Passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is among the most significant changes to occur in medicine in decades—a positive result of family medicine’s demands for payment reform, and an opportunity to improve care delivery and restore joy in practice. That being said, you may not be aware of or paying attention to upcoming changes to Medicare payment, and you may not know your level of readiness for MACRA implementation.
“Medicare Payment Reform: Making Sense of MACRA” is a must read (March/April issue of Family Practice Management written by Amy Mullins, MD, the AAFP’s medical director of quality improvement) as is the accompanying AAFP News article “AAFP Launches Full-Court Press to Ensure FPs Thrive in New Payment Era.”
Until the details of regulations emerge, the following are activities you can start immediately to prepare your practice for a profitable transition:
- If you have not been reporting for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), it’s time to start.
- If PQRS is off the table for your practice, you should at least understand how to report quality measures; the AAFP has resources to help.
- Review your practice’s Quality Resource and Use Reports because they will tell you where you stand in the resource use category—one of four categories that will determine future payments in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track (you need to know now if you are a high utilizer of resources because that will count against you).
- Start evaluating your practice in terms of clinical practice improvement activities—such as access to care, patient engagement, and care coordination—that will be measured when MACRA is implemented.
The American Academy of Family Physicians will soon be launching a comprehensive, multi-year member education and communications effort designed to simplify the transition and provide the guidance you need to realize the benefits of MACRA and value-based payment—stay tuned for details.
In addition, the OAFP is maintaining a MACRA resource page on its website and we will continue to alert you to updates as MACRA-related resources roll out.