Internists recommend steps to ensure success of Medicare's 'value-based' payment reforms
The American College of Physicians (ACP) today shared its perspectives on what the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the medical profession itself, needs to do to ensure that the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is implemented successfully and as Congress intended.
Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, Robert M. McLean, MD, FACP, a member of ACP's Board of Regents, chair of its Medical Practice and Quality committee, an associate clinical professor of medicine at Yale University and a practicing internal medicine physician, spoke about what ACP is doing to help its 143,000 members be prepared to succeed under the landmark law.
"I truly believe that MACRA can be a 'shot in the arm' to combat burnout, if it is rolled out as Congress intended," Dr. McLean noted. "To this end, the College has provided CMS with our views on the priorities it must address as MACRA is implemented."
He highlighted three in particular:
- Establish better measures and less burdensome reporting;
- Create realistic pathways for patient-centered medical homes (PCMH); and
- Define eligible alternative payment model (APM) requirements.
Dr. McLean cited exchanges he has had with colleagues about what he called "laudatory goals," which now - with the passage of MACRA - can be fulfilled by aligning and simplifying some of the measures and reporting, and providing rewards for involvement with advanced measures like PCMH. "Those same colleagues have responded by saying, 'You mean this law really does things that will simplify our lives in practice and allow us to focus more on delivering high quality care to our patients?'"
In order to inform all physicians about the possibilities and responsibilities of MACRA, Dr. McLean continued, "it isn't just up to CMS to ensure that MACRA is implemented successfully; professional associations, including ACP, must do their parts. That means they need to:
- Realize the importance of these changes;
- Identify what they and their staff can do to understand MACRA, make informed decisions, and be successful; and
- Learn about what ACP has to offer to help them.
"Our educational efforts include online resources, guides, presentations, articles in our publications, and practical tools. For example, preparing members for MACRA will be a focus of our Internal Medicine Meeting, ACP's annual scientific meeting to be held here in Washington just two weeks from now."
ACP also is encouraging its members to consider using its interactive online tool ACP Practice Advisor, which offers practices the ability to conduct significant, evidence-based quality improvement based on the most up-to-date clinical guidelines; improve performance on clinical quality measures; implement the principles of the medical home model; and improve the overall management of their practice. The Practice Advisor currently has 45 modules to help achieve these objectives.