MACRA Isn't Going Away, Cautions Expert

February 20, 2017

At HIMSS17, a clinical leadership consultant advises physicians to not be scared of MACRA, but instead, see it as a great opportunity for transformative change.

Welcome to the latest edition of the Physicians Practice Pearls Podcast. In this podcast, we'll bring you some of the most interesting and influential guests in healthcare. If you have any ideas for podcast guests or topics, email us at editor@physicianspractice.com.

While many physicians look at the change from the Medicare Access and CHIP Reimbursement Act (MACRA) - and the overall shift from volume to value - as a daunting one, Mark Werner is more optimistic.

Werner, a pediatrician by trade and currently the national leader for clinical consulting at The Chartis Group, says that there is tremendous opportunity for physicians to improve overall patient care and lower costs. "If you are willing to live with some of the vagueness and uncertainty; willing to roll up your sleeves and try to make a difference in whatever way you can, no matter what size your practice is … we have an opportunity to make a big difference with our patients," he says. "I think it's a great time to be a physician."

That's a good way to look at it, because as Werner also notes, "[MACRA] is not going away." Physicians hoping to be bailed out by new a new administration in Washington D.C., will be disappointed, he predicts.

Werner, who works with physician leadership at practices to help implement various transformation initiatives, joined the Physicians Practice Pearls Podcast on site at the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The physician leadership expert touched upon how providers can make the shift to MACRA happen at a small practice level.

"Physicians, particularly at small practices, need to be very attentive to the quality of the care they are providing, [identify] ways in which they will report and demonstrate that [quality], [and they] need to be looking for partnerships with other physicians…to support quality reporting and the resources they are going to need," he says.

Later in the podcast, Werner discussed the evolving relationship between payers and providers. He said both sides need to collaborate and understand each other in the era of value-based care. Lastly, he talked about the conversations he has been having at the HIMSS conference.

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