June 30, 2017
2 min read

More than half of doctors are not completely ready for MACRA

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An AMA survey revealed that 51% of physicians who are involved in practice decision-making are only somewhat knowledgeable about the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 and the Quality Payment Program.

David Barbe
David O. Barbe

The same report indicated that only 8% of the 1,000 respondents described themselves as deeply knowledgeable about this program and its requirements.

A previous survey of 600 physicians showed that more than half had not heard of MACRA, more than a year after it was signed into law by then-President Barack Obama.

According to AMA, MACRA encourages physicians to adopt value-based payment models in health care that connect Medicare’s reimbursement to quality and performance reporting. The law went into effect this year with “pick your pace” options for those mandated to participate in the Quality Payment Program. According to CMS, the program will streamline policy and enhance technology and operations, thus revolutionizing Medicare to pay smarter for higher quality care.

“This survey showed that about a third of respondents are unlikely to meet the basic standard of one patient, one measure, no penalty. To help physicians meet that standard, the AMA developed and deployed resources to guide physicians toward compliance,” David O. Barbe, MD, AMA president, said in the release.

The tools include a step-by-step video on minimum reporting requirements to avoid a penalty in 2019 and a payment model evaluator that offers a brief assessment of where a practice stands, he said in the release.

“In just 10 steps, physicians can successfully meet the standard under MACRA. Those who are prepared to report more data can realize rewards for improvement and for delivering high-quality, high-value care,” Barbe said. Before the AMA survey came out, AAFP and ACP also created resources to help their members get ready for the Quality Payment Program.

On its website, AAFP features an executive summary that highlights some important provisions of CMS' recently proposed updates to the Quality Payment Program.

ACP launched a tool earlier this spring called Quality Payment Advisor to help its members prepare for the program, which uses an individual practice’s characteristics, quality measurement experience and quality improvement activities to point to resources that are much more tailored to a practice’s or physician’s needs. ACP has also provided other recommendations, such as reviewing Quality and Resource Use Reports and understanding and beginning to implement aspects of the patient-centered medical home.

AMA stated that its survey also showed that 56% of the respondents plan to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System in 2017, a payment system with variable incentive payments or penalties based on certain quality and efficiency measures, while 18% anticipate qualifying for higher and more stable payment as an Advanced Alternative Payment Model participant.

Further reading : AAFP Crafts QPP Executive Summary to Inform Family Physicians (accessed 06-28-17)

Disclosure: Barbe is president of AMA.