AMA/KPMG Survey: Docs Still Frustrated by MACRA’s Complexities | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

AMA/KPMG Survey: Docs Still Frustrated by MACRA’s Complexities

June 28, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints
Although 70 percent of respondents said they have begun preparing for the QPP, many doctors don’t feel well prepared and see the reporting requirements as complex and burdensome

A new survey of 1,000 practicing physicians who have been involved in practice decision-making related to MACRA’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) shows that fewer than one in four physicians who have begun to get ready for the program feel well prepared to meet its requirements in 2017.

The survey, conducted by the American Medical Association (AMA) and KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, also revealed that more than half of the leading physicians believe that MACRA’s (the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act’s) requirements are “very” burdensome.

However, seven in ten respondents did say that they have begun preparing to meet the requirements of the QPP in 2017. Of those respondents, though, 65 percent said they feel “somewhat prepared” and 23 percent said they feel “well prepared” to meet requirements in 2017.

MACRA encourages physicians to adopt value-based payment models in healthcare that connect Medicare’s reimbursement to quality and performance reporting. The law went into effect this year with “pick your pace” options for those required to participate in the QPP. Of those physicians responding to the survey, 56 percent plan to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2017, a payment system with variable incentive payments or penalties based on certain quality and efficiency measures, while 18 percent are expecting to qualify for higher and more stable payment as an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) participant. Another 7 percent expect to participate in an APM, but not meet the qualifying participant standard; 8 percent do not expect to participate; and 12 percent do not know whether and how they will participate in 2017.

Just last week, the government released a proposed rule for MACRA’s QPP in 2018, with a core aim to help simplify things for small, independent and rural practices. To this end, this survey found that while these small practice physicians do need more help than larger organizations, some challenges are universal regardless of practice size, specialty, or previous value-based care experience, particularly the time required and the complexity of reporting.

While the rule that was released last week didn’t contain the same “pick your pace” affordability that eligible clinicians were granted in 2017, the proposal does offer some flexibilities of its own for 2018. As such, survey respondents who feel that MACRA is already too burdensome this year likely will be frustrated in 2018 as well.

“This survey showed that about a third of respondents are unlikely to meet the basic standard of one patient, one measure, no penalty,” AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D, said in a statement.

For this survey, the largest cohort of respondents (25 percent) are in a physician practice with between 5 and 10 clinicians; 20 percent of respondents were in a practice size of 2 to 4 physicians; 15 percent had a practice just on their own; and 22 percent were in practice sizes of 25 or more physicians.

The AMA/KPMG survey was released at the Eighth Annual Alternative Payment Model (APM) and Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Summit this week, and found that a majority (51 percent) of surveyed physicians who are involved in practice decision-making are somewhat knowledgeable about MACRA and the QPP, and only 8 percent describe themselves as “deeply knowledgeable” about the program and its requirements.

In addition, 90 percent felt the reporting requirements were “somewhat” or “very” burdensome, with the time required to report performance being the most significant challenge, followed by understanding requirements, how MIPS performance is scored, and the cost required to accurately capture and report performance

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Study: EHRs Tied with Lower Hospital Mortality, But Only After Systems Have Matured

Over the past decade, there has been significant national investment in electronic health record (EHR) systems at U.S. hospitals, which was expected to result in improved quality and efficiency of care. However, evidence linking EHR adoption to better care is mixed, according to medical researchers.

Nursing Notes Can Help Predict ICU Survival, Study Finds

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario have found that sentiments in healthcare providers’ nursing notes can be good indicators of whether intensive care unit (ICU) patients will survive.

Health Catalyst Completes Acquisition of HIE Technology Company Medicity

Salt Lake City-based Health Catalyst, a data analytics company, has completed its acquisition of Medicity, a developer of health information exchange (HIE) technology, and the deal adds data exchange capabilities to Health Catalyst’s data, analytics and decision support solutions.

Advocate Aurora Health, Foxconn Plan Employee Wellness, “Smart City,” and Precision Medicine Collaboration

Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora Health is partnering with Foxconn Health Technology Business Group, a Taiwanese company, to develop new technology-driven healthcare services and tools.

Healthcare Data Breach Costs Remain Highest at $408 Per Record

The cost of a data breach for healthcare organizations continues to rise, from $380 per record last year to $408 per record this year, as the healthcare industry also continues to incur the highest cost for data breaches compared to any other industry, according to a new study from IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute.

Morris Leaves ONC to Lead VA Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization

Genevieve Morris, who has been detailed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from her position as the principal deputy national coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Services, will move over full time to lead the newly establishment VA Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization.