- The American Medical Association and other provider groups testied before the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee how they are planning to implement the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), enacted into law last year, Morning Consult reports.
- MACRA removed the sustainable growth rate formula, which cut Medicare payments for services, and replaced it with a .5% year-over-year increase in the physician fee schedule.
- The Office for the National Coordinator for Health IT has a July 1 deadline to establish MACRA interoperbaility measures. The MACRA draft rule should be released this summer.
The hearing focused on what practices need to do to successfully implement the law. While the proposed final rule's release may be imminent, that doesn't mean practitioners should rest on their laurels.
As Arien Malec, ONC Health IT Standards Committee Co-Chair and VP at RelayHealth, told Healthcare Dive in March, "Every dollar for how you’re going to get paid by CMS is going to change and the measurement year is earlier than you think. If you were thinking about this and looking at where the world is going, you should be starting the upfront work to participate in an alternative payment program now."
Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) stated at the panel that because providers know the change is coming, they should prepare now, Morning Consult reported.
The American Academy of Physicians said it has launched a multiyear program to educate its members about MACRA reforms.
Barbara McAneny, immediate past chair of the American Medical Association, told the panel that many doctors are unfamiliar with the law and its ramifications for them, according to an AMA news release. She urged CMS to consolidate performance reporting, broaden alternative payment models and improve measurement to reflect differences between medical practices.
McAneny said doctors consider measurements to be “burdensome, inaccurate, and often outdated,” as well as extremely costly, Healthcare Finance News reports. “Practices spend more than 700 hours per physician and more than $15.4 billion dollars to report quality measures,” she testified.
Robert McLean, with the American College of Physicians, said that if implemented well, MACRA could be “remarkable ‘shot in the arm’” to combat burnout in the provider community, according to Morning Consult. The ACP wants CMS to make reporting easier for providers and to promote patient-centric care.