Use a Certified EHR Technology: A Smart Approach to Your MACRA Advanced Alternative Payment Model
Under the Quality Payment Program established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), one of the two tracks you can pursue is advanced alternative payment models (APMs). APMs offer certain clinicians the opportunity to engage in initiatives to provide high-quality, coordinated, and cost-efficient care. Eligible clinicians and groups in advanced APMs are excluded from participating in the other MACRA track, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
Using Certified EHR Technology Promotes APM Success
The Quality Payment Program sets minimum targets each APM must meet to qualify as an advanced APM, including targets for the use of certified health information technology. Though no two APMs have the same requirements, certified health IT systems offer a range of core capabilities that align with the advanced care delivery goals emphasized under all of these models. Certified products may also help with the calculation and reporting of measures for some of the advanced APM models.
Certified Health IT Supports Activities Across All Advanced APMs
Though each advanced APM is different, many share common types of activities that certified health IT directly supports. For example:
Care Coordination:Improving care coordination is a core strategy for improving quality of care for patients while reducing unnecessary costs that can arise when patients do not seamlessly transition between settings. Certified EHR technologies may support the interoperable exchange of critical health information so that providers can deliver informed, effective care regardless of setting.
Quality Measurement:Accurate, reliable quality measurement is crucial for clinicians seeking to understand and improve their performance on core measures used by APMs to inform payment. Certified health IT can help clinicians electronically record, calculate, and report quality measures, providing insights into care and reducing the burden associated with reporting on quality.
Improving Patient/Clinician Relationships:Patient engagement is an important objective for many APMs, which may reward participating clinicians based on measures of patient satisfaction. Certified health IT may offer tools for securely sharing health information with patients, delivering patient educational materials electronically, and engaging in secure messaging with patients.
To learn more about advanced APMs currently in operation, how they use certified health IT, and opportunities to participate in these models, follow the links below:
- Comprehensive Primary Care Plus
- Next Generation ACO Model
- Medicare Shared Savings Program (Tracks 2 and 3)
- Oncology Care Model (Two-Sided Risk)
To learn more about the APM track in QPP and additional advanced APMs, visit https://qpp.cms.gov/learn/apms.
The 2015 Edition and the Quality Payment Program
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), through the 2015 Edition of Health IT Certification Criteria, provides a health IT foundation for participating in advanced payment programs. ONC encourages health IT developers to certify their technology to the 2015 Edition Final Rule.
To view the list of certified health IT products, visit https://chpl.healthit.gov.