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MACRA reporting and value-based care will be hard on small practices

A McKesson Corporation analytics expert talks about the challenges facing small physician practices during the transition to MACRA and value-based healthcare.

In this second part of a two-part Q&A, John Shewell, vice president of healthcare analytics for McKesson Corporation's Connected Care and Analytics division, addresses the challenges that MACRA reporting and value-based healthcare pose for small physician practices. In the first part of the Q&A, Shewell talks about how advanced healthcare cost accounting can help providers negotiate the transition from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement.  

Can you talk about the transition to MACRA reporting and value-based healthcare and what ultimately might be the impact on small physician practices and smaller hospitals? Will they be able to survive the changeover in better shape by using advanced analytics?

John Shewell, vice president, healthcare analytics, Connected Care and Analytics division, McKesson CorporationJohn Shewell

John Shewell: There's obviously a large consolidation going on, not so much big organizations buying big organizations, but large organizations snapping up physician practices. A lot of that gets to that steerage, being able to kind of control a service area and being able to guide and direct patients the way you want. So it's going be increasingly harder for a standalone mom-and-pop organization to just navigate the technical requirements of things like the transition to MACRA reporting. If you think about it, the regulatory requirements are not going down. They're going up. You've got an EHR, so you now have to submit all of these measures.

So it's becoming more of a burden. The small mom-and-pop shops, they don't have their own IT shop. I don't see a really lucrative environment right now for that type of standalone. I think you can see some potential opportunity in some of the smaller ACOs (accountable care organizations) where you have at least enough of a brand that's scaled to kind of attack a population from more of almost a medical home type of approach, but the single practices I think, are going to have a real tough time.

Editor's note: McKesson and Change Healthcare announced the formation of a new company that combines most of MTS' healthIT systems, including RelayHealth Intelligence. The deal has not been finalized.

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