PODCAST: AMA President Dr. David Barbe on the 2018 MACRA Final Rule and the Future of MIPS

March 2, 2018
In this latest Healthcare Informatics podcast, David Barbe, M.D., American Medical Association president, discusses the 2018 MACRA final rule, how it differs from 2017 and why he has reservations about the MedPAC proposal to repeal and replace MIPS.

As the U.S. healthcare system continues to challenge healthcare organizations and providers to improve quality and efficiency, the ability to transform care delivery, while not overburdening physicians in the process, becomes a delicate balance to strike.

In November, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released updates to 2018 reporting requirements under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act’s (MACRA) Quality Payment Program (QPP). According to CMS estimates, roughly 600,000 eligible clinicians will be required to participate in the QPP, either through advanced alternative payment models (APMs) or by reporting under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

David Barbe, M.D., the president of the American Medical Association (AMA), recently was a guest on the Healthcare Informatics podcast and, as a recognized healthcare industry thought leader, brings a terrific vantage point to the table on how the 2018 final rule impacts physicians.

Dr. Barbe has a distinguished career in medicine and a long history of service to organized medicine. He is a practicing family physician who lives and practices in the southern Missouri town of Mountain Grove and began serving his one-year term as elected president of the AMA in June. He leads and represents an association with 240,000 practicing-physician members nationwide.

On this podcast, Dr. Barbe and Healthcare Informatics Associate Editor Heather Landi discuss the 2018 MACRA final rule, how it differs from 2017 and the flexibilities and accommodations for small practices included in the final rule. Dr. Barbe also shares his thoughts on what CIOs and other healthcare IT leaders can do to support physicians in practice around MACRA’s reporting requirements.

“The single biggest thing we need to do as an industry is capture this information automatically. We have to reduce the amount of manual labor that it takes to capture, aggregate and report on these quality metrics,” he said.

Dr. Barbe and Landi also touch on the recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, or MedPAC, proposal to repeal and replace MIPS, and Barbe shares why he thinks abandoning MIPS, at this point, is premature. “We’re only one month, about two to three weeks, into the second year, so that’s not a very long trial, and it has not given us an industry and as individual physicians time to acclimate to this program,” he said. “MIPS does allow physicians to pick and choose which quality metrics they use and how they report. There’s a lot of flexibility there.”

The podcast with Barbe runs about 20 minutes in length and keep in mind, you can listen to all Healthcare Informatics podcasts right here.