Will Physicians Say “#Don’tMACRAme”?
Crafters be warned: the next social media hash tag for physicians fed up with healthcare IT mandates – who feel “tied up in knots” by CMS regulations – may well be #DontMACRAme.
MACRA, of course, is the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which changes the way Medicare rewards clinicians for providing quality care and addresses, among many other things, healthcare IT. Clearly it is premature to pass judgment on MACRA, since its component parts are only now taking shape; a 962-page proposed rule for MIPS (the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, which resides under the MACRA umbrella) currently is out for comment.
Refocusing healthcare payment incentives on quality rather than volume of services is widely considered a needed change, while recalibrating providers’ IT requirements will be, in the view of many physicians, a welcome change. “Our initial review suggests that CMS has been listening to physicians’ concerns,” said AMA president Steven Stack, M.D., a reference to the numerous complaints physicians have voiced (loudly) about the Meaningful Use program in recent years.
To the extent that MACRA ultimately succeeds in fostering “simpler, more connected, less burdensome technology” for physicians, as CMS aspires to do, it likely will be well received. But if it doesn’t, we may see #DontMACRAme start trending.