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CMS awards $100 million to help small practices succeed



March 03, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Practice Management 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded $20 million to 11 organizations for the first year of a five-year project to provide on-the-ground training and education about the Quality Payment Program, established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), for clinicians in individual or small group practices. CMS intends to invest up to an additional $80 million over the remaining four years.


Health Services Advisory Group was awarded the contract to help small practices in Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands prepare for and participate in the new Quality Payment Program, established by MACRA.    


This local, experienced, community-based organization will provide hands-on training to help to small practices (15 clinicians or fewer), especially those that practice in rural and under-resourced areas. The training and education resources should be available immediately and will be provided at no cost to eligible clinicians and practices.


According to CMS, clinicians will receive help choosing and reporting on quality measures, as well as guidance with all aspects of the program, including supporting change management and strategic planning, and assessing and optimizing health information technology.


The  California Medical Association and the American Medical Association fought to include language in the Medicare reform law to provide this direct assistance to small and rural practices to help them comply with MACRA’s  Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and transition to new payment models. As part of that outreach effort, CMS also launched a new helpline for clinicians seeking assistance with the Quality Payment Program. The helpline can be reached by calling (866) 288-8292 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, or emailing qpp@cms.hhs.gov.

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