New MACRA resources for AAD members

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

 I'm pleased to announce that the Academy has launched a new online resource to help educate and prepare members for the proposed implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

The MACRA Resource Center includes essential information about the new Medicare physician payment system that will transition clinicians from payments based on volume to payments based on value. It includes:

  • Video tutorials
  • A discussion forum that allows AAD members to address MACRA questions with expert staff
  • Tools to assess your practice's readiness for implementation
  • Up-to-date information of the Academy's advocacy efforts related to the issue

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Visit the AAD MACRA Resource Center to stay up-to-date on the draft rule.
I encourage all AAD members to visit the MACRA Resource Center frequently. It will be updated frequently with new tools and information to ensure that all members are prepared for MACRA implementation.

How the Academy is responding to MACRA

The Academy has worked vigorously and is continuing to respond to the draft MACRA rule, which was released by CMS earlier this year. We are demanding changes that protect our practices and patients.

We have already heard from a number of Academy members that dermatologists are overwhelmed and uneasy about the changes coming. You should know that our Academy is prepared to fight provisions within the proposal, advocate for a delay in its implementation, and demand flexibility for reporting. We’re already in talks with leaders on Capitol Hill and at CMS about our concerns.

There are a host of opportunities before us to try and change this proposal – Congressional hearings, coalition work, AMA House of Delegates resolutions, regulatory comments, and potentially even legislative action. The call for full MACRA repeal is a non-starter among leaders in Congress and CMS (as this is the law that erased the perennial sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula headache and preserved global codes). These advocacy opportunities allow us to protect dermatologists and ensure that the onerous requirements do not swallow our practices and disrupt patient care.

Our advocacy path runs parallel to preparation. Should the final rule fail to address our unique needs and concerns, our Academy is working diligently to ensure the best possible outcome for our members and patients. This means that we are preparing a host of tools and resources so that your practice can be prepared, regardless of whether you’re on the Merit-based Incentive Program (MIPS) path, the Alternative Payment Model (APM) path, or choosing not to participate in either. For those who choose to participate, we’ve been working to prepare for the shift to value-based payments. In addition to the new MACRA Resource Center, our efforts include:

  • Launching DataDerm™, the tool that will help dermatologists report quality measures in the future – ensuring that dermatology-specific measures will be considered in any new value-based payment systems.
  • Aggressively developing dermatology-specific alternative payment models to help ensure you have the option of eligibility under this alternative.

The wholesale change before us is unnerving, but rest assured our Academy is and will continue to fight for you, your practice, and your patients. Our dual approach of advocacy and preparation strives to ensure the viability of your practice for years to come.