to minimize burdens to physician practices, and propose these solutions in the physician fee schedule proposed rule for calendar year 2013.”

Specifically, the organizations call on CMS to discontinue plans to back-date penalty programs, while synchronizing incentive and penalty programs to ensure physicians successfully participating in one program are protected from penalties associated with other programs. Relief from this back-dating policy will also avoid the reality that physicians could get an incentive and penalty for the same program in the same year, according to the physicians.

The physicians also warn of the financial threat from a looming 27 percent Medicare payment cut and a 2 percent cut from the definite reduction sequester, both in 2013. The letter to CMS is available here.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Health Data Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access