Tag Archive | MIPS

The Future of Private Practice Under Value-based Care

Weisstein Headshot for O'BuzzOrthoBuzz occasionally receives posts from guest bloggers. This guest post comes from Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS.

An increasingly frequent concern is that the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and value-based care in general could lead to the demise of private physician practices. With the prevalence of that concern comes pressure for private practices to join Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), where groups of doctors and/or hospitals synergize to deliver coordinated care to Medicare patients. ACOs certainly have their benefits, but the risks of joining one need to be evaluated as well. An ACO may work for one orthopaedic practice but not for another. From my perspective, private practices, both small and large, will be able to thrive under MIPS. Here’s why:

  • First, the final ruling from MACRA has given physicians the ability to report with the ‘pick your pace’ model. The slow, phased introduction for MIPS gives practices a window of time to get on track. 2017 is the transitional year, giving practices time to identify processes and an EHR system that best fit their needs.
  • Second, CMS established flexible MIPS measurements based on practice size. (Small practices are typically considered to be those with ≤15 providers, and large practices have >15 providers.)
  • Third, if you have the right support from your vendors—especially your EHR system vendor—you will have a built-in MIPS intelligence platform, composite scoring, and support and advisory services to help you along the way.
  • Finally, the government has earmarked an extra $500 million for “exceptional performance” for each year of the first five years of MIPS. The right EHR system can direct and support you to achieve this exceptional-performance rating.

Ultimately, the decision to join an ACO or remain a private practice is a multifactorial one. You should consider the options available and how they will impact you, both in the short term and long term. Either way, value-based care is here to stay, and finding an EHR vendor with the best resources for your practice is a crucial component for success.

Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS is the Medical Director of Orthopedics at Modernizing Medicine.

Maximizing Specialized Health Registries Under MIPS

Weisstein Headshot for O'BuzzOrthoBuzz occasionally receives posts from guest bloggers. This guest post comes from Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS.

I want to expand on my previous posts (Tips to Excel Under MIPS and  Why EHR Data & Analytics Matter) and focus on another differentiating factor when it comes to electronic health record (EHR) systems and your success with Medicare’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

The ability to interact with specialized health registries is another functionality your EHR system should have. Active engagement with a clinical data registry falls under the Advancing Care Information (ACI) component of MIPS. In general, having EHR-enabled access to such specialized health registries can make MIPS compliance easier and help you earn bonus points, which translates into increased practice income.

Some examples of orthopaedic-specific registries could include the following:

  • Medial Meniscus Tear, Acute Registry
  • Plantar Fasciitis Registry
  • Low Back Pain
  • Herniated Disc, Cervical Registry

In addition to having the ability to interact with orthopaedic-specific registries in order to  participate in ACI and improve your MIPS score, registry engagement through your EHR system will help to improve population health by collecting and reporting on data about musculoskeletal treatment effectiveness and disease trends. Public health reporting can be very complicated and time-consuming, but having an EHR system that automatically and seamlessly collects and transmits the data to the registry, without manual intervention, is a robust advantage.

Finally, access to registry data will help your practice with the Improvement Activities component of MIPS, which, during the so-called transition year of 2017, is weighted at 15% of the total MIPS score.

Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS is the Medical Director of Orthopedics at Modernizing Medicine.

Why EHR Data & Analytics Matter to Orthopaedic Practices

Weisstein Headshot for O'Buzz.jpg

OrthoBuzz occasionally receives posts from guest bloggers. This guest post comes from Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS.

Selecting and/or changing your electronic health record (EHR) system is an investment of time, money, and training. There should be a thorough vetting process in place so you can select the right technology for your practice. One of the many questions you should ask when evaluating an EHR for your practice is the system’s ability to capture and display data. Data capture and analysis are critical for many reasons, one of which is reporting for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

The Value of Structured/Discrete Data
You want an EHR system that can capture structured, actionable data and automate patient and regulatory compliance documentation in near real-time. It is crucial to focus specifically on what is known as “discrete” or “structured” data. The opposite of narrative data, discrete/structured data captures specifics from each patient encounter.

Structured data matters so much because it is mineable—that is, it can be uniquely identified retrospectively. Structured data is crucial for group analytics, research, and the imminent obligations, such as MIPS, that the government and payers are placing on orthopaedic groups.

To maximize financial success, your EHR system should automatically capture all the data you need at the point of care to build and report your composite MIPS score. Once you have this data, you need tools that can help you visualize and analyze it.

