Posts in Category: Health & Human Services (HHS)

Registries play a role in MIPS reporting  

​MIPS, the Medicare physician reimbursement program set to begin in 2019, is causing healthcare providers to consider the use of registries, if they haven't already, as part of their workflow practices.

This Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, part of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) created under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), directs clinicians to meaningfully use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology, according to the American College of Cardiology.

One effect of the regulations is the promotion of the use of registries to help clinicians manage the reporting of the EHRs. MIPS allocates five bonus points in its scoring mechanism to clinicians who are using registries. "An eligible clinician can earn bonus points by completing additional measures under the Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting objective, such as reporting to a specialized registry (i.e., the PINNACLE Registry) or using certified EHR technology to complete certain activities in the Improvement Activities category, such as managing referrals and consultations," the American College of Cardiology reports.

It makes good sense to incentivize use of registries, says Raymond R. Russell, III, MD., Ph.D., because they can help physicians and their teams face a challenge to develop systems that help fulfill reporting requirements with minimal burden. "For many cardiologists, an effective, efficient approach to reporting quality measures data is to take advantage of the registries at our disposal," he writes in Cardiovascular Business.

Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs), allow clinicians to report on specialty-developed measures that are robust and uniquely geared to their area of practice, thus fulfilling CMS reporting requirements while closely tracking the quality of their practices.

"As the cardiovascular community moves forward with the new value-based models for performance evaluation and reimbursement, it will be essential to develop effective tools that support efficient completion of requirements," Russell suggests. "Some tools, such as registries, are proven and available to us now."

LUMEDX, as the leading independent provider of ACC and STS registry software, believes registries are the cornerstone ao cardiovascular data intelligence and the foundation of a true CVIS (Cardiovascular Information Systems). For more information, visit our Registries page: http://www.lumedx.com/registries.aspx.

For healthcare services, the cloud has arrived 

It's becoming increasingly clear that healthcare providers are reaping big dividends from hosting data and services in the cloud.

"Hosting applications in the cloud can help you scale as you grow, collaborate with partners and patients, store and manage huge amounts of patient data and get a bigger return on your IT investments in the long run," Molly True wrote last week in HealthCare Business & Technology

She cited the ability for hospitals to combine a public cloud offering with a private cloud offering where the systems are connected and interoperate with other existing systems. Providers can also keep some of their most sensitive data on their premises and some of their applications.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is following this trend. Last week, it announced plans to increase the adoption rate of cloud services this year from 18.5 percent to 30 percent of its systems.

"We have worked to embrace cloud," HHS Chief Information Officer Beth Killoran said. "If you do cloud properly, the implementation should be transparent to the workforce. When we did our financial systems upgrade last year, we had to provide training on the new capabilities -- not the platform. The effort has been a great success."

Moreover, in a recent survey, prominent healthcare executives predict a drastic shift from on-premise IT infrastructure into the cloud. That includes electronic health records, clinical decision support and analytics.

"I predict that five years from now none of us will have datacenters," Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka said, according to Healthcare IT News. "We're going to go out to the cloud to find EHRs, clinical decision support, analytics."

LUMEDX's HealthView delivers HIPAA-compliant data management and analytics solutions via the cloud, making important data available to your providers-anywhere, anytime-while reducing the time and money you spend on IT infrastructure. To learn more about our various cloud and on-premise options, contact us at info@lumedx.com.

CMS Delays Cardiac Bundled-Payment Program  

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has pushed back the implementation date for its bundled payments for cardiac care from July 1 until Oct. 1, according to Cardiovascular Business. It also suggested it could further delay the model until Jan. 1, 2018.

CMS announced the delay of the program, titled the Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model, this week in the Federal Register.

The bundled-payment program would allow approximately 1,120 acute care hospitals in 98 designated markets to hold on to the savings they achieve if they spend less than the target price for a 90-day episode of care for bypass and heart attack patients. However, hospitals that exceed the target price must repay Medicare -- and target prices will be determined retrospectively.

CMS previously predicted that the program - which also covers knee and hip replacement - would save the federal government as much as $159 million between now and 2021. In 2014, the CMS said, heart attack treatment for 200,000 patients cost Medicare more than $6 billion.

The new Secretary of Health & Human Services, Tom Price, has been a critic of the program, objecting to the mandatory nature of the initiative. Seema Verma, the new CMS administrator, said during her confirmation hearing in February that she preferred a gradual expansion of new payment models, Cardiovascular Business reported.

The CMS announcement said an additional three-month delay is necessary to allow time for additional review, "to ensure that the agency has adequate time to undertake notice and comment rulemaking to modify the policy if modifications are warranted, and to ensure that in such a case participants have a clear understanding of the governing rules and are not required to take needless compliance steps."

CMS added that participants would have more time to prepare for these models with the delay and that it would be preferable for payment periods to align with the calendar year. As a result, the CMS said, it is seeking comment on delaying the bundles until January 2018.

 

From one hospital to another, the cost of treating heart attack patients varies by as much as 50 percent. Does your hospital have a plan to meet the target prices for bypass and heart attack patients? LUMEDX's Cardiovascular Performance Program can help. Click here to find out how.

Cardiac Bundled-Payment Program to Go Forward Despite Change in Administration 

The bundled-payment program for cardiac care will go forward despite the Trump administration and the confirmation of new Health & Human Services Secretary Tom  Price, a critic of the program. July 1 remains the start date for the initiative, according to an HHS official who spoke to Modern Healthcare.

Under the bundled-payment model, hospitals in 98 designated markets can keep the savings they achieve if they spend less than the target price for a 90-day episode of care for bypass and heart attack patients. However, hospitals that exceed the target price must repay Medicare -- and Target prices will be determined retrospectively.

The HHS spokesman confirmed that the start of the initiative will not be slowed by the Trump administration, which previously had moved to delay the effective date for a rule that launched it. Nor does it appear that Price will stand in the way of its implementation.

Last fall, Price criticized bundled payments in a letter to then-President Obama. Price objected to the mandatory nature of the initiative, arguing that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid had exceeded its authority and upset the balance of power between Congress and the president.

CMS predicts that the program--which also covers knee and hip replacement--will save the federal government as much as $159 million between now and 2021. In 2014, the CMS said, heart attack treatment for 200,000 patients cost Medicare more than $6 billion. 

From one hospital to another, the cost of treating heart attack patients varies by as much as 50 percent. Does your hospital have a plan to meet the target prices for bypass and heart attack patients? LUMEDX's Cardiovascular Performance Program can help. Click here to find out how. 

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