The good news is that the newly finalized MACRA rule eases some of the data reporting burden for physicians. Under MACRA, physicians choose one of two payment tracks: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, aka MIPS, which incorporates some of the now-defunct meaningful use incentive program — or advanced alternative payment models. No matter which model physicians select, they must use certified EHR technology.

The not-so-good news is that starting in 2018, physicians must use EHR technology certified for 2015. Unfortunately, more than three-quarters of the providers participating in meaningful use as of this summer used 2014-certified edition systems. And since MACRA does not require vendors to update their technology, physicians who have invested in some of the smaller EHR vendors, which may not be moving full speed ahead to recertify their technology, could face major problems.

While some experts warn that MACRA’s added pressure on smaller vendors could interfere with efforts to make EHRs more user-friendly and specialty-specific, others point out that the new rule offers some benefits, including:

  • Reducing the number of required reporting measures to five (instead of the 18 under meaningful use)
  • Moving the reporting away from “check-the-box exercises” to activities that help achieve better outcomes
  • Allowing physicians to choose to report for a 90-day period rather than a full year
  • Awarding bonus points for “improvement activities” such as telehealth

Learn more about how to ensure that your EHR technology aligns with the final MACRA rule requirements so you can maximize Medicare reimbursement.

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