Implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is ongoing, albeit under a new name -- the Quality Payment Program. And many family physicians have a steep learning curve to ensure they are ready to participate.
The best way for physicians to get started and keep the momentum going is to understand how their practices are performing. Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) represent the best tool currently available to provide the necessary data for that inside look.
Given that many physicians are unfamiliar with QRURs, the AAFP has created a series of on-demand webcasts to lead family physicians through the process of learning why these reports are important and how to use them.
Sandy Pogones, M.P.A., a certified professional in health care quality and the AAFP's senior strategist for health care quality, serves as moderator for all four video webcasts.
This series is free to AAFP members.
The videos are short, ranging in length from just under 11 minutes to a little more than 13 minutes. So take a few minutes when time is available, sit down and watch a segment. Consider it an investment in your future.
The first webcast in the lineup, titled "Making Sense of the QRUR: Overview and Performance Highlights," serves as the introduction to the series.
In this video, Pogones defines the QRUR as the instrument used by CMS to calculate the VBPM -- an adjustment made to Medicare payments for items and services provided under the Medicare physician fee schedule. She explains how physicians can use the QRUR to determine how they will fare in terms of the VBPM.
The second webcast takes a deep dive into the quality component of the QRUR. Pogones shows physicians how they can identify specific targets within their practice and develop strategies to improve their quality scores.
The third video in the series tackles the cost component. Pogones reminds physicians that they are held accountable for the cost of care provided for certain chronic and acute conditions. Physicians will learn about patient attribution, factors that impact the cost of care and strategies to successfully reduce costs.
The final segment puts all the pieces together. Pogones explains the importance of feedback reports -- be they QRURs or something similar created down the road -- and covers details of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and advanced alternative payment models. Her ultimate goal is to help physicians understand what they need to do to be successful in the payment systems of the future.
Pogones offers words of encouragement in the final learning session. She advises physicians to
- understand that small effective changes lead to improvement;
- work on the elements of health care quality and cost together;
- give themselves credit for what they do well, and bill for what they do using QRURs as a source of encouragement rather than discouragement; and
- remember that help is available through federal government programs and local quality improvement networks.
Pogones ends her final session on this note: "As always, the AAFP is here to guide you through the maze."
Related AAFP News Coverage
Preparing for MACRA Implementation
FPs Embrace Quality and Resource Use Reports as Valuable Tools
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Family Practice Management: What You Need to Know About Medicare's New "Quality and Resource Use Report"