Finalized MACRA rule emphasizes criticalness of health IT — 5 things to know

HHS released the final Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act rule on Oct. 14, with the inclusion of a new Quality Payment Program, according to HealthData Management. Physicians will need to leverage healthcare information technology to meet the new rule's requirements.

Here are five things to know:

1. CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said vendors should step up to assist providers in enhancing the flow of electronic health information.

2. Specifically, the Quality Payment Program's Advancing Care Information performance category calls on the use of certified health IT. This category requires providers to "modernize, streamline and replace the Medicare EHR Incentive program."

3. Practices falling under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System or Advanced Alternative Payment Models will both need to use certified EHR technology to share information, in order to boost care delivery and patient engagement.

4. Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt noted that providers need simpler and more integrated technology to achieve value-based care, however. He called on vendors to focus on interoperability and "open the ecosystem so physicians can select apps that work seamlessly with EHRs to address their needs."

5. Providers should brush up on the coming changes with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's fact sheet on the Quality Payment Program, here.

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