December 5, 2018
As Americans in a highly developed and prosperous economy, we have ascribed a value to our highly sophisticated, expensive health care system—that it should enable us to achieve better health. If we didn’t believe in the value of our health care system, we would not support health coverage, most people would not visit health care providers, and the public health system would not get be funded. This may sound all too obvious, but it isn’t. Whether our health care system actually achieves that ascribed value of improving health status is now in question. Given last week’s release of Center for…Read More
November 28, 2018
Can ACO Population Health Solve Patient Engagement?
Personal attitudes inform our strategies for improving patient health. As ACOs move forward in Value-Based Health Care, attitudes about patients and providers set the stage for collaboration or conflict. And with ACOs taking on financial risk for patients, those attitudes and strategies can make the difference between success and failure. As we discussed in a previous post on the importance of involving physicians effectively in population health initiatives, alliances with physicians start with building trust and clinical leadership. Failure to do so will ultimately undercut both the ACO and their patients. So, too, must we be responsive to patients’ needs—not…Read More
November 14, 2018
How to Involve Physicians Effectively in ACO Population Health
In a recent post, we addressed the many types of population health initiatives and some guidelines for creating the most benefit. Now let’s take a closer look at one of those guidelines: integrating population health into regular or routine care of patients—specifically, with greater involvement and communication by the patients’ physicians. ACOs and their participating physicians have an opportunity to break with the historical obstacles between the physician’s employer organization and the physician, especially in hospital-directed ACOs. Even in physician-led ACOs, working seamlessly with physicians to achieve better health for ACO patients is key to achieving both quality and cost…Read More
October 31, 2018
ACO Population Health Best Practices: More Respect for Physicians and Patients
How important is it to agree on principles and best practices for population health? More important than most providers believe, and here’s why: Population health can be a powerful engine for improving patient outcomes and cost performance in Value-Based Health Care. Failure to create a standard of population health practices means that every ACO or health system scrambles independently to create initiatives, without the benefit of broader experience and results. The outcome? ACOs make similar decisions or duplicate others’ programs with meager results. They may also inadvertently consign population health to safer territory as administrative instead of strategic and innovative…Read More
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…Read More
October 11, 2017
If Federal Policy Can’t Improve Health Care, What’s Next? 5 Trends to Track
Health care has been extraordinarily resistant to change. Escalating costs have been at issue since the early 1980s—think about it!—but continue to rise unabated. Ask anyone participating in the system, be they physicians or other health care providers, payers or patients, and you will be inundated with complaints about health care economics, outcomes or processes. If you ask most health care executives about the future, chances are you’ll be met with a shrug. The fact is, however, that an undercurrent of change is already beginning to transform health care. It is gaining momentum, but the health care system and providers…Read More
August 30, 2016
Personalized Medicine v Population Health: Opposites or Complements?
If personalized medical care is the goal, how does that fit with the concept of “population health,” the darling of the health care industry’s drive toward better results and lower costs? Are these two concepts really at odds, or do they work in tandem? This is not a rhetorical question; in the current environment of keeping costs under control, lives are at stake. How Personalized Medicine Should Work We know that best outcomes occur when individuals are appropriately assessed and allowed to make choices based on their personal characteristics. Personalized medicine is not a concept of averages; it is a…Read More
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…Read More
July 5, 2016
Succeed Under MACRA Medicare: How to Meet CPIAs for Full Credit in MIPS
Although many parts of MACRA’s MIPS continue Medicare’s existing quality programs, Clinical Performance Improvement Activities (CPIAs) forge a new direction. CPIAs are one of four MIPS components that practices must meet in order to obtain full reimbursement from Medicare. Forward planning is essential. It takes time to strategize and implement performance improvements, including partnerships and technology. To make this happen in 2017—the base year for performance measurement—providers must prepare before the MACRA rules are finalized. CPIAs are a unique sign of Medicare’s intent to hold practices accountable for improving health care outcomes. That’s a significant step in Medicare’s evolving role…Read More
June 28, 2016
What’s the Score? Decoding the MIPS Scoring Methodology
CMS is calling MIPS the “First Step to a Fresh Start.” When it comes to scoring, that’s an understatement. Although MIPS’s foundations are rooted in existing programs, the MIPS algorithm is a significant departure from today’s quality, cost and health information technology scoring. Not only new, this scoring methodology is complex. Providers will receive one aggregated MIPS Composite Performance Score (CPS), but remember—this one score is going to account for three existing programs, plus a component for ongoing improvement. The real first step: learn how the scoring is done. With penalties starting at 4 percent the first year, growing to…Read More