MACRA: News Briefs

With less than five months to go before MACRA takes effect (barring a delay), here’s a roundup of recent news articles and content about the coming law .  .  .

Why the MACRA start date debate misses the point

HealthData Management

Synopsis: Most of the headlines surrounding CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt’s appearance before the Senate Finance Committee in July focused on a potential delay to MACRA’s start. While many providers are concerned they won’t be ready to meet the new law’s sprawling requirements, Ray Desrochers, executive vice president at HealthEdge, says talk of a delay obscures a larger, more urgent message: MACRA will affect on not only Medicare, but potentially all commercial health plans – at some point. Insurers must prepare to implement value-based contracts and react to the myriad demands that will arise from the complex physician payment models that lay ahead.

 MACRA: IT shops can help providers thrive under the new payment model

Healthcare IT News

Synopsis: Health care providers that complain about MACRA should focus their energies on preparing for the new law. That’s the message from industry insiders that say a good attitude will go a long way in determining which providers stay ahead of MACRA and which get tripped up. CMS is expected to release its final rule for MACRA in October, but that doesn’t mean a delay to the planned Jan. 1, 2017 state date is certain. Changes to the law are also possible. Still, providers would be wise to learn bone up on MACRA, perform a self-assessment of their readiness, and prepare to meet the law’s requirements.

MACRA, the End of Meaningful Use, and Beyond

HealthLeaders Media

Synopsis: Since MACRA became law in 2015, and fleshed out this spring, confusion regarding the future of meaningful use has been aplenty. While some health care industry professionals say the electronic health record (HER) and health information exchange (HIE) program is being pushed aside by MACRA, that’s not the case; in fact, Stage 3 Meaningful Use is planned for 2018. Much of meaningful use will be rolled into MACRA, not eliminated.

ACO Participation Prepares FPs for MACRA

AAFP

Synopsis: Many physicians may not realize that they’ve actually been preparing for MACRA for years. That’s the case for physicians that participate in accountable care organizations (ACOs). The organizations are specially tailored to provide high-value care, so the providers within them are well-positioned to make a smooth transition to MACRA. But physicians don’t need an ACO schooling to prepare for the rigors of MACRA. Just setting a few solid clinical goals and a good system for measuring and reporting them will go a long way toward providing the value-based care MACRA seeks.

MACRA Delay is “Inevitable,” Says Expert

Diagnostic Imaging

Synopsis: Medical groups such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) are advocating for a delay in MACRA’s rollout so that doctors have more time to prepare to meet the law’s complex requirements. In this podcast, two health care experts argue that a delay is either necessary or inevitable. The nearly 1,000 pages of text included in MACRA and the 3,900 public comments CMS received after the proposed regulations were released this spring are reason enough to push back the January start, they say.

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