The goal of the MAS program is to assist ambulatory practices in preparing for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
MACRA reformed Medicare health care payments by repealing the sustainable growth formula (SRG) and replacing it with a payment structure that aligns to federal reporting programs, and links payments to quality and performance. There are two options for physicians to choose in MACRA, the Merritt-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APMs).
MACRA replaces the overlapping Medicare reporting programs, Meaningful Use (MU), Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), and the value-based modifier (VBM), and replaces them with MIPS. In MIPS, providers report performance in four categories: Quality, Advancing Care Information, Improvement Activities, and Cost. Providers are scored, and receive a positive, negative, or neutral payment adjustment based on their performance in these categories. APMs are payment approaches that provide added incentives to deliver high-quality and cost efficient care. Advanced APMs are a subset of APMs in which practices are able to earn an automatic five percent incentive payment for taking on some risk related to their patient’s outcomes, and are exempt from MIPS reporting requirements if in a qualifying APM.
The program aims to educate stakeholders on important information and available resources to support the components of Merritt-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Payment Models (APMs).
The following is a list of resources to assist providers in navigating MACRA.
- AMA MACRA Education
- Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement MACRA
- AMA STEPS Forward
- AAFP MACRA Ready
- ACP MACRA, MIPS, and APM: What to Expect From All These Acronyms
- PCPCC Webinars/Videos
- Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative Training Program Database
- RWI State Health Reform Assistance Network
- ACP Member Forum on MACRA
- AMA MACRA Assessment
- ACP MACRA and the New Quality Payment Program
Management Service Organization (MSO)
In addition, MHCC designates Management Service Organizations (MSO) to support providers in maximizing the use of health IT and achieving practice transformation, which is essential to meeting the requirements under MACRA. A list of State Designated MSOs can be found on the MSO webpage.
Practice Transformation Networks
Practice Transformation Networks (PTNs) are peer-networks that help support practices to improve care through the use of electronic health records, care coordination, and patient monitoring to improve health outcomes and reduce hospitalizations. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded funding to 29 PTNs as part of the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative. Maryland partnered with the New Jersey Innovation Institute to complete the CMS defined practice transformation activities in Maryland. More information can be found on the Maryland Practice Transformation Network Activities page. A list of PTNs can be found on the CMS’ Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative website.
On March 30th, a learning event was held that provided an overview of the Practice Transformation Network efforts, which aim to improve care through hands on support to practices to develop the skills and tools needed to improve care delivery and transition to alternative payment models. The session also included information on the primary care model, value based initiatives, and information on participating in an Accountable Care Organization.