ACOsMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Quality Payment ProgramValue-Based Health Care
December 2, 2020

The 2021 QPP Final Rule: A Warning Bell for ACOs and a Wake-Up Call for MIPS Participants

In a mere 2,165 pages, CMS has solidified the provisions of the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program (QPP) Final Rule. The Final Rule strongly resembles the Proposed Rule, and the implications, particularly for ACOs, are staggering. Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (MSSP ACOs) and the Alternate Payment Model (APP) Pathway The most substantial change is that 2021 will mark the introduction of the Alternate Payment Model (APM) Performance Pathway, known as the APP. The APP aligns MIPS and APM participation more effectively in the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The APP is a pre-defined set of…
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ACOsEpisodes of CareSpecialty ServicesValue-Based Health CareVideo
October 28, 2020

Video: How to Engage Specialists Through Centers of Excellence

Specialists will engage in cost performance improvement if they believe they can provide better care for their patients and improve their own clinical excellence. Here's how to achieve that through Episodes of Care, and how ACOs and health systems can help. You'll find more details in last week's post, Five Ways to Manage Specialty Costs Without Bundled Payments. Founded in 2002, Roji Health Intelligence guides health care systems, providers and patients on the path to better health through Solutions that help providers improve their value and succeed in Risk.
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ACOsEpisodes of CareRiskValue-Based Health Care
September 10, 2020

Three Fixes for ACOs’ Physician Engagement Strategies

ACOs know that reducing costs is the key goal for Value-Based reimbursement. But strategies on how—or even whether—to engage physicians in that goal have not always been successful, to the detriment of all involved. Part of the problem is that provider revenues still stem from Fee-for-Service payments. Physicians are still rewarded based on meeting volume of patients and revenues. Even if participating in an ACO, your physicians get very clear messages about meeting volume and revenue targets. Hospital and health system-based practices survive by ensuring that volume is maintained—especially in these times. As health plan capitation and new Value-based risk…
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ACOsEpisodes of CareValue-Based Health CareVideo
September 1, 2020

Video: The Right Data for Value-Based Success

Claims data isn't all you need to succeed under capitation. Here's why provider EHR clinical data should be added to identify variation in care and engage providers. Founded in 2002, Roji Health Intelligence guides health care systems, providers and patients on the path to better health through Solutions that help providers improve their value and succeed in Risk.
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ACOsEpisodes of CareRiskValue-Based Health Care
August 26, 2020

Straight Talk for Providers Adopting Capitation: Don’t Fly Blind Without the Right Data

Value-Based Reimbursement—once focused on incentives and shared savings—now more often means capitation. Whether adopting Medicare Alternative Payment Models (APMs) or contracting with health plans, physician groups and health systems have signaled greater willingness to adopt these new Risk payment models with their guaranteed payments for attributed patients. But here's the problem: If you don't have good data on your costs, you are flying blind. Let’s look at the myths and realities of what you really need both to measure your success under global capitation and to ensure that your Risk program is on track to be successful. Do You Need…
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COVID-19Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Quality Payment ProgramValue-Based Health Care
August 5, 2020

“Push-Pull” for Providers in Medicare’s Proposed 2021 Rule for Physician Fees and Quality Reporting

The newly published 2021 CMS Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program (QPP) Proposed Rule reflects our harsh reality: Operate under the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, while moving toward uniformity and Risk. That tension is palpable in the Proposed Rule’s "push-pull" of CMS trying to continue to advance a Value agenda while stuck in the mud of the pandemic. Rather than launching the next step of integrating CMS quality improvement activities, the Proposed Rule stays the current course for MIPS Quality Reporting to avoid additional stress on providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Proposed Rule also continues to…
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COVID-19Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)RiskValue-Based Health Care
June 26, 2020

The Fallacy of “Relief”: The Dangers of MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Applications

Under the banner of “relief,” CMS has announced that clinicians will have the opportunity to file an Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances  application to qualify for re-weighting in some or all components of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). This possibility may sound intriguing, but don’t be fooled—those who take this route are overlooking the longer-term consequences of maintaining and expanding MIPS efforts. MIPS Is Not Going Away The day before releasing 2020 MIPS flexibility guidance, CMS announced the creation of the Office of Burden and Health Informatics, which has grown out of the Patients Over Paperwork initiative. In this notice…
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ACO ReportingCOVID-19RiskValue-Based Health Care
May 6, 2020

The Interim ACO Rule Explained: A Pause, Not a Reprieve

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend health care in the U.S., pressure has mounted on CMS to adjust its efforts to drive providers to adopt risk. In response, at the end of last week CMS announced a carve-out of COVID-19 patient expenses from certain reporting requirements. In this round, ACOs were on the receiving end, being largely excused from remaining 2019 reporting and 2020 enrollment obligations. True to our predictions, this will slow, but not reverse CMS’s ultimate agenda to push providers to manage under risk. Those who interpret the Interim Rule as a reprieve will do so at…
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Future of Health CareRiskValue-Based Health Care
March 11, 2020

Value-Based Care Defined: Know the Vocabulary of Health Care Reform

Today, as we confront a viral threat that is challenging our health system, its capacity, and how care is financed, it seems appropriate to review some fundamentals. Health care reform has been speeding down a particular track, changing how health care is covered, paid, delivered, and organized. These reforms may seem to be about health care financing, but will make a future difference in health care access and patient outcomes. Medicare is driving the train with its huge budget and rulemaking capabilities. But insurance companies, in lockstep, are rapidly implementing similar changes. Understanding all those changes is no easy task.…
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Alternative Payment Models (APM)Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Quality Payment ProgramValue-Based Health Care
November 6, 2019

The Final 2020 Quality Payment Rule: Playing It Safe with MIPS No Longer Works

The common refrain within the 2475-page Medicare Final Rule for the Physician Fee Schedule and Updates for the Quality Payment Program (QPP) is “we are finalizing our policy as proposed.” This Rule follows the formula CMS adopted in its “Pathways to Success” ACO Rule: Propose a shake-up, reply to concerned commenters, and finalize policy without significant changes. CMS’s desire to move providers into Alternate Payment Models (APMs) comes through loud and clear, both in terms of its vision for MIPS 2.0 and in its more stringent scoring policies. As it stands now, MIPS has not evolved into the program CMS envisioned…
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