ACOsEpisodes of CareFuture of Health CareRiskValue-Based Health Care
April 29, 2021

New ACO Playbook: Can Coordination of Care Save Enough Money to Save ACOs?

Central to the controversy about ACOs’ potential for Value-Based Care is whether they actually save enough money and reduce costs fast enough. Researchers and advocates have produced various independent studies of ACO savings, the most generous estimating $1.8 billion in cumulative savings over the first three years of the program, almost double CMS estimates. Many others, however, dismiss the small proportion of savings—at a few percentage points—relative to total Medicare spending. The previous CMS administration was clearly dubious about the shared savings model. It favored payment models that put providers at financial risk to increase cost reduction incentives, even though…
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ACOsRiskValue-Based Health Care
April 14, 2021

Why ACOs Need a New Playbook

A lot has happened in health care since 2012, when final rules permitted provider-organized ACOs to be the driving force of Value-Based Care under the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). As we pass the ACA’s eleventh anniversary, a dwindling number of Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs are entering a new phase marked by higher expectations and more difficult economics. To succeed in this challenging environment, ACOs will need different tools going forward than first contemplated, because of competition, both from providers under new value-based payment models and from Medicare Advantage plans. They also face more skepticism. Although rule changes…
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ACOsFuture of Health CareMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)RiskValue-Based Health Care
December 9, 2020

7 New Value-Based Health Care Directions You’ll See in 2021

Everyone who's reeling from 2020 is hoping for light in 2021. Health care, especially—systems, hospitals, clinical practices and their providers—wants the pain to stop. What might lie ahead for health care next year? Here's what we're thinking about the near future, and what you should watch for in 2021. 1. Health care providers will be fortified. If one thing is clear from the election results, it's that relief is coming to help providers on the pandemic’s front line. Money won't be free-flowing, but it will be targeted to areas of financial distress. We should expect initiatives to centralize purchasing and…
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ACOsCost TransparencyRiskValue-Based Health CareVideo
October 1, 2020

Video: Cost Transparency Gives ACOs a Competitive Edge Under Risk

While your ACO isn’t subject to CMS's new rules about cost transparency, you’d be well advised to adopt this method to succeed under Risk through your own modified approach. As your organization establishes mutually beneficial relationships with providers, you can't avoid the choice to achieve savings by prioritizing strategies to focus on cost variations and areas of excess costs. To realize those goals, you’ll need to navigate the battleground of cost transparency by involving patients and physicians in discovery of costs. Learn more. Founded in 2002, Roji Health Intelligence guides health care systems, providers and patients on the path to…
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ACOsCost TransparencyMedical Decision-MakingRisk
September 23, 2020

ACOs, You Probably Think Cost Transparency Isn’t Your Problem. Think Again.

ACOs have largely sidestepped the cost transparency dispute raging between Medicare and medical providers, especially hospitals, due to CMS rules requiring providers to give consumers coverage-based cost estimates. If you're an ACO, you probably assume that cost transparency is not your problem. So you probably won't like to hear that your ACO should be helping your patients manage costs via cost transparency. Moreover, doing so will benefit you as much as your patients. Let's examine why this makes sense. Lack of Cost Transparency Disables Discussion of Value for Consumers Cost transparency really means giving advance price information to consumers so…
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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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COVID-19Future of Health CarePopulation Health
April 29, 2020

Restarting “Regular” Health Care Will Be Hard: How Providers Can Prepare Now

As states across the country begin to loosen restrictions for the coronavirus pandemic and return to a modified version of normal life, how will our health care system get back to providing regular care? In particular, how can providers pivot from the scale and aftereffects of COVID-19, and bring their patients back? In hot spot areas, that task will also require healing their own organizations. COVID-19 has upended traditional care delivery and revised priorities for patient care. It has changed status of providers and foisted enormous stress on front line staff, to the point of serious trauma and even suicide.…
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ACOsCOVID-19Future of Health CareValue-Based Health Care
April 15, 2020

Stretched to the Limit by COVID-19, Will Providers Get Relief from Medicare Value-Based Programs?

This article originally appeared in the April 2020 edition of Accountable Care News . COVID-19 continues its inexorable, exponential spread here in the U.S. Hospitals in New York City, now accounting for more than 7 percent of confirmed cases worldwide, have less than a quarter of the critical equipment and supplies needed to serve an overwhelming surge of patients. Our health care providers are facing impossible choices, even considering universal Do Not Resuscitate orders for patients with COVID-19. Less than one month ago, CMS was closing applications from providers willing to be part of a major movement to adopt financial…
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