MACRA requires knowledge of qualities of “good” data

Medicare is allowing physicians and group practices to set their own course toward compliance with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, or MACRA. But regardless of the path chosen, accurate measurement is key.

That’s because the most basic level of participation requires physicians to submit data on one quality measure and one improvement activity to avoid a penalty.

Successful data collection begins with an understanding of what turns big data into quality data — data that can reveal trends and deliver insights that inform decisions.

Raw data from claims or from electronic medical records (EMRs) is not suitable for analysis. To turn raw data into usable information it must be organized — a process called normalization — and checked for accuracy, meaningfulness and security — a process called validation.

Usable data also combines information from varied sources including inpatient and outpatient clinical settings, claims records, pharmacies, and socioeconomic reports.

Only with quality data will physicians be able to track patient care patterns and outcomes, determine if they are improving and submit the results to meet MACRA requirements.

You can read more about generating and utilizing data — and next steps — in the white paper, “Getting from Big Data to Good Data.

Also, take five minutes to read about the possible paths physicians can take to MACRA compliance — and the benefits of each — in the latest #5in5 episode.


About the Author:

Erik Johnson, MBA

VP for Health Management Consulting

Erik is a VP for health management consulting. He has broad experience in designing population health strategies for a broad array of providers. He was most recently senior vice president at Avalere Health, where he ran its Healthcare Networks consulting practice and oversaw new product development. Erik assisted health care systems in determining how to adopt and assess accountable care and bundled payment models, and guiding overall strategy. Erik also worked with health IT companies in responding to emergent issues around EHRs and data exchange.

Erik has an BA with honors and distinction from Stanford University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


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