The newly proposed Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act will be implemented over the next 10 years, and Andy Slavitt, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, described to a room full of influential physicians how the implementation of the new plan will relieve some of the long-accumulating burden physicians are feeling.
“We’re hearing some hard and important truths — physicians are frustrated,” Slavitt said during his Monday presentation at the American Medical Association’s 2016 House of Delegates Annual Meeting.
During his staff’s meetings with more than 6,300 stakeholders across the country and the more than 135 events centered around physicians and clinicians affected by the quality-payment program, Slavitt said he has heard that measures have become about compliance, not quality improvement; technology often distracts instead of supports patient care and that many small impositions from afar add up to a feeling that CMS just doesn’t get what physicians are facing, Slavitt said.
“This gives us a place to start in thinking about this new quality-payment program framework and developing a road map that not only includes patient care, but does it by beginning to address some of the underlying and very real issues of physician burnout,” he added.
Slavitt listed six areas his staff identified through these sessions that can help to improve value-based payments. They are:
- Providing reports and using quality measures that are timely and helpful to practice improvement.
- Providing support, specifically for smaller practices that are burdened with increased paperwork and without the staff to handle it.
- Allowing physicians more participation in selecting measures, and focusing solely on what’s relevant to their specialty or practice.
- Putting more pressure on technology vendors and less burden on physicians to allow physicians to do simple things like track referrals.
- Making sure there are sufficient paths to participate in alternative payment models.
- Working to reduce the cost of reporting.
Slavitt took a similar approach of tailoring his message to the audience when he spoke last month at the American Hospital Association Annual Membership Meeting. He said that while these challenges and frustrations won’t be solved overnight, collaboration and transparency in addressing these issues will lead to a better program for all.
“Openly and honestly addressing these challenges and others we hear about gives us a path to improving how the Medicare program works for you [delegates] and will lead to getting better results for our beneficiaries,” he said.