On October 14, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") released a pre-publication version of the final rule with comment period ("Final Rule") implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 ("MACRA"). MACRA repealed the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate and instituted the Quality Payment Program in its place, a new model based on rewarding quality care and outcomes at a provider level, while promoting Medicare's long-term goals to transition away from fee-for-service payment. The new rule is likely to have implications for telehealth providers, as new value-based programs encourage activities that improve the quality of care and reward providers for reducing costs. Moreover, telehealth is an important tool that providers can use to help fulfill the goals of MACRA, such as improved information sharing, greater patient engagement, and broader provider partnerships. A series of more detailed alerts on MACRA, the Quality Payment Program, and the impact for telehealth providers is coming soon.

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