Alternative Payment Models (APM)MACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Value-Based Health Care
August 23, 2017

CMS Eliminates Episode Groups in MIPS Cost Tracking for 2018—But Providers Should Not

It’s no surprise that Cost is one of the most significant targets of Medicare Value-Based Health Care initiatives, as well as those in the private sector. So it was a real surprise last month to learn that CMS would delay weighing Cost as a component of MACRA MIPS total scoring. Equally significant is the CMS plan to scrap the ten episodic cost measures that were part of the cost calculation for provider groups in exchange for new, “to be determined” versions. Does this retreat from Cost and episodic costs calculation signal a big shift in the direction of Medicare Value-Based…
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Alternative Payment Models (APM)Future of Health CareMACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Performance ImprovementQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Health Care
August 16, 2017

How to Evolve MACRA MIPS Quality Reporting for Better Physician and Patient Value

Critics are pushing back against Medicare quality reporting, deeming it burdensome and time-consuming to meet confusing quality measures. One survey asserts that barely a majority feel knowledgeable about MACRA or prepared to achieve long-term success. Indeed, CMS is pulling back on program requirements, with the stated desire of making it easier for physicians. So, here's what should be examined—especially when discussing Value-Based Health Care: Does MIPS Quality Reporting meet the benefit test for the effort expended by physicians and their staff? If the point of Quality Measurement and Reporting is to improve care for patients, can it fulfill that potential?…
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Alternative Payment Models (APM)Clinical Data RegistryMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Qualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Health Care
June 28, 2017

10 Takeaways from the Proposed Rule for MIPS and APMs Year 2

We are already more than halfway through the initial year of Medicare’s new Quality Payment Program, which includes MIPS and APMs. Yet already we are seeing some changes from the new administration that will relax requirements for providers, eliminating the need for some to participate and making quality reporting, in particular, easier. Regardless of how Medicare plays these rules, top providers should maintain a strong strategic focus on Value-Based Health Care initiatives that emphasize performance improvement in cost and quality. Even as Medicare may step back from the leadership role it has taken in this arena, private insurance and employers…
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Alternative Payment Models (APM)Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Qualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Health Care
May 17, 2017

Increase MIPS Versatility and Results with an ONC-Health IT Certified QCDR

Providers focusing on MACRA in 2017 have a menu of choices for implementation—perhaps even too many. But don’t overlook this option for meeting requirements for MIPS (or preparing for an Alternative Payment Model or APM): a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR). And make sure that your review of the QCDR option focuses on the top tier. That means your QCDR should be both ONC-Health IT Certified and have capabilities that go beyond quality reporting. There is a growing recognition of the unique role that clinical registries may play in improving outcomes over time, and related benefits. CMS has reinforced that…
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Alternative Payment Models (APM)Future of Health CareMACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Patient Empowerment
April 12, 2017

Why MACRA MIPS Cost Episodes Make Good Products for Health Care Consumers

Here’s a radical idea: What if providers re-envisioned MIPS as a patient marketing initiative, not a regulatory response? Yes, I’m serious. From the beginning of PQRS and Meaningful Use to MACRA, health systems considered these efforts to be merely “compliance” with regulations and not market initiatives. But this view is shortsighted. As outlined in MACRA rules, all of the MIPS initiatives parallel changes that consumers, employers and health plans have been demanding: lower costs, quality, improvement and value. Analyzing the MIPS component of Cost provides a good way to evaluate how providers could use Medicare data to help remap their…
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Alternative Payment Models (APM)Meaningful UseMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)PQRS ReportingQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue Modifier
February 28, 2017

How to Turn 2016 PQRS Success into Better Care (and a MIPS Win)

March has arrived. The submission window for PQRS shuts on March 31. It’s the moment of truth for providers, practices and Registries. Are you ready to report, ready to panic or somewhere in-between? It’s probably too late to implement an initiative designed to improve your PQRS measures, but with the right Registry partner, there is still a path to 2016 PQRS success, even if you aren’t “PQRS Ready.” More importantly, if you follow these three steps, you’ll also create a pathway to success in the Quality Payment Program (either through MIPS or an APM)—both by avoiding penalties, as well as…
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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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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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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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Alternative Payment Models (APM)Future of Health CareMACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Performance ImprovementValue-Based Health Care
October 4, 2016

Improve Your Risk Readiness With Physician-Driven MACRA CPIA Innovation

CMS is pushing providers to accept Risk under Alternative Payment Models (APMs), and they’re sweetening the pot with incentives. But for the vast number of providers who will participate in MIPS because they don’t participate in risk-based APMs, the path to reward is murky. That’s because many Health Systems have a hard time visualizing how Performance Improvement with CPIAs can create savings under ACOs, the biggest APM model. Here’s the key: innovation that engages physicians. Historical Performance Improvement Often Leaves Out Physicians For most Health Systems, it’s rare for physicians to actively participate in Performance Improvement initiatives. There are two…
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