In 2017, family physicians across the country began to absorb a lot of information about CMS' Quality Payment Program (QPP), including a plethora of details about the two payment pathways available to them in accordance with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) that became law in 2015.
Those two pathways, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and advanced alternative payment models (AAPMs) will guide physicians' Medicare payment for many years. Both pathways, however, are governed by cumbersome regulations that have undergone changes even as the programs are being implemented.
That's why the AAFP takes seriously its dual roles of guiding CMS in the creation of rules that are feasible for family physicians and creating resources to help members with those rules.
The Academy has kept its pledge to keep members informed, up-to-date and armed with the tools they need to succeed in MIPS and AAPMs.
Necessary 2018 updates to those resources have been ongoing and will be complete in the coming weeks. But even now, there is lots of help on the AAFP website just waiting to be tapped by members.
And so, as the new year begins, the AAFP invites family physicians to jump in and take advantage of what's been created to help them move forward with confidence.
The MACRA FAQ has consistently been one of the resources members value most. If you are a physician just getting started in this world of value-based payment, this is a great place to begin.
The Making Sense of MACRA: Supplements Bundle(16 MB PDF) was focused largely on what physicians needed to know in 2017, but it also gives a quick look at the basics of QPP.
The 2018 MIPS Playbook -- Making Sense of MACRA has recently been published on the Academy's website and members are invited to download this valuable resource at no charge. And the 2017 MIPS Playbook(3 MB PDF) is still available with details that members who are just getting started will no doubt find useful.
Keep all those MACRA-related dates and payment updates straight with a MACRA Timeline(1 page PDF) that takes you right through 2026.
Get a visual sense of where you're headed with QPP this year by checking out the AAFP's "Making Sense of MACRA: Understanding Your 2018 Pathway" supplement(4 MB PDF) that includes, on the last page, a handy list of "MACRA-nyms" -- all the important MACRA-related terms.
Employed physicians need to understand the basics of MACRA, as well. That's why the AAFP created the "Making Sense of MACRA: A Guide for the Employed Physician" supplement(1 MB PDF) and made it available for members to download at no charge.
Family Practice Management has stepped up to the plate in a big way with an entire series of articles and commentary devoted to helping family physicians understand the fine print of the QPP. Take some time to check out the journal's "Making Sense of MACRA" series.
Family physicians may not be aware that a variety of technical assistance programs are available to help them transition to the QPP. The AAFP gives you access to information on all of them, including the QPP-SURS (Small Practice, Underserved, Rural Support) assistance program that's available free of charge to practices with 15 or fewer eligible clinicians. This program focuses on those who practice in medically underserved areas, health professional shortage areas and rural locations.
Lastly, keep reading AAFP News for all the latest on what's going on with MACRA, QPP, MIPS, AAPMs and everything related to the nation's move to value-based payment. The entire collection of news stories is available in AAFP News' MACRA Ready section.