This week in Washington: The 117th Congress will be in session on Jan. 21.


CMS: 2022 Requests for Applications for the Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model and its Hospice Benefit Component
On Jan. 8, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model team will host a webinar on Jan. 14, 2021, from 4-5 p.m. ET. During this webinar, presenters will provide a brief review of the recently released calendar year (CY) 2022 requests for applications (RFAs) for the VBID Model and the Hospice Benefit Component. This session will also offer attendees an opportunity to ask follow-up questions. Please submit questions in advance by emailing the VBID mailbox at

CMS: MFAR to Be Formally Withdrawn
On Jan. 7, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced that CMS is withdrawing the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR). She added that the 2020 year-end legislation that included supplemental pay transparency provisions would help achieve the proposed rule’s goals. However, the withdrawal notice did not appear to be on the Federal Register website as of her announcement.

CMS Adds to ACO, ESCO Resources with Resource Transformation Toolkit, Case Studies and Tip Sheet
On Jan. 6, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the release of new resources highlighting strategies used by Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and End-Stage Renal Disease Seamless Care Organizations (ESCOs) in an effort to improve quality of care, lower health care costs and enhance beneficiary experience. These resources, posted on the ACO General Information web page, include:

  • care transformation toolkit that describes ACO approaches to developing and implementing programs that transform the delivery of care and relate to telehealth, home visits and timely access to skilled nursing facilities. Find the toolkit here.
  • Four case studies that feature specific ACO and ESCO initiatives to:
  • tip sheet that highlights strategies for enhancing education on home dialysis and for expanding the use of home dialysis. Find the tip sheet here.

CMS: Applications for MIPS Exceptions Due to COVID-19 Now Due Feb. 1
On Dec. 17, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) pushed back the deadline to Feb. 1 for doctors to apply for extreme and uncontrollable circumstances exceptions from the Merit-based Incentive Payment System to Feb. 1. CMS is reminding providers that that process can include a request to leave out one or more performance categories from their score due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the hardship application for the interoperability category would still have a Dec. 31 deadline. Find more information here.

Read more on healthcare policy in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Washington Healthcare Update.