Population HealthRegistry ScienceResearch
February 24, 2015

Population Health: What Should It Really Mean?

A long time ago, on my first day of an Oncology fellowship, my soon-to-be-mentors asked me if I had a research interest. “Yes,” I said, “I want to cure breast cancer.” Their kind smiles belied their recognition of my naïveté. In retrospect, thinking too broadly leaves one adrift. To navigate to your goal, you need to chart a specific, systematic course. Talking without specificity about “population health” can lead to thinking as murky as my claim to cure breast cancer. Population health is sometimes defined so broadly that it becomes meaningless.  Unfortunately, population health has also become synonymous, for some people, with…
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Future of Health CareMedical Decision-MakingPopulation HealthResearch
February 17, 2015

Should Wearable Tech Be Tied to Patient Outcomes? Benefits and Risks of Sharing Personal Digital Data

How many steps did you take today? If you’re a Fitbit fan, you know precisely, and you’re not alone. Digital health devices were a $5 billion-plus growth industry last year, and the range of gadgets is expanding rapidly, from ear devices that measure blood pressure, respiration rate and oxygenation level, to iPhone cases that record your ECG. While wearable tech is a popular means to track your personal health and fitness, the data you collect is also a valuable commodity for ACOs, Health Systems and employers, who are looking for new ways to achieve meaningful savings under Value-Based Health Care.…
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Population HealthPQRS ReportingQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Payment Modifier
February 10, 2015

Navigating the ACO Labyrinth to Success: How to Find Your Way to Quality and Shared Savings

Last year, less than one quarter of Medicare MSSP ACOs achieved success in generating shared savings. Not a good report card, given that Accountable Care Organizations form for the explicit purpose of delivering high quality, coordinated care, with shared savings as in incentive to avoid duplication of services. But ACOs are complex endeavors, both administratively and clinically. Better coordination of patient care does not guarantee success. Your efforts must be complemented by a solid understanding of Medicare’s basic rules for quality reporting and methods of attributing patients to the ACO, so that you can keep your patients within the network.…
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PQRS ReportingQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Payment Modifier
February 3, 2015

PQRS Catch-22 for Specialists: How Medicare’s Division of Measures Can Put You at Risk for Penalties

If you are a specialist, maintaining your Medicare revenues just became more challenging. As of 2015, CMS now requires nine measures instead of three for PQRS reporting. They provided a partial reprieve by reducing the completion rate from 80 percent to only 50 percent. However, successful PQRS reporting is all or nothing—failure to report all nine measures within three domains will result in a penalty for both PQRS and the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBPM) of 6 percent total in 2017. With more than 200 measures to choose from, you may wonder what’s the problem; surely you can find nine that…
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