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Finding an EHR solution that supports MACRA


The trend toward value-based care means that, as a new independent practice owner, you have the opportunity to focus on the quality of your patient outcomes rather than stressing over billing and then waiting for reimbursement for a quantity of visits. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has established a reward system, known as MACRA, that changes the way you are rewarded for value over volume.

Finding the right electronic health record (EHR) solution for MACRA is critical for optimizing incentive payments and for providing that quality care for your patients. MACRA is the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. As part of MACRA, the Quality Payment Program (QPP) provides you with the tools and resources you need to give your patients the best possible care and to be rewarded for providing higher-value care.

An EHR solution for MACRA will need to meet certain certification requirements as it also enables you to track results and share relevant data. Interoperability has become a focus as well, as current and accurate patient data needs to be accessible by all providers caring for that individual. Particularly as more individuals are struggling with chronic diseases, care by multiple providers must be seamless and coordinated.

When you are selecting an EHR solution for MACRA for your new practice, you’ll need to stay focused on the requirements set forth by CMS as well as the practical uses of the healthcare technology for your patients.

Elation provides your new practice with a HIPAA compliant ONC certified EHR with a clinical-first experience, empowering you to deliver phenomenal patient care.

The QPP offers two tracks: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). The track you choose will depend on your practice size, specialty, location, and patient population. For MIPS, certified EHR technology can help with reporting and, for some categories, it’s a requirement. For example, if you want to earn bonus points within the Quality category, your EHR must be certified health information technology. A certified EHR for MACRA can help streamline the administrative process necessary to capture, calculate, and report data to CMS.

Under the APM program, there are minimum targets to meet to qualify, including targets for the use of certified health information technology. No two APMs will have the same requirements, but certified EHR solutions offer a range of core capabilities that align with the advanced care delivery goals emphasized by all of the models. Certified EHRs help with the calculation and reporting of measure for the APM models.

The benefits of certified EHR technology (CEHRT) include:

  • Improved interoperability between providers
  • Supported patient access to health information via new functionalities and a range of potential technologies, including the use of application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • A revised View, Download, and Transmit criterion that continues to support patients’ access to their health information, including via email transmission to any third party the patient chooses and through a second encrypted method of transmission.

It’s critical to understand the updated requirements as well as the benefits of an EHR solution for MACRA, including the updated 2015 Edition Cures criteria that are designed to advance interoperability between certified health technology systems and make it easier for patients to access their own health information via devices such as their smartphones.