MACRA Toolkit for Cardiothoracic Surgeons

Preparing for the Quality Payment Program

In late 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized regulations implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and establishing the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP). All physicians should begin complying with these new requirements in 2017; MACRA-related pay adjustments take effect in 2019 based on 2017 performance.

This MACRA Toolkit for Cardiothoracic Surgeons offers important information about the program and recommendations to help cardiothoracic surgical practices prepare. For a more complete overview of QPP and updated educational materials, visit the CMS website.

Certain clinicians may have “special status” and be considered exempt from the QPP. To learn more about these exemptions, visit

QPP has two pathways: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). Cardiothoracic surgeons likely will follow the MIPS pathway for the foreseeable future, unless they participate in an Advanced APM through their hospital or another entity.