The CMS on Thursday released an online tool meant to help clinicians find which new Medicare payment models best suit them and their practices.
The tool is an application program interface or API that will allow physicians and their practices to build software that enables sharing of quality measure data for MACRA.
The application has been used by “tens of thousands” of users so far, according to the CMS. It's one of many ways the agency is trying to ease concerns by providers who are feeling the pressure of impending deadlines.
In October, the agency released the quality payment program website that helps providers understand how to adhere to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act and find the best ways for them to participate.
“An important part of the quality payment program is to make it easier and less expensive to participate, so clinicians may focus on seeing patients,” said Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of the CMS. “This first release is a step in that process, both for physicians and the technologists who support them.”
Reporting of quality data begins in January. Payment on that data will come two years later.
Under Merit-based Incentive Payment Systems, which were mandated under MACRA, physician payments will be based on a compilation of quality measures and the use of electronic health records. Physicians could also meet MACRA requirements by participating in an alternative payment model like an accountable care organization.
The American Medical Association has also created a series of tools to help doctors. The AMA released a payment model evaluator in October. An online questionnaire directs them to the best MACRA payment model.