Are You Ready to Implement the MACRA Final Rule?


It has now been a few months since the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) final rule was published. The rule, which will go into effect on January 1, 2017, includes some substantial changes that will impact payment models for smaller medical practices. Consequently, it is important to learn about and implement these changes to your billing procedures to make sure you’re claims will be submitted and reviewed properly.

For smaller practices worried about their ability to make necessary changes before the deadline, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have provided the “Pick Your Pace” rule, which provides three different extension options for practices that need extra time to be fully prepared to participate in MACRA. Should you opt for one of the “Pick Your Pace” routes, take advantage of the extra time to fully prepare. Waiting until the end of 2017 won’t make it any easier for you to adjust than making all of the changes now will.

Just as it says in our article on catching common billing errors, staying up-to-date on changes in billing criteria is essential for you to secure your practice’s financial success. Practices that have kept current are more likely to succeed with MACRA. In fact, medical practices that have already implemented the Value-Based Modifier, Meaningful Use, and the PQRS will find this particular transition much easier, since MACRA combines these three separate programs into one.

Practices that participate in MACRA when it launches in 2017 and stay current with any medical billing trend will also be more likely to adapt in 2018, as the program becomes more complex and difficult. Should you choose the “Pick Your Pace” options, spend the extra time to fully understand and incorporate the MACRA final rule into your procedures. Participating now will help you reap the rewards of this improved program; it likely will not go away any time soon.

As you work to make your practice thrive, implementing MACRA now will be an important tool at your disposal. This is an act that will affect you, whether you put it off or not, so learn about it, practice it, and incorporate it into your billing protocol. Doing so will not only help you survive in the current climate in the healthcare field, but will also make you ready to adapt any new policies or changes in the future.



Tyler Vogelsberg graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Psychology. He spends his time editing children’s books, writing freelance, and finishing his own novel. When he’s not working, he either has his head in the clouds or in a book, or he is spending time with friends and family.



Image credits:,, and the American Rhuematism Assoc.

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