MACRA Preparedness: And the Survey Says…

Posted on 19 Jul, 2017 |comments_icon 3|By Jeff G Lawson

MACRA stress is high, and MACRA readiness is low, according to a recent AMA/ KPMG survey that reports less than one of four physicians define themselves as “well prepared” to meet the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015’s requirements for this year.

1,000 physicians directly involved with decision-making for their practices were surveyed. Despite CMS’s “pick your pace” options for practitioners required to participate in MACRA’s Quality Payment Program (QPP), 90% felt the reporting requirements were “somewhat” or “very” burdensome. More than half of the respondents described MACRA’s requirements as “very” burdensome.

Even with familiarity gained from experience with PQRS, Meaningful Use, and similar programs—which should contribute considerably to QPP readiness—25% of this population do not feel adequately equipped to navigate the QPP.

High Fail Rate Predicted

What does the AMA/ KPMG survey say? Bottom line, according to KPMG, is that roughly “a third of respondents are unlikely to meet the basic standard of one patient, one measure, no penalty.”

Among the biggest challenges noted were the time required to report performance, understanding requirements and how MIPS performance is scored, and the costs involved to correctly capture and report performance.

How Does This Apply to Me?

Chances are, like the overwhelming majority—or, rather, the overwhelmed majority—the word MACRA sends chills down your spine. The good news is that you’re not the only one struggling to come to terms with it. Even better news is that your struggle has been made known to CMS, who is expected to respond in 2018, perhaps with more accommodations and leniencies.

In the Meantime, Don’t Do Nothing

Do something simply doesn’t cover it. The mantra—don’t do nothing, don’t do nothing, don’t do nothing—emphasizes the double negative consequences of neglecting to act. First, if you do nothing, you’re automatically strapped with a penalty. Second, your freedom from penalty is only one measure away.

Mark the date. The deadline to start MACRA participation is October 2, 2017.

Be encouraged. MACRA will get easier. But you must first dip your toe in the water. Pursue MACRA know-how as if your medical practice’s financial health depends on—because it does. In the very least, for 2017, report a single Advancing Care Information (ACI) or Improvement Activity (IA) measure and spare yourself a negative 4% payment adjustment.


Learn how to navigate MACRA requirements—and stay on track for optimum reimbursement with strategies to avoid payment cuts in the coming years. Pick up your copy of the Guidebook to Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.




Jeff G Lawson

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