athenahealth promises customers will meet MIPS criteria or it will incur the penalties

Under the guarantee, the company will incur all penalties for customers on its athenaOne platform who are unable to meet MIPS standards, subject to limitations.
By Jessica Davis
12:42 PM

Athenahealth said on Monday that it will guarantee customers using athenaOne will be able to meet Merit-Based Incentive Payment System standards or athenahealth will incur the penalties, subject to certain limitations.

The company said its MIPS guarantee will help protect providers and practices from downward payment adjustments under the final MACRA rule, set to be released on January 1, 2018.

The athenaOne cloud-based EHR, practice management and care coordination platform has workflows that manage quality, collect data and handle reporting for MIPS. 

[Also: Jonathan Bush slams meaningful use as 'incredibly dark hubris']

All providers using the platform are guaranteed to “perform at or above the national performance threshold set by CMS,”athenahealth said a statement. Further, athenaOne customers will avoid payment penalties to Medicare Part B fee schedule.

“At a time when nearly all providers across the U.S. are expected to keep up with ever-changing reimbursement rules and an estimated 45 percent of those who bill Medicare Part B are facing payment cuts under the MIPS program, we’re looking to lift the burden, Jonathan Bush, athenahealth’s CEO, said in the statement. “The complexity of government reimbursement is just too onerous; and, it’s not something providers or practice staff should have to master.”

Athenahealth’s guarantee is touted as the first for the industry and joins other athenahealth guarantee programs, such as the 97.6 percent 2015 Meaningful Use attestation rate and 98.9 percent avoidance of 2016 Physician Quality Reporting System and Value Modifier penalties.

To be covered under the guarantee, providers must be new athenaOne clients live on athenaNet by June 30, 2017 or providers must upgrade to the athenaOne platform by that date, according to the announcement.

“MIPS represents CMS’ unsubtle change in approach from ‘carrot’ to ‘stick,’ Bush said. “athenahealth is standing up to potentially bear the brunt of that stick’s whack, going at risk ourselves to manage the administrative technocracy so that doctors can be doctors.”

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
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