Moving Towards a Value-Based Care System Under MACRA: How Telehealth Can Help

The transition from fee-for-service to fee-for-value continued this year with the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, known as MACRA, a new pay-for-performance program driving large-scale changes to the current Medicare reimbursement schedule for providers. Yet, health systems are still trying to assess what this new payment system means for their operations and how best to take advantage of MACRA’s opportunities.

A recent Deloitte article “MACRA: Quietly transforming health care” discussed how MACRA rewards physicians for improving the way they deliver care while transforming payment and care delivery models to reduce costs and total expenditures under the Medicare program. The article continues to describe a meeting Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation facilitated with 31 provider stakeholders to discuss some of the challenges they’ve encountered and how best to move towards a value-based care system.

Participants expressed a willingness to work through barriers and come up with solutions, despite the challenges they face in implementing MACRA. These challenges include tracking and reporting new quality measures, accounting for risks with new payment models, and overcoming obstacles that come with implementing new technology platforms.

Considering some of the challenges, we’ve identified that telemedicine can help support value-based care initiatives in the following ways:

  • Access solution: Telemedicine extends patient reach and expands access to care to those in rural communities as well as those who are unable to travel to a health system’s facility.
  • Engagement strategy: By incorporating telehealth, health systems are giving patients another avenue to engage. Telemedicine oftentimes allows for more one-on-one time with a patient compared to an in-person visit, resulting in more valued engagements.
  • Adherence to practice guidelines: Quality is of utmost importance. By utilizing telemedicine and incorporating practice guidelines to a health system’s workflow, the quality of the virtual visits with patients greatly exceeds.

From a legislative standpoint, we’re getting to a place where telehealth is poised to play a pivotal role in, and have a strong impact on, the transition towards value-based care. Telehealth legislation is continuously changing, at both the state and federal level, allowing for greater opportunities to assist health systems move towards value-based care and scale their services to meet the needs of both patients and providers.

Avizia was acquired by American Well in July of 2018. Information on this page refers to activities that occurred prior to the acquisition and are presented for historical context. Together we provide a comprehensive acute care offering—a full end-to-end telemedicine solution for health systems and their providers.