Alternative Payment Models (APM)Future of Health CareValue-Based Payment Modifier
October 6, 2015

Be Prepared for Medicare’s Transition to Bundled Payments—or Risk Future Revenues

As specialists face increasing pressure to lower costs, particularly by Medicare, so-called Bundled Payments are becoming an increasingly significant—and preferred—method of reimbursement. Although this form of Alternative Payment Method (APM) is not yet mandatory, most industry experts believe that bundled payments will form the basis of how Medicare will pay specialty services in the future, especially regarding inpatient care. Develop your strategy now, or you risk economic fallout. From a fledgling pilot initiative, Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative (BCPI) has grown to 2,100 provider groups with initiatives in one or more of 48 unique procedure or diagnosis “bundles.”…
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Future of Health CarePerformance ImprovementQualified Clinical Data Registry Reporting
September 29, 2015

Big Data Analytics v Clinical Data Registry: Which Is Best for Performance Improvement?

A few weeks ago, Epic announced that it would create an unidentified database of patient data for customer research, with a plan that the “Cosmos Research Network” will leverage data for better decisions. There’s been a flurry of activity in recent years to create Big Data in health care. The Clinical Data Registry (CDR) is a variation of the concept, soon to be populated by data from Meaningful Use public reporting requirements. The question: Can both these data engines help performance improvement? The answer depends on a key distinction between Big Data Analytics and the CDR, with important implications for…
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Future of Health CareMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Performance ImprovementPQRS ReportingQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Payment Modifier
September 22, 2015

Medicare’s MIPS: The Not-So New Face of Value-Based Care

Rumors that PQRS and VBPM have died may be wishful thinking, but are far from true. Value-Based Care is here to stay, even as Medicare’s programs evolve. You still have a chance to help shape those initiatives before they become law. So it’s well worth your time now to learn all about Medicare’s newest program, MIPS. In 2019, Medicare will phase in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The 2016 reporting year will form the basis for the final Value-Based Payment Modifier (VBPM) and PQRS payment adjustments, to be applied in 2018, with MIPS to begin the following year. But…
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ACO ReportingFuture of Health CarePQRS ReportingQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingRegistry ScienceValue-Based Payment Modifier
September 15, 2015

No More Status Quo: How the New CDR Will Change Health Care

As CMS streamlines its Value-Based Reimbursement programs, the pressure is on for providers to participate. A better foundation is needed to support those changes, so providers can actually succeed. And Medicare’s expansion of Clinical Data Registries (CDRs) may just be the answer. CDRs could be the tipping point for transforming health care. Here’s why: With better capabilities for performance measurement, more comprehensive databases, and expertise for more advanced outcomes analyses and research, CDRs can provide tools that have been missing for all stakeholders—providers, health plans and consumers. What’s a CDR and Why Is It Different? The Clinical Data Registry has…
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ACO ReportingFuture of Health CarePopulation HealthQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingRegistry ScienceResearchValue-Based Payment Modifier
August 4, 2015

ACOs and the Referral Revolution Part 2: How to Align Objectives and Referral Practices

There’s no getting around it. Disruption in referrals under new Value-Based Health Care programs will upset both primary care and specialty practices under any change scenario. Physicians with historical relationships will undoubtedly resent an edict to redirect referrals, if they don’t understand or believe comparative data on cost and quality. On the other side of the equation, physicians who accept that aligning referrals with outcome data is part of being in an ACO will object if they see that referrals are driven, instead, by physician employment status. Every participant in an ACO must eventually accept that achieving shared savings will…
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ACO ReportingFuture of Health CareValue-Based Payment Modifier
July 28, 2015

Are Your Specialists and ACO Ready for the Referral Revolution? Part 1

The practice of physician-determined referrals to specialists is deeply embedded in the culture of medicine. But it no longer works under Value-Based Health Care. A revolution in referrals is underway, one that will dramatically change physician alignment and engagement in ACOs and other Pay for Performance models. Outcome measures can distinguish the performance of one specialist versus another—and this performance data is available to both health systems and physicians. We all know that pure comparative performance data has a lot of flaws. But Medicare is publishing provider-specific performance for PQRS and group performance for ACOs, and calculating comparative scores under the…
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Future of Health CareMedical EducationPopulation HealthPQRS ReportingQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingRegistry ScienceResearchValue-Based Payment Modifier
April 7, 2015

Academic Medical Centers at Risk: How to Survive Medicare and Medicaid Value-Based Health Care

Academic Medical Centers (AMCs) provide care to the most complicated patients and have surmounted some of the worst clinical challenges of all time. Yet the biggest issue to threaten survival of AMCs might well be Medicare and Medicaid Value-Based Purchasing. While AMCs incorporate the training of new physicians in both community and highly specialized care, the clinical complexity of their patient population is higher than other institutions. At the same time, AMCs are the most likely medical centers to offer trauma and burn care, new medical technology and clinical research. But with typically high volumes of Medicare and Medicaid patients,…
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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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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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Future of Health CareResearch
November 25, 2014

Health Care 2014: Where Do We Go from Here?

This week, many of us will sit around Thanksgiving tables, giving thanks for our families and friends, food and shelter, and living in this good land. We might also say, this land where we have access to some of the best health care on earth. So how interesting that we have spent the last several years waging war on every part of health care—the building of it, buying it, paying for it, measuring its value and delivering it. How did we get here? Have we lost trust in health care as we’ve lost trust in government? Or, perhaps there is…
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