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ACMSS Looking Toward Jan. 1 MACRA Implementation Needs


ACMSS Looking Toward Jan. 1 MACRA Implementation Needs

President/CEO, American College of Medical Scribe Specialists
(657) 888-2158

ORANGE, Calif., November 23, 2016. With all of the confusion surrounding the presidential election and the transition to the new administration, many are concerned about what changes might be on the horizon. The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS) continues to watch developments closely, but is more focused on January 1 than January 20. Last month, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released the final version of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Quality Payment Program, which is intended to streamline the Medicare system and reward physicians for quality patient care. ACMSS is continuing to work to help eligible providers prepare for full implementation.

On October 14, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell celebrated MACRA’s release:  “Today, we’re proud to put into action Congress’s bipartisan vision of a Medicare program that rewards clinicians for delivering quality care to their patients. Designed with input from thousands of clinicians and patients across the country, the new Quality Payment Program will strengthen our health care system for patients, clinicians and the American taxpayer.”

HHS at the time also announced a new website for the Quality Payment Program at to help clinicians, healthcare leaders and patients to understand the program.

In the short time before full MACRA and MIPS implementation, ACMSS is stepping up its efforts to help eligible providers get ready. The first performance period opens Jan. 1, 2017 and closes Dec. 31, 2017. During 2017, eligible clinicians should record quality data and how they used technology to support their practice. To potentially earn a positive payment adjustment under MIPS, they must send in data to MIPS about the care they provided and how their practices used technology in 2017 by the deadline of March 31, 2018.

Eligible clinicians who don’t send in any 2017 data will receive a negative 4% payment adjustment. Those who submit a minimum amount of 2017 data to Medicare can avoid a negative payment adjustment. Those who submit at least 90 days of 2017 data to Medicare may earn a neutral or small positive payment adjustment.  If they submit a full year of 2017 data to Medicare, eligible clinicians may earn a moderate positive payment adjustment.

ACMSS believes MACRA is a vital piece in the continuing evolution of the U.S. healthcare system, from a disease-based model to one that is focused on prevention, wellness and disease reversal. Whatever we want to call it—integrative medicine, functional medicine or precision medicine—we are talking about current systems, and the coming healthcare system. ACMSS believes the healthcare system of the future should:

·       be tailored to and individualized for each patient

·       rely on a partnership between patients and medical practitioners

·       require a complete picture of the patient, including health history, environment, lifestyle, genetic make-up, diet and host of other factors

·       focus on the entire patient, not just on disease, symptoms and illness or injury

·       involve patients and providers spending much more time together focused on wellness, prevention and disease reversal

 “We know that technology improvement is not a once and done proposition, and that the people side of improvement in healthcare quality and patient safety is what will drive innovation,” says ACMSS Executive Director Kristin Hagen. That’s why ACMSS offers a full suite of custom consulting services, medical scribe certification programs and corporate partnerships to help practices navigate the new program and come into compliance to avoid payment reductions.”

The ACMSS certification program meets current and proposed CMS certification requirements toward use of electronic health records. ACMSS is independent from all scribe companies and organizations and works in compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to meet national goals and initiatives of MIPS, MACRA, and Meaningful Use of computerized provider order entry.  Certified medical scribes also meet the “qualified people” measure in Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). 

The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists offers five separate pathways for Certified Medical Scribe Specialists(CMSS)  and a growing list of customized, one-on-one consulting solutions. Please contact ACMSS directly at or 657-888-2158 if you have any questions regarding the ACMSS program and/or materials.

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