$20 Million Awarded to Help Solo, Small Practices Succeed Under MACRA

As CMS moves forward with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, it is funding organizations to help solo and small practices succeed under the new payment system.

As CMS moves forward with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), organizations will be equipped to help small practices succeed under the new payment system.

Eleven organizations have been awarded $20 million for the first year of a 5-year program to provide training and education about MACRA’s Quality Payment Program—which includes the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). These organizations will be working with individual or small group practices with 15 clinicians or fewer. Up to $80 million will be awarded over the next 4 years of the program.

“Clinicians in small and rural practices are critical to serving the millions of Americans across the nation who rely on Medicare for their healthcare,” Kate Goodrich, MD, chief medical officer and director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at CMS, said in a statement. “Congress, through the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, recognized the importance of small practices and rural practices and provided the funding for this assistance, so clinicians in these practices can navigate the new program, while being able to focus on what matters most -- the needs of their patients.”

The organizations that have been awarded the funding are based in the community and will provide hands-on training and customized technical assistance to clinicians and practices, such as helping them choose and report on quality measures.

Goodrich previewed these awards during an interview at The American Journal of Managed Care®’s fall meeting of the ACO & Emerging Healthcare Delivery Coalition®. She explained that the awards were going to organizations that would help solo and small practices sign up for and be successful in the MIPS program most likely, or in an APM if there is one available to them.

“So this is $100 million that is being focused directly on those types of practices that we know are the most concerned about being successful in this program and may not even know about the program,” she said.

The small practices that will benefit from these organizations include those practicing in under-resourced areas, such as rural areas, health professional shortage areas, and medically underserved areas.

The 11 organizations that are receiving the funding are Altarum, Georgia Medical Care Foundation, HealthCentric, Health Services Advisory Group, IPRO, Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, QSource, Qualis, Quality Insights (West Virginia Medical Institute), Telligen, and TMF Health Quality Institute.