American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting
American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting
May 05, 2016
2 min read

Top 10 ACP recommendations for members preparing for MACRA update

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WASHINGTON — ACP officials have released a series of recommendations for members who are now reviewing the upcoming update in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which is poised to shift how Medicare payments are tied to the cost and quality of care.

In a panel including ACP President Wayne J. Riley, MD, and Shari Erickson, MPH, ACP vice president of governmental affairs and medical practice, officials stated they are seeking to guide physicians through the upcoming payment system changes.

“This is top-of-mind for our agenda to serve our members,” Riley said. “Physicians don’t go into medicine because we are focused so much on payment, but I can tell you that our members really want to understand the new world order. They want us to provide them with the tools to negotiate and navigate through the somewhat choppy waters of payment reform, and I’m very proud of the college’s work in that area.”

According to Erickson, the “top 10 steps” members can take, starting now, to begin preparing for the changes are:

  • understand the law, and refer to the ACP website, or use the dedicated email address, for any questions;
  • attest to meaningful use for 2016;
  • participate in the Physician Quality Reporting System;
  • review their Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRUR);
  • use a CMS-certified vendor to collect consumer assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey data;
  • understand and begin implementing aspects of the patient-centered medical home;
  • participate in a medical neighborhood and provide care coordination;
  • review patient population and perform risk stratification, and implement care management for high-risk patients; and
  • incorporate the ACP’s High Value Care initiative into one’s practice.

“No matter how these new regulations play out,” Erickson said, “these recommendations will help, no matter what.”

The briefing comes less than a week after HHS announced a new proposed rule implementing certain streamlining provisions of MACRA.

Rather than the current patchwork of programs currently in place measuring the value and quality of care, the proposed rule would implement previous efforts by Congress to streamline those programs through a framework called the Quality Payment Program. The program includes two paths: The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

The proposed rule aims to streamline and reduce reporting burden across these categories, according to HHS. CMS would begin measuring performance for physicians and clinicians through MIPS in 2017, with payments based on those results beginning in 2019.

ACP officials said they were encouraged by the proposed rule, which they said would simplify what they characterized as a significant administrative burden and lack of flexibility in meeting requirements of quality reporting.

Robert Doherty, ACP senior vice president of governmental affairs and public policy, said the new rule implementation would alleviate the issue of physician “burnout.”

“I think many of you may be aware that there’s a huge problem of physician burnout in the United states, and there’s a lot of reasons for that, but one of the principal reasons is the administrative hassles of physicians who want to take care of their patients, but who spend so much time with their EHRs, and documenting, and everything else,” Doherty said. “So one of Congress’ clear intents, and something that we really pushed for, was that, yes, there’s going to be some measures in talking about payment for value, but to simplify the reporting under MIPS, where things are streamlined under one program.” – by Jason Laday