The survey was conducted by Kareo after the final rule was released in October, and over 170 medical practices responded. The overall results show that most practices expect to participate, but they still aren’t sure what the requirements are or how the program will impact revenue.
The proposed rule was announced in the spring of 2016, followed by a comment period. Industry groups, providers, and vendors responded with feedback, some of which was incorporated into the rule. The final rule came out on October 14, and it stated that the reporting period would begin on January 1, 2017 for those who want to fully participate and try to get a positive payment adjustment. That left just over two months for eligible clinicians and vendors to get ready.
“At Kareo, we felt that it was important to understand how prepared our customers really were to begin participating in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which is the QPP path most of them will follow,” said Dan Rodrigues, founder and CEO of Kareo. “Our survey highlighted that independent practices want to comply but they are struggling with the complexity and aggressive timing of the rule.”
When asked if they understood what MACRA requires of their practice, 41% said they were not sure and 43% said they disagreed or strongly disagreed. Only four percent said they strongly agreed that they knew what MACRA required of them.
Similar results were seen when asked about the impact on revenue. Sixty-three percent weren’t sure if MACRA would reduce reimbursement. When asked about whether MACRA would increase reporting burdens, most were sure it would. Over 60% said the reporting requirements would increase for their practice.
“The survey results highlight a trend we have seen at Kareo in recent years,” said Rodrigues. “Independent practitioners want to stay independent so they want to participate in programs like MACRA and avoid possible penalties. But they need help to do it. The addition of the Pick Your Pace options in the final rule is a step in the right direction.”