- A new Medscape study, using survey data collected from September 12-30, 2016, found most respondents either haven’t heard of or don’t know much about MACRA or MIPS.
- Of the responding physicians, 28.6% said they have not heard of MACRA and 39.2% said they have but don't know a lot about it.
- On a related note, 40.2% said they have not heard of MIPS and 34.9% said they have but don't know much about it.
The lack of knowledge could signal some amount of trouble for the impending implementation of MACRA, for which the final rule just dropped this month. MACRA, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, addresses Medicare payment reform while MIPS, the Merit-based Incentive Programs System, provides one of two options through which providers can submit data required by MACRA.
The Medscape survey mirrors the findings, perhaps with some improvement, of Deloitte’s 2016 Survey of U.S. Physicians released in July that found only about 50% of practicing physicians had heard of MACRA at that time. The Medscape survey was smaller in scope, with its analysis based on responses from 282 Medscape member physicians who saw 20 or more patients per month, compared to the earlier Deloitte survey based on data from 600 U.S. physicians representative of the American Medical Association file.
The new survey points toward a need for further education about MACRA, and the struggles some physicians are acing in keeping up with new policy.
Among the respondent comments highlighted were, “I can't keep up with all the changes in payment, board certification, keeping computer systems working, and oh yeah, taking care of patients!!”
Other comments pointed toward concerns about how MACRA would affect them financially, how it will affect their time on patient care, and how they will go about implementing it. Several comments indicated some physicians are so fed up they plan to leave patient care or opt out and operate a cash practice. The majority of responses were split fairly evenly (from 20 to 22%) between physicians at community hospitals, academic hospitals, large group practices (with 8 or more providers), and small group practices. Just 12.6% of responses came from solo practitioners, with the remaining responses coming from other settings.