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September 28, 2016

NPAF highlights patients’ priorities, needs in MACRA comments

2016-09-28 | June 27, 2016

(Washington, DC) — National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) released its comment letter on the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), highlighting the need to include the patient perspective when evaluating value in health care.

MACRA, which passed in bipartisan support in 2015, fundamentally changes the way the United States evaluates and pays for health care. Most notably, the law repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that previously determined reimbursement rates for physicians and replaced it with new ways of paying for care, with a particular emphasis on quality and effectiveness.

NPAF’s comments centered on four patient-oriented insights for achieving quality care:

  • Patients and families want understandable, truthful information about the clinical benefits, risks, quality of life impact and out-of-pocket costs of different treatment options — information that could influence their treatment choices.
  • Understanding what is important to patients and families is paramount to providing high quality, value-based treatments and supportive services aligned with their priorities, needs and preferences.
  • Person-centered, family-oriented care uses skilled communication and coordination to engage patients and families as partners in determining goals of care and what matters to them.
  • Patients’ personal priorities and preferences, care experiences and outcomes constitute clinically essential expertise that patients and families must be invited to bring to the table continuously throughout the care trajectory. This information undergirds shared decision-making, quality care delivery, and associated quality measurement and evaluation efforts.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity, in MACRA, to prioritize information about what matters to patients and families as essential aspects of broader health system delivery reforms,” said Rebecca Kirch, JD, Executive Vice President for Healthcare Quality and Value. “Done correctly, these type of reforms can lead to practice innovations that improve the quality of care provided to all patients.”

NPAF also submitted comments with Regulatory Education and Action for Patients (REAP), its collaborative partnership comprised of 60 patient groups.