Responding to MACRA in 2016

Preparing for MACRA includes paying attention to other related health IT and payment issues.

Last year, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, also known as MACRA, created the potential for changes in the way medical organizations conduct payments. In a statement outlining the "top 9 issues" that will affect physicians this year, the American Medical Association listed medical reform as the first, citing the aftermath of MACRA as a "giant leap forward for Medicare reform." That organization intends to continue working with the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and encouraging physicians to take part.

The official MIPS timeline will take place over six years.

"Shaping the MIPS so that it fixes the problems of the current system and is beneficial for both physicians and patients will be at the heart of Medicare reform efforts in the coming year," the AMA states in this document. It also states that insurer networks are "expected to continue narrowing" as major health insurers merge.

There are more potential developments for the way this Act meshes with previous initiatives. For example, Politico notes that the meaningful use program could be "folded" into MIPS, as upcoming proposals may assert later this year.

The official MIPS timeline will take place over six years, between 2015 and 2021. The website of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services states that MIPS will operate off of multiple principles in addition to EHR meaningful use, such as quality and clinical practice improvement.

Practices that don't have the proper understanding of relevant health reform issues yet may need the assistance of an adaptable consultant that understands provider needs fully as well as the most recent regulations. LW Consulting aims to provide custom support that fits the necessary changes on the horizon.

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