The Healthmonix Advisor

Meet the Upcoming Administrator for CMS, Seema Verma

Posted by Christina Zink on February 24, 2017

Compared to the commotion surrounding other Trump administration nominees, Seema Verma's confirmation hearing passed by last Thursday with relatively little controversy. Despite the low level of coverage, understanding the contents of this hearing is imperative for predicting the next few years in American health care. As the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Seema Verma will shape the future of health care for 34% of Americans. [1]

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Topics: MACRA, MIPS, Medicare, CMS

Satisfy the MIPS Improvement Activities Performance Category by Giving Feedback About MACRA!

Posted by Christina Zink on January 13, 2017

With the introduction of MIPS reporting in 2017, and the launch of MIPSPRO, now is the time to be considering efficient ways of fulfilling MIPS requirements. CMS is conducting a study with the aim of better understanding practice's experiences quality reporting that will satisfy the Improvement Activities Performance Category of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Applications for this study are going to be accepted from January 1 - 31, 2017.

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Topics: Improvement Activities, MACRA, MIPS

Happy New Year – And it will be a NEW year!!!

Posted by Lauren Patrick on January 5, 2017

As I sit in my office, I hear the Christmas decorations coming down.  There is comfort in the known passing of the seasons and excitement at Healthmonix as we move into MIPS for 2017.  Our new platform for MIPS is ready for launch.  We are excited to see our efforts pay off for healthcare.

While the national election means that the Affordable Care Act will likely be changed, MACRA was passed with wide bipartisan support so will likely be staying in place. We at Healthmonix don’t believe the change in administration will affect the underlying efforts to transition to value-based care, either for MIPS or any other initiatives that we currently support.  The triple aim (better care, lower cost, better patient experience) is still at the heart of what we do.    

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Topics: MACRA, MIPS

5 Reasons To Be Thankful For MACRA

Posted by Christina Zink on November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving is almost here! For me, this means reflecting on the things in my life that I am thankful for. Along with the tasty food I am about to consume with my loved ones, this year I am grateful for the MACRA Quality Payment Program. This may sound perplexing to you, as the MACRA Quality Payment Program has been causing a lot of alarm in the healthcare industry since the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM). However, with the release of the final rule came many provisions that I believe will improve the ease of reporting for clinicians while continuing to improve the quality of care for patients.

To briefly refresh before jumping in, the MACRA Quality Payment Program is split into two paths: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APMs). MIPS streamlines pre-existing CMS quality initiatives (like PQRS and Meaningful Use), while Advanced APMs are designed to encourage innovative value-based payment models.

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Topics: MACRA, MIPS

Top Three Questions about Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) Participation

Posted by Christina Zink on November 21, 2016

 On October 14, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services release the MACRA Quality Payment Program Final Rule. According to the Executive Summary of the Final Rule, the aims of the Quality Payment Program are to : "(1) support care improvement by focusing on better outcomes for patients, decreased provider burden, and preservation of independent clinical practice; (2) promote adoption of Alternative Payment Models that align incentives across healthcare stakeholders; and (3) advance existing efforts of Delivery System Reform, including ensuring a smooth transition to a new system that promotes high-quality, efficient care through unification of CMS legacy programs."[1]

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Topics: MACRA

Bundled Payments Part II

Posted by Lauren Patrick on November 3, 2016

Recently, we highlighted one of the fastest growing types of initiatives for improving the delivery of value-based care--the bundled payment model--and offered some popular opinions about why it is taking off. This week we’ll dive into some specific bundled payment initiatives past and present.

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Topics: MACRA

MIPS Final Rule Fact Checker

Posted by Christina Zink on October 25, 2016

Healthmonix has hosted several MIPS webinars to help our clients and the wider community understand the program, and we have just completed our first MIPS-related webinar since the final rule was released in an unscheduled, but much anticipated manner. As I listened to our team present the webinar, I felt strangely akin to a presidential debate fact checker. With over 2,000 pages of new material, less than a week to process and present, and a fully booked webinar, the stakes had never been higher.

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Topics: MACRA, MIPS

MIPS Transition Year Options: Pick your Pace in 2017

Posted by Christina Zink on October 14, 2016

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final rule with comment period for the Quality Payment Program under MACRA. Consistent with what was discussed in the proposed rule, the MACRA Quality Payment Program will have two tracks: (1) Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). This is part two of our summary of the final rule, and will cover the pacing options available under MIPS. To read more about MIPS Eligibility and the MIPS performance categories, please check out Part 1!

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Topics: MACRA, MIPS

MIPS Performance Categories in the MACRA Final Rule

Posted by Christina Zink on October 14, 2016

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final rule with comment period for the Quality Payment Program under MACRA. Consistent with what was discussed in the proposed rule, the MACRA Quality Payment Program will have two tracks: (1) Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). 

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Topics: MACRA, MIPS

Fundamentals of Bundled Payments

Posted by Lauren Patrick on October 12, 2016

In recent years, the medical industry has seen a host of initiatives for improving the delivery of value-based care, but perhaps the fastest growing of these is the bundled payment model.  CMS has received both praise and criticism for their enthusiastic approach to bundles, but regardless, payment models are clearly changing and providers must stay informed if they want to reap the benefits of these changes.

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Topics: Bundled Payments, Episode Based Payment, MACRA, Medicare