Top 5 MACRA Challenges for Physician Practices

14 May 2017 | SOURCE: Fierce Healthcare

As physician practices work to implement Medicare’s new value-based payment system, Black Book Research identified some of the top MACRA challenges they face.

The Black Book survey is based on responses from 8,845 physician practices collected from February to April asking about the challenges created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Some of the top trends uncovered include:

  • Small practices lack MACRA resources. 81% of independent physicians in practices with four or more clinicians say they have not grasped how to align their data with the new reporting measures. While larger practices turn to consultants to help them, 75% of practices with three or fewer physicians struggle to manage technology basics.

RELATED: Practice consulting services offer expert support to meet reporting requirements.

  • More independent physicians consider selling their practices. The MACRA changes have 75% of independent clinicians considering selling their practices to hospitals or group practices to eliminate the administrative burden and capital costs of compliance.
  • There’s still lots of confusion about the complicated payment system. For instance, 69% of practice managers are aware they need to report on six quality measures, but only 22% are aware they can choose the metrics that best reflect their practice’s strengths. And 94% were unaware or unsure of how to predict their 2017 scores under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track.
  • Some small and rural providers want to join Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). 67% of small practices are considering joining an ACO to avoid the penalties for lower scores because they lack infrastructure.
  • Many practices will look to outsource. Many physician practices will be scrambling to get their programs in line this year. 80% of provider organizations that have not developed their MACRA strategy or plan say they expect to outsource to catch up as best they can for 2017.


If there’s any good news, the American Medical Association says many physicians are not aware that two Meaningful Use requirements have been dropped under MACRA. Physicians are free from reporting on the requirements for computerized physician order entry and clinical decision support, according to an AMA Wire report.

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