Family physician underlines MACRA changes
Meigs observed that MACRA — representing a shift to a value-based payment system — is a complicated law that necessitates close attention from all practitioners. To quell concerns expressed by his colleagues, he suggested that physicians who already observe the existing Physician Quality Reporting System should have little trouble adapting to the new code, as they already meet certain MACRA requirements.
After the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a summary of the massive (2,171-page) legislation enacted in October, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) further extracted the main points: doctors will have a choice in pace and reporting period; no penalty will be assessed for MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System) practices; and participants in Medicare Part B will receive a 0.5 percent payment update for 2017, with the accompanying reminder to adhere to 2017 participation to avoid slight penalties.
Four types of “pick-your-pace” options are available, along with performance feedback, alternative payment models and choices pertaining to small and rural practices.
Meigs expressed sympathy for the frustration conveyed by colleagues. Having directly experienced “the administrative hassle and regulatory burden of modern medical practice every day” himself, he underlined the law’s positive changes, reminding physicians that it adds stability, predictability and choice.
“I believe that payments to family medicine based on quality and value will be much more beneficial to us than the fee-for-service, volume-based system in which we currently operate,” he said.
AAFP recommends that family physicians examine its correlating resource, entitled "Understanding Your Pathway," contained in the association’s “Making Sense of MACRA” series specifically designed to help practitioners grasp the finer points of the legislation.
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American Academy of Family Physicians 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy Leawood, KS - 66211