December 21, 2017

ACO roundup: AMA's advice to help providers avoid 2019 MACRA penalties

Daily Briefing
    • Providers should act now to avoid 2019 MACRA penalties, AMA says. The American Medical Association (AMA) is notifying eligible professionals that they can avoid a payment penalty under MACRA's Quality Payment Program in 2019 by submitting data for one patient on one measure by December 31, 2017. To help providers complete the reporting process, AMA rolled out an awareness campaign, called "one patient, one measure, no penalty," that includes a step-by-step guide for providers to submit the necessary data. "While physicians may be ready to take only a small step for the 2017 performance year by reporting on one measure for one patient, learning now to report through one measure this year will set you up for being successful next year," AMA said.

    • CMS adds star ratings to Physician Compare website. CMS on Thursday announced that it has updated its Physician Compare website to include 2016 data and new star ratings related to clinical quality. According to CMS, the website, which launched in 2014, now includes star ratings for a small subset of Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) group-level measures for 2016. CMS said the new star ratings will not appear for individual physicians, but only on "group profile pages" that show the overall performance of a physician practice. The website will also feature patient experience scores from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, CMS said.

    • Email-based care coordination boosts outcomes, study finds. The San Francisco Health Network was able to cut readmissions, boost use of post-discharge primary care services, and improve provider satisfaction by implementing an email-based approach to care coordination, according to a new study in the American Journal of Accountable Care.  For the study, the health network in 2014 launched a pilot program at  Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California San Francisco Family Medicine Inpatient Service. The study found that among patients involved in the pilot program, 53% visited a PCP within one week of discharge in 2015, compared with 38% of patients in a control group—and found 58% fewer 30-day readmissions among patients who promptly followed up with a PCP post-discharge. Meanwhile, 82% of PCPs in the pilot said the program facilitated communication with inpatient clinicians.

    From Advisory Board:

    • Get the 2018 oncology Medicare reimbursement update. Join us on Tuesday, Jan. 9 to hear a complete analysis of the changes in 2018 Medicare payment for cancer services. We'll provide updates on site neutrality and 340B regulations. We'll also cover in-depth reimbursement changes for chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and imaging in both the hospital-based and freestanding settings.

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