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Survey finds most physicians view MACRA requirements as 'very burdensome'

par Lauren Dubinsky , Senior Reporter
The majority of physicians consider the requirements of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 to be “very burdensome,” according to a survey conducted by the American Medical Association.

MACRA encourages physicians to adopt value-based payment models that tie their Medicare reimbursement to the quality of their care. Physicians who don’t meet the MACRA requirements by 2019 will face a 4 percent drop in Medicare reimbursement, and a 9 percent drop in 2022.

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Fifty-six percent of the 1,000 practicing physicians surveyed indicated they plan to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System this year. That payment model involves variable incentive payments or penalties based on certain quality and efficiency measures.

But 18 percent are planning to qualify for higher and more stable payment as an Advanced Alternative Payment Model participant.

Fewer than one in four reported they feel prepared to meet the requirements this year. Fifty-one percent of those entrenched in practice decision-making are somewhat knowledgeable about MACRA and only 8 percent consider themselves to be very knowledgeable.

The respondents cited not having enough time to report performance as being the biggest challenge, followed by understanding the requirements and how MIPS performance is scored, and the cost associated with accurately capturing and reporting performance.

Notably, physicians in small practices with four or fewer providers were more likely to view the requirements as “very” burdensome and feel less prepared for long-term financial success.

To help physicians meet the standard, the AMA deployed resources including a step-by-step video on minimum reporting requirements to avoid a penalty in 2019, and a payment model evaluator that provides a brief assessment of how a practice is doing.

“In just 10 steps, physicians can successfully meet the standard under MACRA,” Dr. David O. Barbe, president of AMA, said in a statement. “Those who are prepared to report more data can realize rewards for improvement and for delivering high-quality, high-value care.”

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