CMS recently announced an important enhancement to its fledgling Quality Payment Program website(qpp.cms.gov): It now features a tool designed to share electronic data.
For those unfamiliar with this program, it essentially serves as the implementation arm of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
The tool itself is an application program interface (API) that was created to ease the retrieval and maintenance of quality measures associated with the Quality Payment Program.
The real benefit for physicians comes when other groups are able to access those measures to build software applications for use in medical practices.
In a recent press release(www.cms.gov) about the new API tool, Kate Goodrich, M.D., M.H.S., director of CMS' Centers for Clinical Standards and Quality, said the tool's release would maintain the agency's focus on "user-driven design" by giving software developers the opportunity "to turn our data into powerful applications."
She noted CMS' commitment to working with groups "that doctors trust to make their lives easier, while supporting their efforts to improve the quality of care across America."
When CMS launched the website in October, the agency said the interactive site would help physicians understand and successfully participate in the Quality Payment Program.
After this latest addition to the site, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt noted in the press release that CMS was committed to making physician participation in the program easier and less expensive so that physicians could focus on their patients' health and well-being.
He added that incorporation of the interface tool was "a step in that process, both for physicians and the technologists who support them."
The AAFP is also doing its part to ensure that family physicians are fully engaged in the shift to value-based payment. For those who are not yet ready, a visit to the Academy's MACRA Ready resource page is essential to preparing for physicians for future payment systems.