AAD recommends changes to MACRA; launches new tools to help with implementation

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By Sabra Sullivan, MD, PhD
Chair, AADA’s Council on Government Affairs, Health Policy and Practice and the Congressional Policy Committee

Last week, the Academy sent a letter to CMS requesting a number of changes to MACRA. This new payment system, which is being called the Quality Payment Program (QPP), offers physicians two tracks to participate: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or the Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). In 2017, the vast majority of dermatologists who participate in QPP will follow the MIPS track.

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Click on the image above to access the AAD's new interactive MIPS assessment tool. Learn if you need to participate in MIPS in 2017 and how it will impact your revenue.

The letter includes strong recommendations for revision, clarification, and relief related to low-volume threshold, virtual groups, appeals, reporting period, quality data criteria, selection of quality measures, issues related to payment and performance measures, APMs and data registries. Read the letter.

These recommendations follow months of advocacy efforts by the Academy with the post MACRA rule. Thanks to these efforts, CMS considered dermatology’s concerns in the final MACRA rule released earlier this year.

Our wins in the QPP thus far include:

  • A flexible start to the system, with no penalty for those meeting a low bar for participation in the first year;
  • An increased threshold to be considered exempt from the new system; and
  • A new dermatology-specific measure requiring that final pathology findings be communicated from the pathologist to the clinician for review within 7 business days from receipt of the tissue specimen by the pathologist.

How will MIPS impact your practice?
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The Quality category replaces the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and makes up 60% of your total MIPS score. Learn more about how quality scoring works as well as how to achieve the maximum score.

It’s essential that you understand this new payment program and how it affects future payments and plans to report measures.

You can find a wealth of tools and information in the Academy’s MACRA Resource Center to help you prepare your practice for MIPS.

This week, the Academy launched resources to help you determine:

In addition, AAD MACRA resources include:

  • An interactive assessment tool allows members to choose a MIPS implementation option and see how it will impact your bottom line. The tool will help you determine whether your practice needs to participate in MIPS in 2017, and how it will impact your revenue.
  • Pick your pathway and your pace. Information designed to help you pick the best MACRA pathway for your practice and determine the right pace to implement.
  • Submit your MACRA questions. If you have a question now about how MACRA will impact you and what you should do to prepare, submit it to the Academy’s MACRA Community and AAD staff will get you an answer.

You can also visit CMS’ Quality Payment Program website, which helps explain this new program.

In early 2017, the Academy is launching a new Practice Management Center that will include new interactive tools and resources to help dermatologists implement MACRA. Watch Member to Member for details on this exciting member benefit.