Quality Payment Program

The U.S Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is going to provide hands-on training to prepare physicians and other clinicians for the Quality Payment Program. As we noted in a blog last month, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, also known as MACRA, will change the way Medicare pays clinicians by reimbursing them through the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, known as MIPS, and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

According to Healthcare IT News:

The $20 million funding will support on-the-ground training and education for Medicare clinicians in both individual and small group practices of 15 clinicians or fewer – especially in historically under-resourced areas including rural and medically underserved areas.

“Doctors and healthcare providers in small and rural practices are critical to our goal of building a health care system that works for everyone,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell in a statement. “Supporting local health care providers with the resources and information necessary for them to provide quality care is a top priority for this administration.”

HHS hopes the funding and training will ease concerns that the proposed new payment system could hurt small physician practices due to the complexity of the performance reporting system. Fierce Healthcare wrote, “Members of a congressional committee in May told Andrew Slavitt, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, that the government must fix the proposed rule so the payment system is fair to all physicians and doesn’t make it difficult for small practices to survive.”

Organizations that receive a chunk of the $20 million in funding, must demonstrate the ability to supply customized training to clinicians and provide education and consultation about the Quality Payment Program at no cost to the clinician or their practice.

From Healthcare Finance News:

Organizations receiving the funding would support small practices by helping them think through what they need to be successful under the Quality Payment Program, such as what quality measures and/or electronic health records may be appropriate for their practices’ needs. Organizations would also train clinicians about the new clinical practice improvement activities, and how these new activities could fit into their practices’ workflow, or help practices evaluate their options for joining an alternative payment model.

Let us know what you think about this on-the-ground training initiative and whether you believe it will work for small clinician practices here in Arizona. Your input on important health issues, such as this one, is critical to our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!



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