News Feature | October 4, 2016

Health IT Leader Reaffirms Support For Physicians In Light Of MACRA Flexible Reporting

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

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Modernizing Medicine remains steadfast in its commitment to help physicians transition.

Following the CMS announcement of a new, more flexible roll out plan for providers reporting under MACRA, one health information technology leader has reaffirmed its commitment to helping physicians transition to quality of care reporting. In a statement, Modernizing Medicine wrote that, while “picking the pace of participation” does provide some relief — particularly for practices that rely heavily on Medicare — all options still require some degree of quality reporting. The new CMS proposal allows physicians to choose their pace of participation, with several options to comply with MACRA, each requiring different degrees of quality of care reporting to be compliant.

“Modernizing Medicine and its affiliated companies including gMed remain committed to our mission to transform the way healthcare information is created, consumed, and utilized to increase efficiency and improve outcomes, and this includes providing easy, touch-based data entry for MACRA, MIPS, PQRS or any other mandate in our specialty-specific EHR system,” explained Daniel Cane, Modernizing Medicine’s CEO and co-founder.

Reaffirming its products and services have been developed from the beginning to save physicians time and reduce their administrative burden, Modernizing Medicine states it has and will continue to support customers as the industry transitions to an outcomes-based reimbursement model. CMO, Dr. Michael Sherling recommends providers use this time to more thoroughly vet the readiness of their technology vendors, determine the system’s clinical and operational analytics capabilities, and ensure that the shift to quality reporting will be smooth and successful.

“The evolution of MACRA and the repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate are important pieces of a much bigger transformation in the healthcare industry,” said Sherling. “Capturing structured data at the point of care enables physicians to use this information in multiple ways, whether to track patient outcomes longitudinally or submit data for the Quality Payment Program. We will continue to support our customers as the industry transitions to an outcomes-based reimbursement model, but this new flexible approach is good news for many medical providers who now have more time to change to a system that will help them avoid receiving a negative payment adjustment in 2019.”

The American Medical Association also lauded the new flexibilities. “The American Medical Association (AMA) strongly applauds Secretary Burwell and Acting Administrator Slavitt — and their teams — for listening to physicians' concerns about the timeline that was originally proposed for MACRA,” said AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, MD, in a public statement. “By adopting this thoughtful and flexible approach, the Administration is encouraging a successful transition to the new law by offering physicians options for participating in MACRA. This approach better reflects the diversity of medical practices throughout the country.

“The AMA believes the actions that the Administration announced today will help give physicians a fair shot in the first year of MACRA implementation. This is the flexibility that physicians were seeking all along, and we are looking forward to working with Acting Administrator Slavitt and the administration on other efforts to get MACRA off to a successful start."

The new MACRA guidelines include four specific options: Test the Quality Payment Program; Participate for part of the calendar year; Participate for the full calendar year; or Participate in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model in 2017. The CMS final rule will be released November 1, 2016.