CMS issues a nearly 300-page final rule on MSSP ACOs outlining changes to the program’s benchmarking methodology, a new alternative participation option that encourages participants to enter performance-based risk arrangements sooner, and policies for addressing payment corrections.
June 28 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Your Call Is Very Important.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Cyndy Orrys, contact center director, Henry Ford Health System; Brian Cooper, SVP, West Interactive. The contact center is a key hub of patient engagement and a strategic lever for driving competitive advantage. Cyndy will share how her organization’s call center is using technologies and approaches that create effortless patient experiences in connecting them to the right information or resource. Brian will describe five key characteristics of a modern call center and suggest how to get started.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Fitbit keeps its head up in the midst of legal troubles, announcing the launch of Fitbit Group Health at its inaugural Captivate Summit. The new service line will bring the company’s offerings together for corporate wellness, weight management, and payer programs, as well as health research. The wearables company has also launched corresponding analytics and benchmarking technology to help FGH customers keep track of progress and peers.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signs into law the South Carolina Telemedicine Act, setting up practice standards that “shall adhere to the same standard of care as a licensee employing more traditional in-person medical care and be evaluated according to the standard of care applicable to the licensee’s area of specialty.”
Government and Politics
Vice President Joe Biden launches the Genomic Data Commons at the University of Chicago with $70 million from the National Cancer Institute. As part of the Cancer Moonshot and Precision Medicine initiatives, the commons will receive, store, and organize clinical and genomic data, and offer it to cancer researchers in user-friendly formats.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory outlines his plans for Medicaid reform, including the establishment of a statewide HIE and Health Transformation Center, which will help physicians and prepaid health plans share quality improvement ideas.
Montefiore Health System (NY) and the United Hospital Fund publish a guide to integrating behavioral health services into primary care. "While the framework will undoubtedly have relevance for large provider groups,” says Linda Lambert, executive director of the New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians, “we are pleased that this paper and its recommendations were designed with the flexibility to work for smaller practices and physicians who operate independently. If integrating behavioral health care into primary care practices is going to work, it has to work for the smaller practices as well, which the authors clearly understood." The framework gives ample airtime to healthcare technology, advising physicians to take shared care planning beyond hallway conversations and into EHRs.
The New York Times puts the economics of EHR adoption front and center, highlighting several MDs who have seen their salaries and practice revenue decrease in the post-HITECH era of IT. Peter Sutherland, MD part of a 50-physician HealthStar practice in Morristown, TN, has seen his personal income and group revenue fall then rise since Athenahealth was implemented in 2012. Despite the financial rollercoaster, he has found value in being able to quickly provide better information to patients. “My patients are better served,” he says, “and I’m happier.”