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AMA: Providers only have to do one thing now to avoid MACRA penalties in 2019

Eligible clinicians can report quality information for only one patient using just one measure but they have to do it in 2017.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

The American Medical Association is urging providers big and small to avoid a Medicare payment penalty in 2019 by taking the necessary steps now before December 31, the first reporting year under the new MACRA rule's Quality Payment Program.

The AMA is stressing that the baseline reporting requirements are minimal, and therefore providers should be able to meet them and avoid a penalty.

For those who were not prepared or equipped to participate fully in 2017, eligible clinicians can report quality information for only one patient using just one measure in 2017, to avoid a penalty in 2019.

The group also stressed that clinicians should choose a quality measure to report on that makes sense based on their patient population and/ or procedures that are most frequently performed.

The AMA also launched an awareness campaign called "one patient, one measure, no penalty" which offers a step-by-step guide to completing the reporting process.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is offering its own free, customized technical assistance through the Small, Underserved and Rural Support Initiative.

The AMA said it is working closely with CMS to ensure that regulations ruling the QPP are less burdensome than previous law, contain lower penalties, offer upside incentives, and actually help physicians transition into the program.

"While physicians may be ready to take only a small step for the 2017 performance year by reporting on one measure for one patient, learning now to report through one measure this year will set you up for being successful next year," the AMA said. "For 2018, to successfully report quality measures for the full year means being ready on January 1."

Twitter: @BethJSanborn
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