Enacted in 2015, MACRA (the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act) changed the Medicare reimbursement schedule with a new pay-for-performance program focused on quality, value and accountability. As changes to MACRA continue to evolve, it’s important for health information management (HIM) professionals to be aware of how its delays may pose risks may that can affect their organizations. According to several electronic health record vendors, delays in the “timeliness and clarity” of MACRA’s Quality Payment Program could have a potentially negative impact on the operation and bottom line of facilities across the country.

As explained in this recent article by Healthcare IT News, this issue could prevent provider groups from preparing for performance improvements required under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, resulting in providers “delaying implementing necessary and beneficial changes in technology and its use in clinical practice.” What’s most important to note is healthcare providers and IT vendors claim this could impede on the effectiveness of “technology upgrades and process improvements.”

MACRA delays are causing HIM professionals anxiety and uncertainty for a multitude of reasons, including altering of Medicare reimbursements and new reporting requirements for things like clinical process improvements, care costs and health IT use. HIM professionals should be aware that MACRA delays can slow health IT progress, so they can anticipate how these delays may affect performance and ROI. Therefore, they’ll be able to effectively plan ahead for these delays and account for them when reviewing organizational outcomes.

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