Despite moves by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to push the industry toward value-based care, many doctors remain skeptical, according to an article in Physicians Practice, which suggests small practices that have been proactive in their approach toward new models may find themselves at an advantage going forward.

Statistics from the publication’s forthcoming physician survey indicate over half the 1,314 respondents saw value-based care as “a good idea in theory, but difficult in practice.” Around one in five see value-based care initiatives as hopeless attempts at implementing a bad idea, and a mere six percent were positive about both the concept and its potential impact on patients. Similar mixed responses to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and associated negative views of the Affordable Care Act generally have been seen throughout FiercePracticeManagement’s coverage of the shift to value-based payment models thus far.

Physicians Practice looked at four small practices that bit the bullet and decided to move toward value-based care ahead of the curve, and found a common thread in their focus on data collection and reporting, with two leaning heavily on the new CPT code 99490 to produce solid metrics for chronic care management. Improving in that area represents “low-hanging fruit,” according to Sarah Hurty, practice manager at Willamette Heart and Family Wellness, since practices can profit from it without necessarily adding to their current workload.

In the other two cases, practices joined with accountable care organizations or clinical practice networks to benefit from quality-care incentives generated by data sharing among members. Despite more complicated documentation requirements and the potential for sharing information with competitors, Steven Pearlman, a family physician from Chicago, sees little hope for small practices under MACRA if they go it alone. “Quit being a lone ranger. It’s not going to get you very far,” he says.

- here’s the article