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ASCs should seize the day: Two-pronged approach for MACRA compliance

It's hard to believe 2018 is halfway through, especially for practices still trying to understand this year's new additions to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act before next year.

Healthcare organizations only have six months left to "pick their pace" for MACRA. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, participation requirements will ramp up, as will the penalties for poor performance. Organizations will be slated against their peers, and those that do not perform well could receive up to a 7 percent penalty.

Taking advantage of the current "safe learning environment" is a smart strategy, as these next few months allow organizations to refine their MACRA programs with minimal risk. When seizing this opportunity, it can be beneficial to pursue a two-pronged approach.

First, it's important to make sure your electronic health record is up-to-date on its certifications, complying with the 2015 requirements. Certified solutions are full of useful MACRA features and completely comply with the latest rules. If a solution is customizable, that's even better because it allows organizations to facilitate organizational workflows, build in reminders and increase physician compliance. Assisted coding is another valuable feature that uses predictive charting to let physicians see in real-time whether a patient qualifies for a specific MACRA measure. The system then prompts the provider to capture relevant data, improving charting accuracy and supporting stronger reporting.

In addition to leveraging technology, organizations should partner with a MACRA expert who can guide them through the next six months, helping them optimize the learning time and prepare for 2019. This partner should be up-to-speed on all things MACRA and commit to regularly meeting to review current performance, spot improvement opportunities, brainstorm compliance ideas and implement strategies that put an organization on the path to success. Not only does this set the entity up for robust performance in 2019, but relying on an expert to keep abreast of changes with the legislation can free staff to focus on other priorities like providing the best possible patient care.

B.K. Kohn, Nextech's senior professional services consultant, works with practices to prepare them for success with regulatory compliance and reporting pertaining to MACRA.

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