Survey: 70% of medical groups worried about MACRA implementation

Almost three-quarters of employed medical groups are concerned about implementation of the final Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act rule, according to The Advisory Board's survey of the Medical Group Strategy Council.

The Advisory Board said it recently surveyed a group of 30 employed medical groups to determine their concern about MACRA and see how they're adjusting to the changes MACRA will cause.

Here are five survey findings.

1. Seventy percent of respondents are "concerned" or "totally freaked out" by MACRA. Of the remaining respondents, 20 percent are "confident," while 10 percent are "ambivalent," the survey found.

2. The MACRA final rule, a landmark payment system for Medicare physician fees that replaces the sustainable growth rate formula, includes two pathways for provider participation: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and the Advanced Alternative Payment Model. According to the survey, 70 percent of respondents anticipate participating in MIPS, while the remaining 25 percent predict they will fall into the APM category.

3. Only half of the medical groups that believe they will participate in MIPS expect to be prepared to report data for the entirety of 2017, according to the survey. Another 21 percent anticipate choosing the partial-year option to be eligible for the smaller positive payment adjustment, and 29 percent of respondents planning to "test the program" by reporting nominal data to avoid the negative payment adjustment.

4. The Advisory Board said 58 percent of survey respondents identified MACRA as the driving force for consolidation efforts in their markets.

5. However, the other 42 percent of respondents have not observed MACRA affecting consolidation decisions in their markets, The Advisory Board said. "This could be a result of the additional support for small practices CMS included in the final rule. But we're still in the early stages of MACRA implementation, so this may change during the coming year," The Advisory Board added.


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