Preparing your practice for MACRA changes

When it comes to healthcare legislation, providers constantly find themselves in one of two statuses: either adapting to the most recent legislation or preparing for the next. This probably sounds familiar, especially since in many cases, you are asked to do both at the same time.

Take, for example, the pending Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) changes arriving in 2017. If you are a provider that bills $30,000 a year or more to Medicare Part B or have more than 100 Medicare Part B patients, the changes to MACRA are integral to your practice. So how are you progressing? Are you in the adaptation phase or the preparation phase? Or are you still unsure what the changes entail?

To help you no matter what your status, here’s a brief overview of some of the highlights of MACRA for 2017.

Understanding the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)

Proper use of MIPS will be essential to your receiving future payments, so it's important you understand it. Through the MIPS pathway, the Medicare payments you receive are based on the scores your practice earns in four different categories: quality, resource use, clinical practice improvement activities and advancing care information.

Your practice will be scored in each of these categories, and those scores will be combined to create a weighted composite score that may adjust the payment you receive to the “positive,” “negative” or “neutral.” The program is slated to begin January 1, 2017, with a 4 percent adjustment expected for 2019 and a 9 percent adjustment by 2022.

Each healthcare provider will be evaluated through 2017 to establish a baseline for future quality measurements. If you choose not to participate in this initial evaluation, you will “receive a negative 4 percent payment adjustment” for the payments starting in 2019.

Finding the right time to enroll

While evaluation eligibility begins with the start of the new year, you have the freedom to enroll anytime between January 1 and October 2. All performance data must be entered by the last day of March 2018.

Supporting your performance data in 2017

Quality, resource use, clinical practice improvement activities and advancing care information: Your practice will be assessed on each of these parameters in the coming year, and the results you receive will affect your ability to earn future revenue. Updating your processes to comply with MIPS regulations can support these parameters, provided it’s done correctly.

ICANotes can help. Our MACRA-compliant EHR solution makes your documentation and billing simple and efficient for everyone. And that gives you more time to focus on what you’re truly passionate about — improving the quality of patient care and bringing the best possible service to your most important reviewers: your patients.

Learn more about how ICANotes can help your practice prepare for MACRA in 2017.

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