AHQA Congratulates Quality Innovation Networks on Being Awarded CMS Contracts to Assist Underserved and Rural Practices Preparing for MACRA

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Quality Improvement Networks (QIN) from across the country have been awarded contracts from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help providers in small practices and in underserved and rural areas, succeed in the new Quality Payment Program (QPP).

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Providers in small group practices, as well as underserved, rural, and frontier areas, are critical components of our nation’s healthcare system.

Quality Improvement Networks (QIN) from across the country have been awarded contracts from the [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help providers in small practices and in underserved and rural areas, succeed in the new Quality Payment Program (QPP).

The 14 QINs, which consist of state-based Quality Innovation Organizations (QIO)s, have a long history of successful work with healthcare providers to improve health outcomes and lower costs for Medicare patients. Nine of the 11 award recipients are QIN-QIOs.

“Providers in small group practices, as well as underserved, rural, and frontier areas, are critical components of our nation’s healthcare system. These awards will allow QINs to activate their extensive, community-based networks around the country to provide in-depth, tailored technical assistance to these providers,” said Dr. Jane Brock, MD, MSPH, President of the American Health Quality Association. “We applaud CMS for recognizing and supporting the unique needs of these providers and for leveraging the capabilities of the QIN-QIO program to drive this important work.”

In particular, these contracts will help small healthcare providers navigate the new payment system in a way that maximizes both patients’ care and healthcare provider reimbursement. This payment system was authorized under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and articulated by CMS in its “Quality Payment Program Final Rule” in October 2016. MACRA aims to shift the Medicare payment system away from a billing-for-service system towards a billing-for-value system called the Quality Payment System.

As part of its effort to reward clinicians for value of care as opposed to volume, MACRA will also eliminate the Sustainable Growth Rate Formula for physician reimbursement, create a merit-based incentive payment system, and institute bonus payments for clinicians who participate in Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

Since 1984 the American Health Quality Association (AHQA) has represented Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) and other professionals working to improve healthcare quality and patient safety. AHQA is an educational, not-for-profit national membership association dedicated to promoting and facilitating fundamental change that improves the quality of healthcare in America.

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