Doing the Right Thing in the Era of MACRA: The Role of Care Coordination

Concerns over the cost of health care and apparent lower health outcomes in the United States compared to other developed countries have significantly influenced program development by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). New reimbursement strategies intended to address cost and drive quality—specifically the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA)—are placing new clinical and operational demands on the health care industry.

So in the era of MACRA, providers need to balance reporting requirements (which can be time-consuming) while continuing to put patients first. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure patient care is well coordinated.

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Value-Based Care Requires Good Big Data, Better Communication

Brevity may be the soul of wit in the literary world, but it’s the opposite of a good thing when it comes to safe, comprehensive, and cost-effective patient care.

In the value-based care environment, where multiple entities may be financially responsible for the same patient’s long-term outcomes, thorough communication between care providers is essential for ensuring that services aren’t unnecessarily duplicated or accidentally forgotten as individuals move across the care continuum.

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MACRA rule adds EHR flexibility, pushes back mandate for 2015 editions

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday delivered a 2018 MACRA proposed rule that would add more flexibility to the health IT mandates associated with the law.

The proposal pushes back the requirement that clinicians use 2015-certified electronic health records for another year. Instead, doctors can continue to use legacy systems if they choose and those that opt to use 2015 editions would get a 10 percent payment bonus from CMS.

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Pop Health Data Needed for Future Patient Engagement Tech

Healthcare professionals are increasingly looking into patient engagement technology solutions that help them determine how and when to best engage a healthcare consumer, according to a report from Black Book Research.

The report includes testimony from nearly 750 industry leaders, including chief information officers, chief financial officers, and hospital managers. Ninety percent of respondents said that patient engagement technology will dominate their population health management tools going forward.

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Exploring patients’ roles in chronic illness care coordination

Strong care coordination is one of the core necessities for effective chronic disease management.

Patients managing a chronic illness are confronted with a plethora of health information, often coming from multiple different specialists and primary care clinicians. All of this information must be sent from one clinician to the other, with each doctor knowing what the other is doing to achieve the end goal of patient wellness.

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3 health care trends that don’t hinge on the ACA

In early May 2017 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare). Subsequently, Republicans in the U.S. Senate began working on their version of a law to do the same. The House bill is flawed, leaving many uncertainties that the Senate has promised to address. While the fate of the bill is in flux, there are three immutable trends in the U.S. health care system that won’t change. As a result, regardless of how the law evolves, tremendous opportunities will remain for consumers, medical providers, health care payers, and investors to shape and improve the health care system.

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The newest faces in hospital C-suites are focusing on patient engagement

As the healthcare industry continues to move to value-based care with its emphasis on patient experience and reducing costs, some hospitals and health systems are putting stock in a new leadership role: chief experience officer (CXO). Hospitals that designate a C-suite executive expect to benefit financially from higher patient satisfaction scores and positive publicity.

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Lung screening: A promising line of defense in the lung cancer battle

Lung screening recently moved to the forefront of the cancer prevention discussion. As you may be aware, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States—and incidence is on the rise.1 Unfortunately lung cancer isn’t typically caught until the late stages when prognosis is poor, but lung screening programs can help increase survival odds by identifying cancer in its early stages.

In 2011, the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) demonstrated a 20% reduction in lung cancer mortality using low-dose CT scanning for high-risk patients. In response to this study, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released lung screening recommendations aimed at patients aged 55 to 80 who are current (or former) smokers with a 30-pack-year smoking history. When Medicare announced coverage for low-dose CT lung screening programs in February 2015, hospitals and cancer centers across the U.S. began launching their own screening programs.

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