The Importance of Visible Analytics
Analytics tools in your EHR system should:

1) Comparatively benchmark your near real-time quality and cost data to those of your peers

2) Visibly illustrate financial information to improve your bottom line and operations.

It is essential for everyone at a practice to have access to this real-time comparative benchmarking of both quality and cost data to succeed under MIPS. The analytics tools should not only show individual clinician performance and practice performance, but also where you stand when compared to other orthopedic surgeons and practices.

Making your financials visible can aid in improving your bottom line and operations far beyond a MIPS score. Having peer-to-peer comparisons in real-time will give you the chance to make operational changes, if necessary, to improve your practice.

From patient check-in to discharge, your analytics tool should enable you to identify and track key clinical, financial and operational processes to uncover insights to help optimize your practice. For example, orthopaedists would undoubtedly benefit from analytics on the prescribing of high-risk medications such as narcotics, blood thinners, and NSAIDs. Ultimately, robust analytics capabilities can help you measure and enhance your performance by making high-quality medical decisions for your patients and keeping costs down.

Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS is the Medical Director of Orthopedics at Modernizing Medicine.

JBJS/AOA Webinar–Implementing Medicare’s Quality-Incentive Programs

Aug Webinar Presenters.pngAre you confused and frustrated by Medicare’s Quality-Incentive Programs, such as the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program, and the Surgical Hip and Femur Fracture Treatment (SHFFT) model?  If so, this webinar is for you.

On Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 8:00 PM EDT,  The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS) and the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) will host a complimentary LIVE webinar featuring the following speakers and topics:

  • Brian McCardel, MD will discuss choosing MIPS-related quality measures, improving performance on those measures, and qualifying for bonuses.
  • Thomas Barber, MD, FAOA will focus on managing clinical care including how to deliver low-cost high-quality care for high-risk orthopaedic patients.
  • Alexandra Page, MD will discuss partnering with hospitals and post-acute organizations to improve patient care and reap financial rewards.

Moderated by Douglas Lundy, MD, FAOA, the webinar will include a live Q&A session between the audience and panelists.

Seats are limited, so register now!

9 Tips to Excel with MIPS

Weisstein Headshot for O'Buzz.jpgOrthoBuzz occasionally receives posts from guest bloggers. This guest post comes from Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS.

MIPS—the Merit-based Incentive Payment System—is still a mystery to many orthopaedic surgeons. But it can have a big positive or negative impact on your practice.

MIPS is a federal improvement-incentive program consisting of Quality, Resource Use, Clinical Practice Improvement, and Advancing Care components. To demonstrate excellent performance (and reap the associated rewards), physicians can choose the activities and measures that are most meaningful for their practice. Weights are assigned to each category based on a 1 to 100 point scale. In 2017, the transition year, weights are as follows: Quality-60 percent, Cost-0 percent, Improvement Activities-15 percent and Advancing Care Information-25 percent.

I often hear a lot of grumbling from colleagues about their electronic health record (EHR) systems as one of the major causes of physician burnout. However, implementing the right technology will help you excel under this new reimbursement model.

Here are 9 MIPS tips related to EHRs:

  1. Choose the Quality benchmarks that best fit your practice. You need at least 20 eligible cases per Quality measure. Go to the CMS website and select benchmarks that have established measures.
  2. Report Quality for an entire year or over 90 days.
  3. Make sure your EHR has built-in dashboards that enable you to keep an eye on your composite score in near real-time, from day to day.
  4. Be sure that the EHR you select captures data being entered at the point of care and can enable this data to be used for multiple purposes.
  5. Get a head start on the Advancing Care component. Selecting an EHR vendor with successful Meaningful Use (MU) attestations is critical.
  6. Earn bonus points via specialty registries and Clinical Improvement Activities.
  7. Make sure your EHR allows you to compare your performance with that of your peers using analytical tools.
  8. When engaging in Clinical Improvement Activities, follow guidelines based on your specific practice size.
  9. Submit only the required number of Clinical Improvement Activities for the given measurement year, because the following year, you may need to pick a different activity.

With the shift to MIPS and value-based care, orthopaedic surgeons and their teams can thrive by adapting and utilizing technology that fits within their workflows and that helps them understand how they are performing in real time, both within their own practices and compared with their peers nationwide.

Jason Weisstein, MD, MPH, FACS is the Medical Director of Orthopedics at Modernizing Medicine.