- Prices for medical procedures difficult to find online, study says. Consumers who use Google and Bing to find the prices of common medical procedures, such as hip replacements or cholesterol tests, are unlikely to find helpful information, according to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine. For the study, researchers searched for price information on several common procedures in eight cities in the United States. The searches pulled up 1,346 non-advertisement websites, but of those, just 234 (17%) provided searchers with geographically relevant information about pricing.
- The 32 measures CMS is considering for Medicare quality, VBP programs in 2018. CMS last week released its annual list of the quality and cost measures under consideration (MUC) for Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs for 2018. The Affordable Care Act requires CMS to release the list of measures it is considering each year by Dec. 1. According to officials, the selected measures are intended "to help quantify health care outcomes and track the effectiveness, safety, and patient-centeredness of the care provided."
- How providers performed in Medicare's VBPM program. During the first year of Medicare's Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier program, 29.3% of participating groups were penalized for failing to register and submit performance information, according to a new study in Health Affairs. The program, launched in 2015, served as a precursor for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. For the study, researchers assessed the quality and cost performance of 899 practices with more than 100 physicians and found that 263 practices (29.3%) failed to submit performance data, receiving a 1% penalty. Meanwhile, of the 636 practices that submitted performance data, those that voluntarily opted to received performance-based rewards or penalties and those that had high EHR use reported better quality and cost performance than those that did not.
From Advisory Board:
- What is the appropriate scale for a health system? How to unlock radical growth. Determining the appropriate scale for a health system can be tough: Should you aspire to become a $5 billion, $10 billion, or even a $20 billion organization? As megamergers become increasingly frequent, health system executives ask this question with newfound urgency. Join us on Monday, Dec. 11, to understand opportunities for radical growth both within and beyond existing markets.
- How to address the social determinants of health. Join us on Thursday, Dec. 7, to learn how to improve population health by partnering with community-based organizations already providing quality non-clinical support for a range of needs, from healthy food access to stable housing, to scale patient management beyond traditional care settings.
- MACRA, Part 2: Detailed analysis of the 2018 Final Rule. Join us on Tuesday, Dec. 12, as we take a deeper dive into the final 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP) policies and offer action items for the short term and long term. We will also help you decode changes to the complex Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) requirements, provide advice on program management, reporting alignment, and how to leverage health IT to achieve success.