CMS is looking to overhaul MACRA and remove reporting barriers for quality measures, according to the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
Dr. Kate Goodrich, director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, said the agency is reviewing all quality measures under MACRA to determine if there are ways to “automatically extract required quality data from electronic records” that will relieve physicians needing to report such data.
Goodrich, the agency's CMO, said CMS isn't turning back from the move to value-based payments and plans to launch more alternative payment models (APMs) this year.
Goodrich said CMS doesn’t expect these efforts will delay implementing MACRA requirements in 2019.
Physicians will likely rejoice at the news that CMS is looking to make it easier to report quality data and adding APMs. Removing regulatory burdens and offering providers more choices are some of Trump administration's healthcare goals.
One common complaint about MACRA is that it’s too burdensome for smaller practices. The CMS decided last November not to require smaller practices to take part in MIPS. However, large systems have voiced similar concerns about MACRA’s demand on larger systems.
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission also recommended repealing the payment track for MIPS. The group, which offers advice to Congress, instead recommended withholding about 2% of payments for physicians not in an APM. Providers who join an APM would have the chance to recover the withheld amount under MedPAC's proposal.
The CMS is well aware of problems with reporting data. The agency recently said it is asking clinicians to take part in a year-long study looking into the burden of reporting data for MIPS.
The agency is also testing whether MACRA and physicians in MIPS can reduce Medicare spending. The pilot test will analyze costs connected with eight procedures and medical conditions, including percutaneous coronary intervention, knee arthroplasty, cataract removal, lower limb revascularization, colonoscopy, intracranial hemorrhage and pneumonia.