There has been a lot of talk and speculation about the future of healthcare in America in recent weeks, and the conversation has left many healthcare workers with a lot of still unanswered questions. It’s important to keep in mind that whatever changes may or may not be coming won’t happen all at once, or all that quickly. As far as the immediate future is concerned, things aren’t as up in the air as they seem.
Take MACRA/MIPS for example. As MACRA/MIPS is legislation, any changes will take a long time to be approved and put into effect. The Quality Payment Program is still on track to be implemented in 2017-2019 as scheduled. Most, if not all of what was set into motion by the previous administration will continue on as planned.
But what exactly does all of this mean for your practice? Specifically, what does it mean for the work you’ve put into upgrading your healthcare IT, and overhauling your Policies and Procedures? Today, nothing. But over the next couple of years, you can likely expect:
- Some regulations to be simplified, freeing up additional time and resources to focus on new innovations
- Some form of amendment to the Affordable Care Act that will remove the “public option” from the health coverage equation, focusing instead on pushing private payers to expand their offerings
- Medicaid to be moved closer to the states, with states having more funds to invest in innovations
- FTC enforcement actions to potentially ease up
- The transition from fee for service to value-based purchasing to continue on unchanged, with the work being done to improve quality, safety, efficiency, patient/family engagement, and population health remaining a high priority
Your best course of action at the moment is to simply carry on. Keep working with your IT services provider to improve your infrastructure, and adopt new technology that allows you to leverage mobility and cloud-based services to enhance the quality of patient care. Invest in the new EHR system you’ve been considering. Leave your strategic IT plan and IT budget as-is for 2017, and focus on reaching the goals you’ve set for your practice.
If you have concerns or reservations about your current IT infrastructure, or the impact future regulations or legislation could have on your practice down the road, reach out to the Alvarez Technology Group healthcare IT experts. We can answer your questions, and help make sure your practice stays on the right track.