Are You Ready for MACRA? What You Need to Know, What Your Pathology Lab Must Do To Protect Pathologist Income

Webinar was held Thursday,
August 25, 2016 at 1PM EDT

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If you are like the majority of physicians, you probably don’t know about a new federal law known as MACRA. That also means you don’t know about the major changes that the Medicare program is prepared to make in how it pays physicians, including pathologists, starting on January 1, 2017, just 120 days away!

It is imperative that all pathologists and their practice administrators become knowledgeable about two new acronyms that will dictate big changes in all physician payments from Medicare:

  • MACRA: Medicare Access and Reauthorization Act
  • MIPS: Merit-Based Incentive Payment System

MACRA and MIPS are ambitious changes in the Medicare payment system designed to accelerate the transition away from fee-for-service payment for your physician professional services and toward value-based reimbursement. Does that get your attention? Deloitte describes MACRA as “disrupting the health care system at every level.”

For starters, were you aware that non-compliance in MIPS would subject your total annual Medicare payments for physician professional services to a penalty of 4% in 2019 and growing to 9% in 2022?

On the other hand, your successful participation in MIPS would qualify you for a 4% to 9% incentive added to your total annual Medicare payments for physician professional services. And this is just for starters. You may be surprised to learn that, under MACRA, the 0.5% annual inflation update to the physician fee schedule ceases as of 2019. That means the only opportunity you have to protect your Medicare income is to comply with MIPS and deliver the performance that is measured by the data you submit.

This is not a time for procrastination, as Medicare physician reimbursement undergoes the most sweeping change since its inception and this program starts in just 120 days. There is also big money at risk. The College of American Pathologists, in its assessment of the bill, estimated that the MIPS method will “have a $1.5 billion overall impact on the pathology specialty beginning in 2019.”

Because the stakes are high, and in order to help pathologists and pathology practices prepare for these dramatic changes, a special 90-minute webinar titled “Are You Ready for MACRA? What You Need to Know, What Your Pathology Lab Must Do to Protect Pathologist Income” will take place on Thursday, August 25, 2016, at 1 pm EDT.

MACRA’S base year is 2017, with data collected beginning January 2017
to affect pay in 2019. Is your pathology practice ready for the changes MACRA will bring?

MACRA is changing everything about how pathologists are paid for services. During this all-new DarkDaily webinar, three nationally-respected pathologists will help you understand what is in the MACRA law, why it accelerates the end of Medicare fee-for-service payments to pathologists, and which sections of the law require immediate action by your group’s practice administrator.

Building upon this knowledge, you’ll next learn the key details about MIPS, along with the essential steps you should take to position yourself and your pathology group to maximize the income opportunities offered by MIPS. You’ll also learn how to avoid the substantial penalties for non-compliance. Remember, MIPS ends up paying you as much as a 9% incentive added to your annual Medicare payments for compliance! That is much better than the alternative, since non-compliance means you’d see as much as a 9% penalty assessed against your total Medicare payments for the year.

Best of all is that our three speakers are actively preparing their respective pathology groups to comply with MACRA and MIPS. So you’ll get street-smart advice on must-do actions and the pitfalls to avoid. You’ll also come away with the essential knowledge you need to craft your own pathology group’s strategy to participate in MIPS as you work with your group’s legal counsel, CPAs and other business advisors.

Our presenters will share with you an overview of the MACRA changes, but perhaps more importantly, practical strategies and tactics that you should be undertaking now to be successful in the new value economy.

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Here’s just some of what you will take away
from this information-packed 90-minute session:

  • Understand what MACRA changes and why it replaces the SGR formula for physician fees
  • Learn the details of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and what steps pathologists should take to comply
  • Hear discussion of the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) section of MACRA and why few pathologists will opt to participate
  • Learn how the existing PQRS program pathologists use currently will migrate into MIPS
  • Discover how Meaningful Use requirements for EHR use become part of MIPS
  • Gain insight about how Medicare will use a composite score of four weighted performance categories to calculate the MIPS incentives and penalties for each participating pathologist
  • Get real-world examples of how three large pathology groups are preparing to participate in MIPS
  • Work with actual pathology group financial models of the expected positives/negatives to their partner’s incomes
  • Learn how swiftly private payers will incorporate elements of Medicare MIPS into their own contracts with pathologists
  • Gain insights into how rapidly Medicare is expected to make further cuts to fee-for-service payment models to physicians
  • Put together a MACRA checklist of steps you can take now to prepare your practice in order to thrive in the context of value-based payments
  • Discussion and Q&A about MACRA, MIPS, and the new rules for implementing the law

Whether a pathology lab or a private pathology practice, MACRA will require your close attention and hard work — and what’s more, it is not only just pathologists who will be affected by MACRA but also the physicians who refer tissue and lab tests who will be reimbursed differently.

Take steps now to help ease the MACRA transition for your practice, and get into position to earn financial rewards for the high value care you provide.

Speakers:

Michael Walsh, M.D., MBA, CPE, FCAP, FACPE, Chief Medical Officer, Aurora Diagnostics, Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

Dr. Walsh was the founder and President of Consultants in Laboratory Medicine of Greater Toledo, which was acquired by Aurora Diagnostics in October 2015. He has served as the Chairman of the Department of Pathology and Medical Director of the Clinical Laboratories for ProMedica Health Systems over the past 27 years. Dr. Walsh helped integrate 12 hospital laboratories into that health system. Dr. Walsh is certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic, Clinical and Chemical Pathology as well as the American Board of Medical Management as a Certified Physician Executive.

Jonathan Myles, M.D., Anatomic Pathologist, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Dr. Myles is a Staff Pathologist in the Department of Anatomic Pathology at Cleveland Clinic. He was appointed in 1993 after serving as Associate Professor of Pathology at the Medical College of Ohio. He completed a combined residency in anatomic and clinical pathology, with subspecialty training in cardiovascular pathology, at the Division of Laboratory Medicine of Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Myles is a Diplomate of Anatomic/Clinical Pathology of the American Board of Pathology, and a Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners. His special interests include anatomic, clinical, cardiac, renal and lymph node pathology.

Randy Eckert, M.D., Owner and Partner, Austin Pathology Associates, Austin, TX.

Dr. Eckert studied medicine at Texas A&M as an undergraduate student and started his career as a medical technologist, where he met the founders of Austin Pathology Associates. They became mentors to him, and encouraged him to go back to medical school to pursue pathology. After completing his medical education at Texas A&M, Dr. Eckert joined Austin Pathology Associates in 1989. Dr. Eckert was an owner and partner at Austin Pathology Associates from 1991 to 2011, when the organization became part of Aurora Diagnostics’ network of laboratories and partners. Driven by a passion for patient care, Austin Pathology Associates continues to provide the highest quality services.