AMA launches online MACRA help for physician practices

The web-based tools, with advice on how the new law will affect reimbursement, do not require AMA membership.
By Beth Jones Sanborn
10:18 AM

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, with its sweeping changes for how providers will be paid, is just weeks away from finalization and is set to launch soon thereafter. The American Medical Association has unveiled two new tools to help physicians navigate the new reimbursement landscape.

The AMA Payment Model Evaluator and The AMA STEPS Forward collection of educational modules are both available for use on the AMA website, and require only a login to site, not AMA membership, the organization said during a conference call.

The AMA Payment Model Evaluator offers initial assessments to physicians so they can determine how MACRA will impact their practices, and what path might best suit their group. It was developed with physicians and input from partners, and will give physicians and their staff a brief assessment, as well as relevant educational and actionable resources.

Physicians and medical practice administrators need only access the AMA website, find the MACRA tools link on the bottom right side of the homepage, and click their way to the tool. Once they have filled out the online questionnaire, they will receive guidance for participating in the MACRA payment model most suited to them. The Evaluator will be continually updated in response to regulatory changes, and to keep practices up to speed throughout the reform process.

[Also: With MACRA, doctors have big concerns for small practices]

STEPS Forward is a collection of 'practice improvement strategies' with MACRA-specific tools. Each module focuses on a specific topic, offering practical solutions, implementation guidance, case studies, continuing medical education, and downloadable tools and resources.

"Physicians and their practice staff can use these to help improve practice efficiency and ultimately enhance patient care, physician satisfaction and practice sustainability," AMA said in a statement.

The full collection now includes 42 modules, including implementing team-based care, electronic health record selection and implementation, preparing practices for value-based care, implementing team documentation, and Quality Reporting and the importance of Qualified Clinical Data Registries in maximizing success.

Also, the AMA launched a ReachMD a five-episode podcast series called Inside Medicare's New Payment System. Andy Slavitt, CMS acting administrator, AMA staff experts, and others are featured on the series.