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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Population HealthRegistry ScienceResearch
March 17, 2015

Placebo v Nocebo: How to Test Methods of Physician Engagement in Population Health

The Holy Grail for value-based health care is to improve patient quality and cost outcomes, while stabilizing or reducing annual aggregate payouts for insurance and government benefits. By holding physicians and health systems accountable, the theory goes, providers will engage with patients in a process leading to better status and lower costs. The key word here is “engage,” because none of this happens in a vacuum. Provider engagement is essential for making change happen. But if engagement is the key, how do physicians’ mindsets, attitudes and language play into outcomes?  Providers are not a homogenous group, any more than patients…
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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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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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