The Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) recently met with key staff from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Region V over two days in Chicago last week. The meeting provided MSMS and the other medical societies, Medicare Administrative Contractor (MACs), and hospital associations located in the Region V states to learn more about upcoming CMS programs and policies. Additionally, MSMS and the other associations were able to share with CMS many of the challenges and frustrations voiced by our members pertaining to administrative burdens and increased regulation.
As one might expect, Medicare's new Quality Payment Program dominated much of the conversation. MSMS took the opportunity to raise the issue of onerous medical record reviews by Medicare Advantage plans. The other state societies joined MSMS in advocating for changes to reduce or eliminate the need for such reviews.
CMS also provided updates on a variety of other topics such as the Million Hearts® campaign, Physician Compare Initiative, alternative payment model initiatives, and the removal of beneficiaries' social security numbers from their Medicare cards. The medical societies and hospital associations present expressed logistical concerns about CMS's decision to not make the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) available through the Medicare eligibility system. Instead, physicians and other health care providers would have to rely on collecting the MBI from the beneficiary or obtaining it from the remittance advice.
Finally, MSMS stressed the need for more alignment and simplification among federal, state, and private quality initiatives in regards to measurement, reporting, and common data sources.
These opportunities to network and build relationships with CMS officials and our colleagues from neighboring states have proved valuable in helping to address MSMS member concerns with CMS on both an individual and global basis.