The Quality Payment Program (QPP) from CMS, including the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), represents a shift toward focusing on quality measures, but there are resources available to help clinicians adjust to these changes, explained William Borden, MD, FACC, FAHA, associate professor of medicine and director of healthcare delivery transformation at the George Washington University.  

Transcript (slightly modified)

How will MACRA change the way you practice as a cardiologist?
It’s interesting, MACRA and the QPP has been really focused on quality measures, which is something that cardiology has been focused on for many years. So I think it’s an increasing work in that quality space, but it’s beginning to look more broadly than just the cardiovascular team. So it’s thinking about how we interact and partner with primary care, with other specialists, with nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and thinking about the care of our patients.  

It’s really about looking towards the future, because MACRA’s really the beginning, and the incentive payments are going to grow over time with MACRA, as well as more movement with commercial payers into this space. A lot of what I see here is that it’s building the infrastructure, the experience to be successful in the future.  

What advice would you give to other cardiologists on how to succeed under MACRA?
There are probably 3 parts. One is just trying to understand the program, so it seems rather complex but there are resources out there available, so for instance here, at the American College of Cardiology [ACC]; MACRA Hub is another great resource; Medicare and their QPP website is a great resource. And just trying to look at the different components, look at what capabilities and experience that you and your practice have already, and then where can you go from that.  

The second is looking at what things are available to you through your EHR [electronic health record] vendor, or again through ACC, tools around reporting, around quality improvement. And then the third is to stay focused on the patients. So, there’s a lot that can be done in these programs to be successful, and you can end up focusing a lot on those specifics. I think if you focus on trying to do the right thing for patients and creating a culture of quality, and also meeting the specifics of the programs, I think that is going to be the most patient-centric approach to success in the future.