Panel to examine MACRA, the physician payment overhaul law

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health IT since the late 1990s for a variety of publications.

Given the ACA’s uncertain future, some experts have said that another law, MACRA, could lead the way on provider payment reform and accountable care innovations.

At the AHCJ’s Health Journalism 2017 conference in Orlando, a panel of providers will discuss their implementation of MACRA rules so far (reporting began on Jan. 1), and what the law means for their practices and their patients. A trade group representative from Washington, D.C., will give an overview of the law and where regulations stand in the Trump administration.

The panel, “MACRA: The ins and outs of physician payment reform,“ offers journalists an opportunity to learn the details of the law and regulations, as well as some strategies that providers are using to comply. Additionally, panelists will discuss some of the challenges they are facing with the regulations and how the new administration might address those. The panel is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. on Friday, April 21.

Armed with this information, journalists will have key questions to ask medical practices in their own communities about how they are complying with the law and what affect it may have on local patient care.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, MACRA, passed Congress with overwhelming support (91 percent of Congress voted for the bill). President Barack Obama signed it into law on April 16, 2015. Final regulations (2,400 pages) were issued in October 2016.

Speakers on the conference panel are:

  • Anders Gilberg, senior vice president of government affairs for the Medical Group Management Association, MGMA. Gilberg has run many workshops for MGMA members on MACRA. He will provide up to the minute information on the regulations, as well as an overview of the law’s scope and impact.
  • Todd D. Grages is president and chief executive officer of the Methodist Physicians Clinic in Omaha, Neb. Methodist Physicians, with 20 locations in Omaha and Southwest Iowa. Grages has been working on payment innovations for many years. He will offer insights into his experience with MACRA and how it compares to other payment innovations the practice has participated in.
  • Randi Terry is director of information services for Munson Healthcare, which serves 24 counties in northern lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. She is an information technology expert and will discuss the Munson’s challenges with MACRA as well as the law’s health IT rules.

Reporters who cover medical practices, patient care, health IT, payment reform and federal legislation will all benefit from the panel presentations and discussion. Attendees and those following along can use the hashtags #AHCJ17 and #AHCJMACRA.

If you haven’t yet registered for the conference, on-site registration will be available. Fill out the registration form and bring it with you.

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