The recent expiration of the authorization to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program, a key component of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, shocked a lot of people and threw into question the ability of states to continue administering the program over the next several months.

For organizations that were still in the process of or planning to implement MIPs and APMs software to meet MACRA requirements, this expiration sounds like a signal to put everything on hold because no one knows what will happen next. However, organizations should continue with implementation plans because CHIP is not down and out, and neither is MACRA.

MACRA Covers More Than CHIP

Remember, MACRA also covers Medicare access. If your office sees Medicare patients, and you are participating in the Quality Payment Program, you will definitely need the software to track physician performance.

Also of note is that many states still have enough CHIP funds to keep functioning for a while. A few have only a couple of months of funding left, but others are in better shape, which means that CHIP in those states will continue for the foreseeable future. All appointments and treatments related to CHIP should be logged in the software once it's operational so that the office can continue to provide a detailed record of outcomes.

Because it can take a while for an office to adapt its processes and records to new software (and that's before taking bugs into account), your organization should continue to get the software up and running as quickly as possible.

Extension Efforts Are Already Underway

It's also important to note that there are already efforts in Congress to get CHIP funding reauthorized. The expiration/lapse was unfortunate but not invisible. At least one bill to extend CHIP for another five years has been submitted (though this bill also pulls back on the funding amounts just a bit). Given the popularity of the program, the number of congressional representatives getting ready for re-election campaigns, and the power of constituents to affect change (those calls everyone says you should make? they really work), there's a good chance CHIP funding will be reauthorized in one way or another.

It's up to you which MACRA software packages you decide to go with, but do get them into place and get your office staff trained on reporting procedures. While you should never assume anything, it's a good bet that you will need that software running well.

Contact a company like C3 Partners for more information and assistance.