Worried About MACRA? Focus on Patient Engagement.

Patient-centered CareIt’s no secret that the cost of healthcare is increasing at an unsustainable rate and it has been for a long time. As CMS and other payers struggle to shift incentives and identify ways to lower costs, they have introduced new programs aimed at achieving those goals.

As CMS begins to mandate to value-based care – a continuation of the “value over volume” imperative – the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) has introduced another step toward the transition to value. This legislation includes two paths for physicians: Merit Based Incentive Program System (MIPS), an incentive program which consolidates three existing incentive programs, including Meaningful Use, and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APM) like the Oncology Care Model, that reward performance and outcomes.  

MACRA may seem complicated and you may be concerned about complying, but you are likely already meeting many requirements through your EMR like e-prescribing and protected health information. If you are also using the Navigating Care platform, you and also providing patients with electronic access, personalized education, secure messaging and more.

These programs all hinge on patient engagement – delivering better care at a lower cost – so focusing your efforts here will help you not only improve care, but also help you thrive in the new value-based world of healthcare.

Patient Relationship Management is the Key

A PRM solution allows for comprehensive, coordinated care that puts everyone is on the same page. When the patient is closely connected to their care team, proactive, continuous monitoring and early intervention for that patients become much more likely and reduces the likelihood of an adverse event. The care team is alerted when attention is needed and the patient is able to really understand their diagnosis and treatment options and effectively administer self care. Ultimately, the delivery of care will be improved which will lead to reduced costs.

The question remains of how to scale this type of care in a way that is financially feasible across large and diverse patient populations. The adoption of a new technology solution called Patient Relationship Management (PRM) might move us closer to a sustainable way to deliver better healthcare at a lower cost. A PRM solution, which is built to optimize coordination and nurture a close patient-provider relationship, is the tool that can connect all the pieces.

With a PRM, providers can do a lot more with less people and resources. They can stay in contact with patients remotely, centralize patient information so that the right member of the care team can intervene when necessary, and automate many important tasks like delivering educational information.

In order to keep cost in balance with quality, a technology solution is necessary to be the unifying layer between all the different vendors. It’s only going to get harder over time – whether it’s MACRA or OCM or another program, the future is value-based care – delivering higher quality care at a lower cost. Early adopters are going to get better faster than those more resistant to change and the performance bar may get higher for everyone. As you consider what’s right for your practice and your patients, make sure you have the right tools for the job. If you don’t do something, you could get left behind. If you do start taking steps toward a patient-centered care solution now, you’ll be headed in the right direction and, more importantly, your patients will thank you.

Need help with your patient-centered care initiatives? Navigating Cancer can help!

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