MACRA's Biggest Hurdles

MIPS or Advanced APMs?

CMS has given practices an option of doing very minimal levels of reporting to avoid a penalty for 2017. Martie Ross, a principal in the Kansas City office of consulting firm, Pershing Yoakley & Associates (PYA), says that by far the easiest way to check the box for 2017 is to report one clinical practice improvement activity. "You should fire your practice manager if he or she can't figure out how to get you full points on Advancing Care Information and Clinical Quality Improvement Activity," she says.

But Ross added that practices should ask themselves the following question: Does it make sense for us to simply check the box in 2017, then focus our energies on more long-term strategies? For example, CMS promises to open up enrollment in Advanced APMs significantly for 2018 reporting. "You could develop lots of infrastructure to do quality reporting for MIPS or you could spend time evaluating Advanced APM options for your practice," she says. "If you think you are in a position to do well by these MIPS metrics, and you can identify the right measures and earn a bonus, then it is definitely worth the effort. But if it is a matter of positioning your organization more broadly for value-based reimbursement, I don't know that just dotting the i’s and crossing the t's on MIPS is going to get you there."

By: David Raths

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