MACRA Year 2: 4 Strategies for Optimizing Performance

Becker's Clinical Leadership & Infection Control (07/02/18) Bess, Sonya

While there were no major surprises in the 2018 final rule for the federal Quality Payment Program, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), certain aspects of MACRA Year 2 could still be confusing for eligible clinicians (ECs). ECs and physician practices should assess their progress and identify any areas where greater education and focus may be necessary. Sonya Bess of Pulse Systems Inc. recommends four ways "providers can close their knowledge gap around MACRA Year 2 requirements and position themselves for strong performance." First, ECs and physician practices should understand their quality measures. A 2017 American Medical Association survey found that three-quarters of eligible physicians did not feel well prepared to meet the reporting requirements of MACRA Year 1. ECs and practice administrators should review the quality measures they have selected so they know how to apply and correctly code the measures, make sure their billing software and clearinghouse can properly submit quality data codes to the carrier and routinely inspect the remittance advice notice received from the carrier or Medicare Administrative Contractor. Second, ECs and physician practices should be aware of the change in Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) quality reporting requirements. This year, clinicians must report on six quality measures through a single submission reporting method, rather than a combination of methods. Third, ECs and physician practices should determine which reporting method holds the greatest benefit for them. Clinicians who report on MIPS quality measures using their electronic health record have 55 quality measures to choose from, while clinicians who report on quality measures through a qualified registry have nearly 300 measures from which to select. Finally, ECs and physician practices should know when to report as an individual and when to report as a group. "Taking the time to assess your progress now and determine where gaps in knowledge or processes exist could make a tremendous difference in the payment adjustment you receive in the 2020 payment year," Bess concludes.

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