Electronic Health Records

MACRA

What Is MACRA and What It Means to Providers, EHR Technology

More than a year has passed since Congress voted to enact the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 and the Department of Health & Human Services issued its notice of proposed rulemaking for MACRA implementation. At its most basic, MACRA repeals the sustainable growth rate — a series of Congressional fixes responsible for adjusting Medicare expenditures and provider...


What is MACRA 

At its most basic, MACRA repeals the sustainable growth rate — a series of Congressional fixes responsible for adjusting Medicare expenditures and provider reimbursement — and authorizes HHS to implement value-based initiatives aimed at improving care access for Medicare and CHIP beneficiaries. But MACRA is much more than that.

Chief among the major provisions of the MACRA proposed rule is the Quality Payment Program, which aims to streamline various quality reporting programs under a single one. The new program comprises one of two paths for (at the moment) eligible clinicians: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPs) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

While meaningful use is disappearing as a standalone program, it remains influential in MIPS requirements and the technology necessary to achieve them. Under the MACRA propose rule, EHR technology must meet the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification in coming years, which places strong emphasis on the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) to ensure secondary and tertiary uses of clinical health data.

According to the Acting Administrator of CMS, MACRA is the vehicle for realizing progress in care delivery by aligning the quality goals of both federal regulators and individual physicians."When we put our minds to it, I have seen how much technology can radically improve health care and how fast. MACRA is the burning platform for progress in care delivery, just as the ACA was in health care coverage. Together, we can make the system radically better," 

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