Introducing Health Catalyst MACRA Measures & Insights—Addresses Top Physician Concern: Capturing Compliance Measures
Physicians have long complained about the growing burden of government regulation, especially its impact on reducing time spent with patients. A 2016 study by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Medical Group Management Association, found that physicians and their staff spend between 6 and 12 hours per week processing and reporting quality metrics to the government—at a cost of $15.4 billion per year.
As a recent Health Catalyst®/Peer60 survey confirms, that burden is expected to significantly worsen in 2017 and beyond as physicians struggle to report quality metrics for the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)—the federal law that changes the way Medicare pays doctors. Commercial health insurers are expected to follow the government’s lead with similar programs of their own. Passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress, MACRA requires physicians who participate in its financial incentives to report on a subset of 271 quality measures. In complex organizations, successfully achieving performance targets and submitting accurately for MACRA incentives will require integrating multiple measures across financial, regulatory, and quality departments.
Introducing MACRA Measures & Insights
To help identify and align healthcare organizations’ selection of the MACRA quality measures, Health Catalyst today announced the release of MACRA Measures & Insights™. Built on an industry-leading data and analytics platform integrating over 120 data sources, including claims and all major EMRs, the new application helps healthcare organizations track and monitor all MACRA measures across multiple departments. For the first time, with MACRA Measures & Insights, organizations can quickly spot areas where their physicians are performing best, and therefore which quality measures to report to Medicare to maximize payment under MACRA.
Healthcare organizations expend significant human resources to compile, interpret, keep up with, and understand the impact of regulatory compliance measures, and this problem will only get worse under MACRA. MACRA Measures & Insights will significantly reduce that burden while making it easier to maximize Medicare reimbursement and monitor performance against measures year over year. In addition, it is built on the Health Catalyst analytics platform which can integrate virtually all of the granular data in a healthcare system, including claims and other external data. This allows health systems to quickly combine that data to effectively support any reporting or analytics requirement, including MACRA and any changes that might come along in the future.
Identify Measures to Optimize At-Risk Contracting
More than assisting with regulatory compliance, MACRA Measures & Insights also enables healthcare organizations to tactically and strategically identify the optimal measures to include within multi-year, value-based care contracts with commercial payers. By aligning contractual success measures with an organization’s strongest areas of performance, the application helps to maximize payments in risk-based contracts. MACRA Measures & Insights also enables organizations to easily add measures from multiple payers’ contracts.
Conversely, health plans can use the application to identify populations of patients that are appropriate for sharing risk with their provider partners.
Survey: Compiling Quality Measures Is Health Systems’ Biggest MACRA Worry
The heavy lifting required to track and compile MACRA measures for reporting to Medicare is top of mind for healthcare executives, according to a Health Catalyst/Peer60 survey conducted in late 2016. When asked which MACRA-related activities “pose the greatest difficulties for healthcare organizations,” 74 out of the 187 respondents (40 percent) ranked “compiling metrics for regulatory reporting” as the biggest challenge. The next biggest headache identified by survey respondents (18 percent) was “adjusting to greater coordination between providers and patients.”
Only about a third of healthcare organizations were prepared to tackle MACRA’s reporting challenges as of late last year, according to the survey. Just 35 percent of respondents answered affirmatively when asked whether they “have a strategy and are well on [their] way to being ready” for upcoming MACRA reporting. Ready or not, most do expect to participate in the program, with only 5 percent of those surveyed planning to opt out of MACRA entirely.
The online survey reflects the opinions of 187 U.S. healthcare executives and senior leaders who work at organizations ranging from the nation’s largest urban academic medical centers and integrated delivery networks to critical access hospitals and large physician groups.
Complete findings of the survey are available here.
Explore MACRA Measures & Insights in Live Webinar, February 16th
For a detailed look at the new application, join the Health Catalyst product development team for a live MACRA Measures & Insights Product Webinar on Thursday, February 16, 2017, 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST. Attendees will be able to view a live demo of the application and participate in a live question-and-answer session.
Take a Deeper Dive into MACRA Measures & Insights
Powered by the Health Catalyst Analytics Platform™, MACRA Measures & Insights enables organizations to gain deep insight into performance measures at virtually any degree of detail required for measurement and performance improvement.
The application delivers a variety of filtering views to drill down quickly into multiple dimensions for quick decision making at the level of:
- Individual provider
- Individual measure
- Diagnosis group
- Data quality
- Several additional dimensions, such as payer or contract
MACRA Measures & Insights also reveals performance scores in three initial MIPS performance quadrants, with more to come:
- Clinical practice improvement activities (if scores are available)
- Advancing care information (if scores are available)
The application includes measure calculations validated to be using the correct data (per CMS guidelines) to meet MACRA requirements. It also displays benchmarks for easy comparison. An alignment tab compares quality measures already at-risk with other payers to the MACRA measures, helping to prioritize those best suited for risk in the Quality Payment Program.