A recent perspective article in the New England Journal of Medicine begins with a bold claim: that patient relationship categories and billing-code modifiers, which clinicians have been able to voluntarily submit since January 1, 2018, “may be one of the least known but most important provisions of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).” In today’s blog we’ll explore how patient relationship codes may, as the article predicts, end up impacting reimbursement.
As laid out in the 2019 MACRA final rule*, one of the ways CMS hopes to expand participation options in the program’s third year is by offering certain facility-based clinicians, if they participate as a group, the option to use facility-based Quality and Cost performance measures. CMS expects to release a facility-based scoring preview for this option, which does not require any data submission, in Q1 of 2019. In today’s blog, we’ll take an in-depth look at the details of facility-based scoring and how it will be applied.
Value-based care seems like such a good idea. Who doesn’t want better health, and better care, at a lower cost? It is one of the premises of the MACRA legislation: “Change the way that Medicare rewards clinicians for value over volume.” We all think, in theory, preventive care is better than fixing problems after they occur. That’s why we take our cars in for regular maintenance, we have our furnace checked each year before winter, we get our teeth cleaned and checked every six months.
Yet, the current evolution to value-based care is adding burden and distracting from care in many ways, rather than focusing on the intended goals. I attended the Patient-Centered Oncology Care (PCOC) 2018, the annual meeting presented by The American Journal of Managed Care, last week and listened to some of our most highly-trained and most needed oncologists talk about how the current payment models have affected their practices. Oncology practices have been asked to take on risk for the cost of care and manage that cost. These practices are now responsible for costs that are not within their control, and that they don’t even know about until long after decisions have been made.
When I was in graduate school, I quickly gravitated to projects and classes that focused on the relatively new field of database design and database technology. I loved the deep analysis of data and exploring the question of how to leverage technology to support storage and access to data in order to find answers. It was challenging, it was new, and it was a field that I knew would have a huge impact. My thesis was about data organization and optimization, and I was lucky to be able to experiment with all sorts of database challenges and software as I ultimately built my own contribution to the science.
At the Optum Forum conference this year, once again I was brought back to the data. As a recent partner with Optum, Healthmonix provides MACRA (MIPS and ACO) reporting for Optum clients in addition to our existing client base. At the conference, I heard the cries of how fundamental the data really is as we move forward in the value-based care market. As much as we need to work with providers and payers to change patterns of practice, a critical component is the data that supports the change and that measures the impact.
This is because data is what drives precision medicine and AI initiatives. It drives understanding, affirms what we already know, points out new patterns that we haven’t realized, and shows us where our perceptions are correct and where they are not.
Healthmonix has just announced several types of increased functionality in the MIPSPRO measure engine, including new options to input the outcome of a measure for a visit using an “English” code. In this post, we’ll outline exactly what that entails, and what it means for our users and the future of interoperability.
Our measure status upload functionality will soon provide you with the ability to “tell” MIPSPRO the outcome of a measure for a visit using an English code, such as “Met”, “Not Met”, or “Exception”. Plain English expressions can be used in either spreadsheet or manual entry situations. This new feature will especially save time and energy for users whose EMR already tracks data in this or a similar format.
Here at Healthmonix, we’re always looking for ways to make it easier for our customers to navigate complicated Medicare reporting requirements and optimize their Quality outcomes. In the spirit of that mission, I am pleased to announce the following new and upcoming improvements to our MIPSPRO reporting system, which enable our customers to make even better use of the data they already have and provide a more seamless, less burdensome reporting experience.
Over the past year, we tracked over 11 million patients with over 2 BILLION quality actions in MIPS reporting alone! We are already back to work and developing some really cool new analytic solutions to help our clients optimize their Quality outcomes.
Last week’s 2018 HIMSS Conference presented, as every year, a profusion of insights into the current landscape of healthcare technology. With over 300 education sessions, 1,300 vendors, and hundreds of special programs and events, a HIMSS conference can be hard to boil down into just a few key points. Still, I wanted to share one particularly salient impression that stuck with me after I attended, one that I think anyone with an interest in healthcare should stick a pin in.
Topics: MACRA and MIPS
The 2018 winter Olympics wrapped up this weekend in PyeongChang, leaving us at Healthmonix contemplating the many analogous connections between the Olympian athletes and providers of value-based care. So in honor of this year’s champions, we’re laying out why you should follow their example and go for the gold:
1. If you want to place, strive for peak performance.