ACOsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health Care
August 15, 2018

Proposed ACO Final Rule: 10 Essential Takeaways from “Pathways to Success”

The Final Rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) Accountable Care Organization (ACO)  has been released, the first real revision since the program’s inception. Introducing the proposed rule, CMS stated that it is time to put real ‘accountability’ in Accountable Care Organizations, and this means that ACOs need to accept financial risk. The theme behind Pathways to Success is to end the one-sided risk model. ACO Savings Success Was Zero-to-Limited Under the Savings-Only Model Although ACOs were supposed to curb healthcare spending, data released earlier this year showed that CMS actually spent $384 million more, rather than saving $1.7…
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ACOsConsumers & PatientsPerformance ImprovementValue-Based Health Care
April 25, 2018

Four ACO Development Decisions That Will Impact Return on Investment 

“It’s not how you start, but how you finish” might be the way some ACOs must navigate a difficult path to success.  But for organizations planning a new ACO venture, that rocky path may be avoidable. The early days of ACO development are behind us, and ACO models to take on financial risk are now underway. Achieving a return on ACO investment has proven to be elusive for most providers. There is progress, but no victory yet in sight. So ACOs and industry watchers are searching for the keys that allow some ACOs to experience more success than others. Whether…
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ACOsConsumers & PatientsFuture of Health CareValue-Based Health Care
April 18, 2018

Unify ACO Quality and Cost Initiatives to Boost Long-term Results

Let’s face it. There’s a pretty low bar to meeting Medicare’s ACO Quality requirements. Most ACOs have achieved acceptable quality performance for Medicare Shared Savings Plans (MSSPs).  They have not, however, achieved the savings needed to be successful. ACO supporters point to the “Triple Aim” of achieving higher quality, cost savings and good patient experience through an ACO. To fulfill that tripartite goal, we must look past the hype and execute quality-cost initiatives that go well beyond CMS requirements. Recognize the Gap Between Quality Reporting Requirements and Quality Care Demonstrating quality and reducing costs are not mutually exclusive. While there…
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ACOsAlternative Payment Models (APM)Consumers & PatientsFuture of Health Care
March 28, 2018

Reluctant Providers Can Benefit from Fresh Approach to ACOs

It’s no secret that CMS wants to move providers away from MIPS and the Fee-for-Service payment system, toward an Alternative Payment Model (APM) like an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). This past January’s announcement of an additional 124 new ACOs implies that we have reached a tipping point, with ACOs becoming more prevalent than standard Fee-for-Service payments. But that optimism overstates the status of ACOs, both in terms of numbers and success. Despite a steady increase of new ACO approvals and ACO provider participation—including an attractive 5 percent bonus for providers who participate in an Advanced APM (AAPM) with financial risk—the…
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ACOsAdvanced Alternative Payment ModelsFuture of Health CareMedical Decision-Making
March 14, 2018

Can Provider-Led ACOs and AAPMs Deliver Health Care Transformation?

“In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy,” said J. Paul Getty. He might have been giving us advice on how to transform health care. We have reached the tipping point for broader adoption of ACOs and other Advanced Alternative Payment Models (AAPMs) to organize health care and payment under both Medicare and commercial insurance. But our recent experience cannot tell us whether these approaches will work. This, despite the fact that an estimated 10 percent of insured individuals—32 million people—were already covered by private and public ACO services in mid-2017. And we reached that point even…
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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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ACO ReportingAlternative Payment Models (APM)MACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Qualified Clinical Data Registry Reporting
August 23, 2016

ACO Under MACRA? Five Essential Takeaways

While Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) get a little boost under proposed MACRA Rules, this comes at a price. MACRA provides a 5 percent bonus and a MIPS reporting exemption for providers who participate in an Advanced Alternative Payment Models, the most common being a Stage 2 or 3 ACO—if and only if they assume a minimum requirement for risk. The deal is this: CMS wants providers to move toward Alternative Payment Plans with greater financial risk by living under the equivalent of a budget for their patients’ health care. That concept, which imposes downstream risk to physicians if the budget…
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MACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Performance ImprovementQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Health Care
August 16, 2016

Can MACRA Help Patient-Centered Medical Homes Succeed?

The concept of a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) fits neatly into Value-Based Health Care: patients who are well should incur lower costs. And, if primary care providers help patients who are not well to manage chronic diseases and better navigate the system, outcomes and costs should also improve. But those results are not yet proven. Like any new delivery model, the solution can only work if providers have the commitment and tools to realize its potential. This is why MACRA’s new emphasis on the Patient-Centered Medical Home includes many incentives to engage providers. The PCMH features strongly under MACRA. Medicare’s…
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ACO ReportingAlternative Payment Models (APM)MACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Performance ImprovementQualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Health Care
July 12, 2016

MIPS v APM: Which Is Your Best Bet?

If you’ve been watching the signals from CMS, you undoubtedly know by now that the current reimbursement structure under Medicare will end, to be replaced by a Quality Payment Program (QPP) that holds providers at risk for resource use and quality. The ensuing choices, however, are confusing. Providers can select one of two QPP tracks: Continue Fee for Service (FFS) and fall under the Merit Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or participate in an Alternative Payment Model (APM), such as a risk-based ACO. So, how do you know if MIPS or APM is the best way to go, and on what…
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ACO ReportingAlternative Payment Models (APM)MACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)PQRS ReportingValue-Based Health Care
May 31, 2016

Your MACRA Prep for APMs: Learn from ACO Failures

Many provider groups are suddenly realizing they need to understand how a Medicare risk model will impact their operations and revenues. With CMS pushing providers to embrace Alternative Payment Model (APM) risk models under Proposed MACRA Rules, they should be nervous. Although prior APMs such as ACOs did not approach the levels of risk under MACRA (most had zero risk in the first year), most were unsuccessful in reaching targeted savings. Lessons learned from ACOs will help groups make better decisions about how to manage costs, performance improvement, referrals outside the network and provider recruitment. Here are some key posts…
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