Podcast series explores new Medicare quality program, pay models

Troy Parks , News Writer

The Quality Payment Program (QPP) starts in January, so physicians still have time to educate themselves and prepare for its implementation. A podcast series produced by ReachMD in collaboration with the AMA features interviews with industry experts and physician leaders who take doctors “Inside Medicare’s New Payment System.” The series delves into key aspects of the program and provides tips on what physicians can do now to get ready.

Several podcasts will be added as the experts learn more about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final rule on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), the legislation that repealed the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and created the QPP. Eight podcasts are now available and can be streamed on the ReachMD website or downloaded for later listening.

  • Why Participating in Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIA) Matters The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is the value-based payment program that will replace the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the value-based modifier and Meaningful Use. The MIPS will also incorporate a new reporting category for CPIAs. This podcast offers an overview of the CPIA category, how to report these activities and how CMS will factor them into overall MIPS scores. (5:29)
  • How an EHR Can Help You Participate in MACRA Although electronic health records (EHR) are still in need of improvements in usability, flexibility and interoperability, EHRs have already changed the practice of medicine. This podcast explains the importance of EHRs to participation in the QPP. (6:30)
  • APMs in Cancer Care: The Patient-Centered Oncology Payment Model An Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) is one of two options for participation in the QPP. In this podcast, Robin Zon, MD, an oncologist and chair-elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), explains the phases of ASCO’s Patient-Centered Oncology Payment model and how it can function as an Advanced APM under the QPP. (21:59; transcript available)
  • The Rise of Specialist-Driven Alternative Payment Models in American Medicine Some physicians across the country have taken it upon themselves to design APMs that work within their specialties. In this podcast, Lawrence Kosinski, MD, a gastroenterologist in Illinois, describes SonarMD, a web-based platform that pings patients to keep track of their symptoms outside the office visit to get ahead of issues before they become emergencies. (27:00; transcript available)

Several other resources and educational materials also are available on the AMA’s Understanding Medicare Reform webpage, which will be continually updated to reflect what is in the rule.

Modules in the AMA’s STEPS Forward™ collection of practice improvement strategies can help you maximize your preparedness for quality reportingprepare for value-based carechoose the best electronic health record (EHR) for your practice and implement an EHR system.

The AMA will be hosting two webinars on the QPP: Nov. 21, 7 p.m. EST, and Dec. 6, 8 p.m. EST. Registration for both webinars is open. Regional meetings will be held Dec. 1 in Atlanta and Dec. 10 in San Francisco. The regional meetings can be attended in person or online. Details and registration will be available soon.  

Watch AMA Wire® in the coming weeks for a more detailed look at what CMS included or changed in the final rule as experts decipher its impact on practices that serve patients under Medicare.