CMS Head Sees “Proliferation of Opportunities” for Post-MACRA Providers

| URAC Staff
image of group of medical professional talking

Commenting on the imminent release of a final rule on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt anticipated this new healthcare policy will give providers a “proliferation of opportunities.”

The final MACRA rule is expected to be released by CMS on or about November 1. It will implement the Quality Payment Program (QPP) that will replace the Sustainable Growth Rate governing Medicare reimbursements for providers treating Medicare beneficiaries. The QPP promotes value-based, coordinated care over the traditional fee-for-service method. It requires that participating practices cite progress through measures of performance.

While Slavitt noted that providers can enter the MACRA system at any pace they choose, he suggested during a presentation at the recent CAPG Colloquium in Washington, DC that “the best way to go fast is to start slow.” He added that those who are quicker to embrace more coordination and risk should “make sure you create a path” for those who are just beginning the process.

It seems Slavitt expects that many practices have a lot of catching up to do before they can adequately meet MACRA goals. One indicator of this is a September CMS blog post in which he announced four new levels of QPP performance data participation for 2017 that came in response to physician feedback.

“In advancing providers along the continuum toward more accountable care, MACRA will undoubtedly be the catalyst for major change in healthcare. Slavitt is absolutely right that there are plenty of opportunities out there for those ready and willing to accept additional risk,” said URAC Director of Government Relations Aaron Turner-Phifer. “Providers who are not in a position to accept risk can still be successful under MACRA, but they must start preparing today for the change MACRA will bring.”

URAC – the independent leader in promoting healthcare quality through accreditation, certification, and measurement – offers accreditation and certification programs designed to assist organizations in demonstrating their quality in integrated and coordinated care.

For practices new to coordinated care, URAC has a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Certification program that offers three levels of recognition meant to meet organizations at their particular stage of development. This stepwise approach allows applicants to transform and grow as they learn to meet quality standards. URAC’s PCMH Certification was already recognized by CMS in the draft MACRA rule. URAC also offers Accountable Care Accreditation as well as a Clinical Integration Accreditation program that helps organizations adhere to Federal Trade Commission antitrust guidelines.

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