The Healthmonix Advisor

Christina Zink

Christina Zink is a content author and editor at Healthmonix. She has passion for healthcare quality improvement, especially when working with disadvantaged patient populations. This fuels her industry coverage of the upcoming shift to value-based care.
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Recent Posts

To Do: Check Your MIPS Eligibility Status, Preview Your QPP Data.

Posted by Christina Zink on December 14, 2018
 

Have you checked your 2018 MIPS eligibility status? Since September?

CMS emailed physicians to let them know that their MIPS status for this year may have changed that recently--and some physicians may find that they are no longer eligible to participate. Although CMS conducted an initial review of Medicare Part B claims and Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) data between September 2016 and August 2017, further updates were made after a second review that took place between September 2017 and August 2018. If you are eligible, your 2018 performance will affect your 2020 Medicare payment adjustment.

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2018 MIPS Score Hacking: Avoiding the Penalty as a Small Practice

Posted by Christina Zink on December 6, 2018

Most post offices in the United States stay open late on April 15. The online voter registration portal for voters wishing to weigh in on Brexit crashed due to traffic two hours before the deadline. Our MIPS reporting customer support channels reach their peak traffic between on March 24, a week before the submission deadline. It is clearly human nature to procrastinate, so if you've reached December without a MIPS reporting plan, you're certainly not alone.

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CMS Backs Renewed Bundled Payment Efforts

Posted by Christina Zink on November 19, 2018

Bundled payments are on the rise. Last Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced in a keynote speech at the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative Conference that CMS will be revisiting mandatory bundled payment models, changing the way bundled payment programs have been treated by this administration under his predecessor, Tom Price.

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2019 QPP Final Rule Now Available

Posted by Christina Zink on November 2, 2018

Note: This article will update as we learn more, and to reflect any changes that may happen before the rule is officially published to the Federal Register on November 23, 2018. To view the entirety of the final rule, view the unpublished pdf version.

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Topics: MIPS, QPP

Lawmakers Push Back on Proposed Changes to MSSP

Posted by Christina Zink on October 31, 2018

In August, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their proposed rule titled “Pathways to Success,” which outlined significant changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) that encourage ACOs to move more quickly from one-sided to two-sided risk models. The proposed participation options for the MSSP--the largest ACO model with 561 participants--no longer include an “upside-only” risk model; instead, ACOs would be required to select one of two tracks, both of which ultimately include some downside risk.

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Topics: ACO

How To Improve EHR User Experience

Posted by Christina Zink on October 24, 2018

EHRs have undoubtedly already changed the way healthcare works in America, and many of these changes have been for the better. Improved workflows and care delivery, enabled through EHR technology, are in many cases key to improving both patient and public health outcomes. But in the face of increasing requirements for providers, and the ever-looming need for health systems to justify their investment, EHRs must recognize that demand is high for a product that continues to improve and keep up with the changing times.

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The Problem of Patient Matching: New Pew Report Details Recommendations

Posted by Christina Zink on October 11, 2018

In the pursuit of value based care, interoperability is key. But is it achievable in the current healthcare landscape? And if not, what would we have to do to bridge that gap?

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Topics: Interoperability

CMS Admits to MIPS Scoring Errors, Extends Deadline

Posted by Christina Zink on September 26, 2018

In a recent update on 2017 MIPS Performance Feedback, CMS announced that they have identified errors in their scoring logic. CMS wrote that their targeted review process “worked exactly as intended, as the incoming requests quickly alerted us to these issues and allowed us to take immediate action.”

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Analysis Shows MSSP ACOs Saved Twice As Much As CMS Reported

Posted by Christina Zink on September 13, 2018

CMS estimates that between the 2013 and 2015 performance years, accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) saved $954 million. But according to a new analysis from Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, commissioned by the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS), they actually saved $1.84 billion—almost twice as much.

The analysis also found that MSSP delivered net savings of $541.7 million for 2013-2015 after accounting for shared savings bonuses; this is in contrast to the CMS benchmark calculation, which found that the organizations increased Medicare spending by $344.2 million.

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Topics: ACO

CMS Proposes New Changes to ACOs Under MSSP

Posted by Christina Zink on August 17, 2018

In a new proposal titled “Pathways to Success,” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has laid out a modified set of participation options for ACOs (accountable care organizations) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). The proposed participation options would no longer include an “upside-only” risk model; instead, ACOs would be required to select one of two tracks, both of which ultimately include some downside risk.

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Topics: ACO