Across the country, healthcare practices are working hard to implement Medicare’s new value-based payment system ahead of tight timelines. According to a recent survey, however, a number of similar issues are putting their readiness at risk.
Common MACRA Challenges
Earlier this year, Black Book Research asked nearly 9,000 physician practices about the big shift to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Among its findings, the market research company uncovered some key obstacles that are actively impeding smooth transitions. These include:
Procrastination. When it comes to preparing for the inevitable arrival of value-based care, Black Book found that many practices are kicking the proverbial can down the road. About eight in ten practices have either yet to develop a MACRA strategy or plan to outsource at the last minute if necessary.
Overwhelming pressure. According to Black Book's data, about three in four independent clinicians are feeling so overwhelmed by compliance issues, they are considering selling their practices to groups or hospitals to sidestep capital costs and administrative burdens.
Limited understanding. On the surface, MACRA requirements appear relatively easy to meet; however, the Black Book survey showed that only 19 percent of respondents could confidently assert that they understood how to align data with reporting measures.
Limited technical literacy. Three in four practices with fewer than three physicians said they struggle to manage the technology basics. According to Black Book, this is one big reason why so many are turning to experts for consulting, medical practice software, and training that will allow them to succeed in value-based care.
A lack of awareness. According to the Black Book survey, many practices are unaware of certain MACRA and MIPS details. For example, over half did not know that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will publish compliance data on its Physician Compare website, which will be accessible via Health Grades, Angie’s list, Google, and Yelp. What's more, 69 percent of surveyed practice managers had no idea they needed to report on a half-dozen quality measures; while a whopping 94 percent were unsure how to gauge their Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which measures clinical practice improvement, resource use, overall quality and the use of EHR technology.
Stepping Out of the Pack
At 2,398 pages in length, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is anything but light reading. With so much information to digest, it's understandable that many healthcare practices would struggle to understand the details related to every critical requirement. Unfortunately, these struggles will cause many to lose revenue.
If you aren't sure how to proceed with an effective readiness plan, it might be a good time to enlist outside help from qualified experts. With all their complexities, it may be tempting to put certain readiness issues on hold; however, by taking a proactive stance, your organization can take a risk-free step toward value-based care, while ensuring greater success in the years ahead.