The proposed MACRA rule has created a lot of buzz - not all positive - in the healthcare IT industry as we approach the latter months of 2016. With a proposed start date of Jan. 1, 2017, many healthcare professionals are scrambling to get their heads around the impact MACRA will have on their practice.
In a somewhat troubling report, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions 2016 Survey of U.S. Physicians found that only 50 percent of non-pediatric physicians have even heard of The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). This survey comes shortly after the public comment period ended on the proposed MACRA law, which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced earlier in the year. The final rule is expected to come this fall.
For the first time since the public comment period ended for the proposed MACRA rule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator, Andy Slavitt, spoke about the potential changes in a testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on July 13, according to a report from HealthcareIT News. Slavitt disclosed a couple important themes that were present throughout the more than 3,000 public comments on MACRA.
On Wednesday, July 6, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposal to change the length of the Meaningful Use reporting period for 2016 from a full calendar year to only 90 days. "These changes include a proposal for clinicians, hospitals and critical access hospitals to use a 90-day EHR reporting period in 2016—down from a full calendar year for returning participants,” CMS stated in its announcement. “This increases flexibility and lowers the reporting burden for hospital providers.”
The public comment period for the newly proposed MACRA rule ended this past Monday. As expected, the new program, put forth by CMS, created a lot of controversy in the medical industry. While not all of the 3,700 comments from healthcare providers and professionals were negative, the proposed rule was far from perfect in the eyes of many.
Compliance never sleeps, especially if you're a specialty physician and important dates are upcoming that you need to be aware of in your practice. Whether you're a dermatologist, ophthalmologist or a plastic surgeon, ensure that your practice addresses these compliance items in the coming days and weeks.
All 50 states may not be on board the telemedicine train as of now, but don't count the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs among the detractors. According to a report from Politico, the VA's Chief Officer for the Office of Connected Care, Neil Evans, announced at an American Telemedicine Association event that the VA performed approximately 750,000 medical visits via telemedicine in 2015.
The ICD-10 transition last October brought much stress to the healthcare community. With more than 144,000 codes and so much to learn, providers wondered how it would impact their practices, financially and administratively.