As time marches forward, things change. Change is inevitable. Some changes are for the better, while others can make life and work more challenging. More often than not, “challenging” is the case for changes in medicine, particularly with the most recent changes to reimbursements that arrived in January of 2017. That’s right, MACRA is here.
MACRA, or the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, is a model for physician reimbursements. It replaces the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and, even with possible changes to the Affordable Care Act, will most likely stick around. Its goal is to cut the government’s health care expenses, as well as help improve quality of care and patient outcomes.
There are plenty of issues with how the MACRA program will measure outcomes and assign reimbursement pay scales, which has many physicians worried. That, however, isn’t what you should be focusing on now. MACRA is already here. The question now is what are you doing about it to set yourself up for success?
Thriving Through MACRA
The key to succeeding under MACRA is right there in your charts: data. The information that gets collected for the measurements that determine your reimbursements can show you several things:
- First, unlike other programs in the past, compliance is not an “all or nothing” deal. You can partially comply if that makes sense for you. Your data can show you how much you will benefit from compliance versus how much it will cost you to do so—enabling you to make an educated decision about compliance that most benefits your practice.
- Second, it can show you where you’re doing well, where you’re struggling, and where you’re missing opportunities with patients and income. This can help you make better management and marketing decisions to improve both your office function and your flow of patients and cash.
By rigorously recording your outcomes and other numbers, and then using the data to your own advantage, your practice can thrive. Then in 2019, when the numbers being collected now start impacting your reimbursements, you’ll be doing what’s best for your practice and growing, in spite of the changes and challenges.
How Top Practices Can Help
Collecting your data and understanding what the numbers mean for you can be challenging. That’s where Top Practices can help podiatrists of all sizes. Our Virtual Practice Management Institute combines our own unique practice management program with the Virtual Practice Optimization (VPO) analysis from Collaborative Practice Solutions.
This provides podiatrists with the unique opportunity to have data from their electronic medical records securely analyzed and interpreted for them, then work with experts to make the most of it. Your VPO report provides you with the raw data you need, while the analysis and interpretation shows your strengths, weaknesses, and missed opportunities. From there, you can make educated decisions about your practice management, learning the strategies and techniques you and your staff need to improve through Top Practices’ own powerful and successful practice management program.
MACRA is here. You can’t afford to ignore it. The data being reported and collected now will shape your reimbursements in the future. This isn’t the time to despair, however. If you want to see your practice thrive and succeed, act now and start making the educated changes you need to make.
If you’re looking at MACRA and wondering what you can do for your practice, check out the Virtual Practice Management Institute today. You can also contact Top Practices directly for more information about this program, or any of our other services designed to help podiatrists and other doctors succeed and thrive in modern medicine. Just e-mail Answers@TopPractices.com or call (717) 626-2025 to reach us.