PQRS ReportingQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Payment Modifier
March 10, 2015

Tales from the PQRS Trenches: How to Avoid Harm to Your Practice and Patients

With less than three weeks until the final deadline of PQRS Registry Reporting for 2014 services, many providers are still scrambling to figure out their reporting strategy. They will have few—if any—options for success. It’s 2015, the requirements for PQRS reporting are entering their seventh year, and non-reporting penalties have been applied for two years. If your organization wants to avoid a 4 percent penalty on Medicare revenues, this year you must make an early start a top priority. But in the real world, both large and small groups often get sidetracked because there are so many changes in health…
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PQRS ReportingValue-Based Payment Modifier
March 3, 2015

PQRS 2015 Reporting: How to Go Beyond Basics to Improve Outcomes

Chances are you don’t have time to read through all 1,200 pages of Medicare’s Final Reporting Rule. But if you don’t understand how CMS is moving the Medicare program, and the health care system at large, toward rewarding providers for quality rather than quantity of care, your organization is in for a rude awakening. In 2015, PQRS is now mandatory; you must meet full reporting requirements to avoid a penalty. No more safety nets. Successful reporting means you need to understand the interplay between PQRS and the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBPM), which rewards only those practices that outperform their competition…
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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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Future of Health CarePopulation HealthPQRS ReportingValue-Based Payment Modifier
January 27, 2015

How Medicare is Moving from PQRS Basics into Value-Based Care: Improving Outcomes with Plan of Care

For a number of PQRS measures, Medicare requires that the provider document a Follow-up Plan or Plan of Care to demonstrate that appropriate interventions have been made to reduce risk. This has caused confusion and consternation among some of our clients who may not have clearly documented the follow-up plan or may disagree with Medicare on the plan’s criteria. Nonetheless, documentation of risk-reduction interventions is in keeping with CMS plans to transition all reimbursement into Value-Based Care, so it’s essential to understand how to manage this process. In fact, just this past Monday, January 26, Health and Human Services Secretary…
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Population HealthPQRS ReportingQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingRegistry ScienceValue-Based Payment Modifier
January 20, 2015

Avoid PQRS and VBPM Penalties and Achieve Long Term Revenues: How to Choose the Right QCDR

Can you optimize your Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBPM) quality and cost profile to demonstrate better outcomes than others and avoid both PQRS and VBPM penalties at the same time? Yes: Use a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) to do both. In 2014, the initial year of QCDR reporting, providers had the opportunity to report non-PQRS measures, but still get credit for participating in PQRS. This year, Medicare has provided additional freedom by giving QCDRs the chance to report 30 non-PQRS measures for PQRS, up from last year’s 20. Providers are required to report an additional outcome measure this year (two,…
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Medical Decision-MakingPopulation HealthQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingRegistry ScienceResearch
January 13, 2015

Are “Flat-Line” Outcomes the Kiss of Death? How to Use a Registry for Outcomes Improvement Research

Despite a huge investment in health care, we have yet to demonstrate real progress in improving outcomes. A major study of patient outcomes last year revealed disappointing “flat-line” results for patient-centered medical home services, which means no difference in outcomes over time, regardless of significant expenditures. And that’s just the beginning.  Assessments of cancer outcomes, preventive screenings and chronic disease indicators show similar, disappointing results. It’s hard to accept that we have failed to improve mortality or morbidity in a way that can be attributed to medical management and treatment, rather than to lifestyle and nutrition. In most cases, however, that’s where…
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PQRS ReportingQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Payment Modifier
January 6, 2015

Medicare Is Playing by 2015 Rules—Are You?

Does it feel like 2015 yet? While we may fill out paperwork that reads “2014 2015” for the next few weeks, 2015 is here—and it’s different. Do you need evidence? The 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule is officially in effect.  Several hundred pages within the 1200-page “Final Rule” describe the rules for the 2015 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and the 2017 Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBPM). Make no mistake—there is no transition period; these rules are in place today whether you’re ready or not. So, now that we’re playing by 2015 rules, what do you need to know? PQRS 2015 Is…
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