HIMSS Foundation Institute for e-Health Policy Holds Briefing on MACRA

On Thursday, July 14th, the HIMSS Foundation’s Institute for e-Health Policy hosted a briefing on “MACRA: Understanding the implication for Health IT.” The panel discussion was facilitated by Jeff Coughlin, Sr. Director of Federal and State Affairs at HIMSS, and the panelists included:

  • Dr. Fred D. Rachman, CEO, Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services, 
  • Mark Segal, Vice President, Government and Industry Affairs, GE Healthcare IT
  • Mariann Yeager, CEO, The Sequoia Project
  • Laura Hoffman, Assistant Director, Department of Federal Affairs, American Medical Association


In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which placed an emphasis on the role of Health IT in driving care delivery and payment reform across the U.S. healthcare system. 


Following open remarks Congressman Diane Black (R-TN), a member of the Institute’s steering committee and host of the event, panelists engaged in a robust dialogue around MACRA’s impact on health IT and, more broadly, the role of interoperable health IT in supporting the migration to value-based payment models.  


Dr. Fred Rachman noted that despite the rapid deployment of technology in healthcare there are still gaps when it comes to appropriate metrics to track care delivery. According to Mariann Yeager, CEO of the Sequoia Project, MACRA can be useful in facilitating connectivity and health information sharing regardless of provider networks. In addition, the new quality payment program in MACRA can enable more clinicians to succeed on behalf of patients as the nation moves towards value based care, said Dr. Mark Segal. Dr. Segal also expressed his concern over the CMS incentive reporting program timeline, saying providers may not be fully prepared when the program starts on January 1,2017. This same sentiment was also echoed by other panelists. Laura Hoffman from American Medical Association highlighted the challenges faced by physicians in effectively using health IT, and suggested that simplifying and streamlining would increase program participation, especially for small physician practices.

The panelists universally agreed that the complexity of the MACRA proposed rule will pose challenges, but the focus on payment for value and how health IT can support this shift marks an important step forward in improving the quality, safety and efficiency of care delivered to patients.


For additional information on the HIMSS Foundation Institute for e-Health Policy, please contact David Gray, HIMSS Manager of Congressional Affairs at dgray@himss.org.