Roji Health Intelligence Terry Hush ACOs Need a Strategic Map for Cost Control
ACOsData AggregationMedicareValue-Based Health Care
June 5, 2024

ACOs Need a Strategic Map for Cost Control

For ACOs to remain relevant and viable under risk payment models, they must step up now to generate more cost savings for Medicare patient care. Medicare’s budget cuts are once again under consideration as political pressure mounts to lower governmental spending. CMS is expanding risk through Medicare value-based payment models, such as the new ACO PC Flex model, which is designed to create per-patient reimbursement for small ACOs in trade for higher reimbursements and funding for infrastructure. Most newer CMS payment models are now incorporating per-patient payments designed to lower the total cost of care. As the provider-driven vanguard in…
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2022 QPP Performance Report
ACOsAlternative Payment Models (APM)Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Quality Payment Program
May 23, 2024

2022 QPP Experience Report: Address 3 Key Findings Now to Avoid Future Penalties

At first glance, CMS’s recently released 2022 QPP Experience Report (PDF) seems reassuring, because the majority of clinicians avoided financial penalties under MIPS. Don’t be fooled! While overall success and failure rates in the report may lead you to conclude that merely participating in the QPP (either in MIPS or as an APM) is enough to do well, trends in the report tell a very different story: Without a concerted and cohesive strategy to simultaneously improve efficiency and demonstrably improve quality, providers will begin to see their consistent results fall short of minimum performance thresholds. The QPP Experience Report details participation…
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Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)MIPS Value PathwaysQuality Payment ProgramValue-Based Health Care
November 10, 2021

The 2022 CMS PFS and QPP Final Rule: A Warning Shot to Provider Holdouts of Value-Based APMs

CMS has released the 2022 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program (QPP) Final Rule, and the message of these 2,414 pages is clear: CMS wants to push providers into value-based care arrangements. That intent was foreshadowed by the Proposed Rule released over the summer, which confirmed our predictions of trends under the Biden administration. Specifically, we saw a push to move providers into value-based care arrangements with an emphasis on closing the health equity gap, and a shift toward measuring progress through enhanced quality reporting requirements within a value-based care arrangement. To that end, in the Final Rule CMS…
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ACOsMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Quality Payment Program
July 19, 2021

The 2022 CMS PFS and QPP Proposed Rule: 7 Things to Know

After the 2020 election, we predicted seven trends to expect in Value-Based Care. Our forecasts were right on track. Last week the Biden Administration released its first Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program Proposed Rule, a 1,747-page document that promotes restructured value-based care initiatives. As we predicted, it recognizes both a significant health equity gap and a lack of useful data available to healthcare consumers as major challenges to overcome. We’re highlighting the seven biggest takeaways from the newly proposed Rule. Here’s the short version: The bar is higher, with substantial MIPS scoring changes ahead, and providers and organizations…
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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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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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Future of Health CareMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Quality Payment ProgramRiskValue-Based Health Care
November 7, 2018

The Final 2019 Quality Payment Program Rule: A Slow (but Steady) Push to Risk

Brew a pot of coffee! CMS has released a 2,378-page Final Rule covering the 2019 performance year for the Quality Payment Program, including the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Those who dive into this document will gain insight into CMS’s vision for the future. It seems tortuous to suggest “reading between the lines” when there’s already so much laid out in black-and-white, but recognizing the context within the rule enables you to prepare for the future—spelled R-I-S-K. The Final Rule is very close to what was proposed back in July and has been similarly justified—CMS continues to cite Meaningful Measures, Patients…
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Alternative Payment Models (APM)Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Qualified Clinical Data Registry ReportingValue-Based Health Care
July 25, 2018

The Proposed 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP) Rule: What You May Have Missed

Whoever said bureaucracy doesn’t foster change did not anticipate CMS’s Proposed Rule for the Quality Payment Program (QPP), 2019 performance year version, released on July 12. While the familiar overarching structure of MIPS remains, there are a number of revisions that activate newly developed policies. These include “Patients Over Paperwork” and “Meaningful Measures” efforts that CMS initiated in 2018 to streamline the requirements-heavy MIPS program. To be honest, there are some rough patches within the wrangling of old and new MIPS provisions in the 1,473 page 2019 Medicare Physician Schedule Proposed Rule, set to be published in the Federal Register…
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ACOsAdvanced Alternative Payment ModelsAlternative Payment Models (APM)MedicareMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Value-Based Health Care
June 13, 2018

Medicare Paths to Value-Based Health Care: Which Way is Up?

If you’re scratching your head about the direction of Value-Based Health Care (VBHC) in Medicare, you’re not alone. The current mix includes a swirl of separate initiatives, some new and others recently re-labled. As CMS pushes toward VBHC, providers may feel confused and frustrated as concepts emerge that will affect multiple programs. Within the last several months, the Patients Over Paperwork and Meaningful Measures initiatives have shaken up CMS value-based care programs, particularly: Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs (MSSP ACOs) Direct Provider Contracting (DPC) Even more confounding, CMS is taking a non-linear development path for…
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Alternative Payment Models (APM)MACRAMerit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Value-Based Health Care
November 8, 2017

The 2018 Quality Payment Program Final Rule: What You Need to Know

Halloween may be over, but CMS has given us one more scare—a 1,653-page Final Rule for Year 2 of the Quality Payment Program. The Proposed Rule represents the next phase of the transition into a full-fledged Quality Payment Program. For eligible providers, more is required to avoid penalties, but CMS has defined the process to favor those making efforts to avoid penalties. Of course, the program is designed to facilitate improvement—not just to meet a minimum participation threshold. Success will not be quantified in terms of avoiding penalties but, rather, by demonstrating exceptional performance and improvement. With these guidelines established…
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