Future of Health CareMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Value-Based Health Care
December 20, 2016

New Year’s Prediction: More Cost Sharing for Patients Means Problems for Providers

A year ago we reported on the trend in shifting health care costs to the consumer through higher deductibles, copayments and premium sharing. Fast forward to 2017: expect to see “financial accountability” for patients vastly increase, as health care costs continue their relentless rise and the public policies that support premium subsidies, Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid expansion, research and innovative provider-based models are weakened or reversed. In general, the politics of the moment are ushering in simple economic concepts: Reduce the complexity, cap costs, minimize bureaucracy. When government or employers contemplate giving patients a fixed contribution for health care, possibly through…
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Future of Health CareRoji Health Intelligence
December 13, 2016

ICLOPS is Changing Its Name to Roji Health Intelligence

We all know that health care is at a crossroads. Regardless of any new directions that national policy will take, providers will be under even greater pressure to reduce costs. We expect that providers will be under financial risk, and patients will bear more costs. What remains constant is the need for guidance and data to navigate a successful path to better health. ICLOPS is reinforcing its commitment to help providers to succeed on this path, through its strategic consultation and technology. To reflect what lies ahead, ICLOPS is also changing its name on January 1, 2017, to Roji Health…
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Future of Health CarePatient EmpowermentResearch
December 6, 2016

A Populist’s Wish List for Patient Empowerment

Health care turmoil of the last 10 years was wild enough, but the ride ahead promises to be even wilder. News and social media are swirling with proposals to “reset” health care. Among the dizzying array of possible scenarios, one idea is gaining traction: patient “empowerment.” It will, without doubt, be a prominent call-to-arms in the months ahead. But, what exactly is patient empowerment? The newly branded concepts presented in health care proposals are murky and incorporate everything from patient responsibility for lifestyle changes and following treatment plans (patient “compliance”) to greater financial responsibility for health care (shared premiums). Patient…
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Alternative Payment Models (APM)Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)PQRS ReportingQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue ModifierValue-Based Payment Modifier
November 29, 2016

PQRS Homestretch: Finish Line In Sight (But You Haven’t Crossed It Yet)

It’s almost time to bid farewell to PQRS (formerly PQRI), and say hello to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). But PQRS hasn’t ended yet; even when it does, financial implications will not be felt until 2018. Those who do not report PQRS are at risk of being penalized twice, once for PQRS and once for the Value Modifier (VM). Those who do report may earn incentives, penalties or be held neutral, depending on cost and quality results. Ideally, you are already using PQRS as a stepping-stone to succeed in the Quality Payment Program, but even if you haven’t, there…
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PQRS ReportingQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue ModifierValue-Based Health CareValue-Based Payment Modifier
November 22, 2016

Improve MAV Audit Success with Expert Data

There are 198 measures available for PQRS Registry Reporting in 2016—seems like there should be enough options to select the most advantageous measures for providers. Unfortunately, however, that’s not the case. Even though there are a whopping 21 measures that could be skipped for each 1 reported, and twice as many National Quality Strategy (NQS) Domains as needed, not everyone will be able to report on 9 measures across 3 Domains (including a cross-cutting measure!). Why is there difficulty in meeting basic reporting requirements? Because measures do not apply to specialties in equal amounts, nor are they evenly distributed within…
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Registry ScienceResearch
November 15, 2016

Bedside Viewpoint: Why Watson Will Never Know Enough to Replace Your Physician

Every conversation with a patient is an exercise in big data analysis. Your patient’s appearance, changes in mood and expression, and eye contact are data points. The illness narrative is rich in semiotics: pacing, timing, nuances of speech and dialect are influenced by context, background and insight, which, in turn, reflect religion, education, literacy, numeracy, life experiences and peer input. To all this, add personality traits such as recalcitrance, acceptance and personal philosophies. Taking a history generates a wealth of data. Mix in physical findings of variable reliability, laboratory markers of variable specificity, imaging bits and bytes, and you have…
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MACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Qualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue ModifierValue-Based Health Care
November 8, 2016

Risky Business: How to Make Risk Adjustment Fair and Accurate for Quality Measurement

No two patients are the same. Some are much sicker than others. Obvious? Yes. But this is the fundamental challenge of quality measurement. As public scrutiny of physician performance intensifies via the CMS Physician Compare website, and as outcome comparisons become ever more crucial to Medicare and private insurance reimbursement strategies, finding a fair and accurate way to adjust for risk is critical. Each patient population has its own challenges. Academic medical centers may get the most difficult cases, but solo practitioners see the entire community, and without the infrastructure available elsewhere. For health care to improve for all patients,…
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Alternative Payment Models (APM)MACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Qualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Health Care
October 28, 2016

The MACRA Final Rule: On Your Mark, Get Set . . . Transition!

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) has (among other things) repealed the Sustainable Growth Rate and incorporated quality measurement into payment, steering away from traditional Fee for Service payments. In other words, revenues are being tied to quality, rather than volume. The Quality Payment Program (QPP) defined within MACRA offers two methods of participation: Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Advanced Alternate Payment Models (Advanced APMs) The Final Rule (CMS-5517-FC: “Medicare Program; Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Model (APM) Incentive under the Physician Fee Schedule, and Criteria for Physician-Focused Payment Models”), released on October…
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MACRAPerformance ImprovementQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Health Care
October 25, 2016

Your Wish List for MACRA Performance Improvement Technology

Even as CMS has eased the transition to MACRA with the Final Rule published on October 14, managing under Risk remains a core goal. The best way to prepare your organization? Develop MACRA Improvement Activities (formerly CPIAs), the training ground for managing under Risk. The MACRA Improvement Activities cover all of the processes and root causes of health care cost increases, and Medicare wants you to address them. Hint: they’re scoring your work. While the MACRA requirements are now superficially easy to meet—attest to at least one Performance Improvement Activity—the reality will be very different if you are really preparing for…
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Alternative Payment Models (APM)MACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Value-Based Health Care
October 18, 2016

Don’t Be Fooled: MACRA Final Rule Still Favors Quality Improvement Leaders

In case you haven’t yet had a chance to digest all 2,400 pages of the MACRA Final Rule, announced by CMS on October 14, here’s the main takeaway: Phasing in the implementation process, CMS has made it much easier to avoid penalties, at least in the short run. But those who push the boundaries of quality improvement remain the biggest winners. Three Levels of Participation in MIPS Quality Component The Quality component now defines varying levels of participation (“Pick Your Pace”), holding harmless all who submit data for MIPS. There are three levels of participation: Test Submission Partial Submission Full…
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