MACRA might be more flexible, but doctors still aren't ready for quality reporting

Despite the flexibility promised by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the vast majority of physicians say detailed QPP rules are too burdensome.
By Mike Miliard
03:53 PM
MACRA QPP reporting

Fewer than one in four physicians polled for a new American Medical Association survey say they're well-prepared to meet requirements of MACRA's Quality Payment Program in 2017.

What's more, half of the 1,000 physicians who responded to the poll, conducted by AMA (with help from KPMG), say MACRA's requirements for quality reporting and IT adoption are too burdensome, according to the survey.

Even with "pick your pace" flexibility for embracing value-based payment strategies, practices are wary of the demands required for participation in the Quality Payment Program, according to AMA. More than half of docs (56 percent) say they'll participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System in 2017, while a more select 18 percent will strive for success under the Advanced Alternative Payment Model.

[Also: This is the top tech for quality improvement under MACRA, KLAS says]

Still, just barely a majority (51 percent) of those physicians involved in practice decision-making say they're somewhat knowledgeable about MACRA's rules; only 8 percent call themselves as "deeply knowledgeable" about the program.

Where large numbers of physicians are in agreement – 90 percent of those polled – is when it comes reporting requirements, which are almost uniformly seen as either "somewhat" or "very" burdensome.

Among the biggest complaints: the time required to file reports, the challenge of understanding detailed requirements, uncertainty around how MIPS performance is scored and the financial cost of capturing and reporting quality measures.

[Also: MACRA rule adds EHR flexibility, pushes back mandate for 2015 editions]

Not surprisingly, those physicians in small practices of four or fewer providers were most likely to see requirements as very burdensome and say they're unprepared for the new framework.

"While progress has been made in preparing physicians for the move from volume in the fee for service payment model to value in alternative payment models, it is important that we do even more to assist physicians with the transition," said S. Lawrence Kocot, national leader of the Center for Healthcare Regulatory Insight at KPMG.

The AMA touted its resources to help physicians find success under MACRA, such as video guides to minimum reporting requirements and a payment model evaluator that can help practices assess their readiness for QPP.

"In just 10 steps, physicians can successfully meet the standard under MACRA," said AMA President David O. Barbe, MD. "Those who are prepared to report more data can realize rewards for improvement and for delivering high-quality, high-value care."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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