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Trump administration seems to support value-based care after all

Med City News looks at whether the Trump administration is pushing back against value-based care. The article notes:

“{T}he administration has shifted to a focus on voluntary bundles. CMS announced BPCI Advanced, the next-gen version of the original BPCI, in January. The first cohort will start participating in the model, which is voluntary, in October.” BPCI means Bundled Payments for Care Improvement.

“Via email, a CMS spokesman said the alterations to the mandatory programs ‘were made after a robust comment solicitation and were intended to encourage health system change while minimizing provider burden and maintaining access to care.’ The agency is examining the models started by the Obama administration ‘on a case by case basis’ to pinpoint opportunities to improve them.

“With all these cancellations and changes, is the Trump administration undermining value-based care? One industry expert said no, implying the genie can’t be put back in the bottle.”

“I think it’s clear that the principles of value-based care are still endorsed and appreciated industry-wide,” Dr. Charles Saunders,  M.D.,  of Integra Connect CEO, said in a recent phone interview. “I don’t think that there’s any backing off.” Integra provides solutions to optimize value-based patient care at individual, practice and population levels.

“Saunders noted that going forward, the models are likely to change and evolve, particularly as the culture of healthcare continues to adjust to value-based care,” Med City reported.

“I believe that we’ll continue on the course as an industry towards payment for value because the cost of healthcare is on an unsustainable growth path.”

“And perhaps he’s right. With Alex Azar taking the seat as HHS secretary earlier this year, the administration appears to be stressing the significance of fee-for-value. At his Senate confirmation hearing in January, Azar surprisingly expressed support of mandatory bundles.”

To read the whole article, please hit this link.

Hire more staff to help deal with MACRA?


An article in Physicians Practice looks at the pros and cons or hiring additional staff to address MACRA issues. Among the stuff:

The article asserts that Charles Saunders, M.D.,  who is CEO of Integra Connect, a technology and service provider specializing in value-based care,  is one of the few experts who says that hiring more staff may be necessary.

The article reports:  “He says this is the case if a practice chooses to participate in the other MACRA pathway, an advanced alternative payment model (APM). These models have requirements for certain activities such as care coordination and quality improvement programs, which can’t simply be automated. ‘To be successful in driving savings, some investments in these activities will be required for care coordinators and case managers,’ he says. This is because, as with MIPS measures, reporting on them can be a labor-intensive exercise requiring chart reviews, depending on the ability of the EHR to automate this process.”

“Other experts disagree, suggesting that MACRA shouldn’t radically change the way physicians staff their practice or collect information from their patients. ‘In effect, MACRA simply is a requirement that physicians document that they’ve actually performed the next step in terms of a slightly more complicated process of documentation,’ says Stuart Hochron, M.D., chief medical officer and co-founder of Uniphy Health, a physician’s communication and collaboration app. He says the changes won’t require new staff, just more staff education. He recommends turning to CMS’s extensive online resources on the topic, as well as medical societies that offer MACRA education as a start. ‘I’d either attend a respectable conference that was targeted as your organization is focused, or hire a consultant,’  he says.”

To read the whole article, please hit this link.

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