KPMG and The American Medical Association recently surveyed 1,000 practicing physicians and found that there is a high rate of physician confusion surrounding the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and its Quality Payment Program (QPP).

About half of hospital-based physicians surveyed said they were not knowledgeable about the Medicare physician pay overhaul that began earlier this year. This is a larger percentage compared to physicians in other settings. The survey found disparities between hospital based and solo practice physicians with 44 percent of hospital-based physicians saying they were “somewhat knowledgeable” of MACRA and QPP, while 44 percent of physicians in solo practice reported a lack of knowledge about MACRA.

The disparity also showed in how prepared physicians are for MACRA requirements with 79 percent of the hospital-based physicians describing themselves as “somewhat prepared” for the MACRA requirements that began at the start of 2017, and for solo practice physicians only 22 percent described themselves as well-prepared and 56 percent as somewhat prepared.

Hospitals are making an effort to educate their physicians with 45 per cent of the responding physicians reporting that they received training sessions from their hospital or health system. Educating physicians is in the hospitals best interest because MACRA has a financial impact on hospital Medicare revenue.

In related recent news, more than 800,000 physicians won’t need to follow MIPS reporting requirements for another year. In May, CMS sent letters to 806,879 clinicians informing them they will not be evaluated under MACRA’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for this year. Exempted doctors are those with less than $30,000 in Medicare charges and fewer than 100 unique Medicare patients per year. Clinicians new to Medicare this year are also exempt. So for these exempt physicians, lack of knowledge and being unprepared for MACRA will not impact them…yet.