Quick Links No. 1609

What MACRA’s ‘go at your own pace’ could mean for providers

The shift to value-base care has fueled discussion among many experts who claim providers do not have enough time or resources to succeed under a pay-for-performance system. A Deloitte 2016 survey found 50 percent of physicians have never heard of CMS’ Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, and a Medscape survey found 59 percent of physicians in practices with less than 25 clinicians expect to receive a performance penalty as high as 4 percent under MACRA. Failure to meet CMS’ reporting standards could result in hefty fees for practices, and many providers have called on CMS to delay the shift to pay-for-performance. Continue reading…

4 policies to improve the identification of patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) released a report on diabetes and cardiovascular disease that said, in 2015, an estimated 415 million adults were living with diabetes and that the number could increase to 642 million by 2040. The IDF said studies have estimated that 15 percent to 41 percent of middle-age adults living with diabetes in North America, Western Europe, Australia and Japan have cardiovascular disease. The organization added that only 41 countries have high-quality data on people who have diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Continue reading…

AMA releases online tools to help doctors prepare for MACRA

The Chicago-based American Medical Association has developed several online tools to assist physicians with preparing for and transitioning to pending Medicare payment and delivery changes under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). MACRA represents the most significant change to Medicare’s physician payment system in a generation, and the AMA is working to help physicians navigate this change and make sure they are prepared for it,” AMA president Andrew Gurman, M.D., said during a conference call with healthcare industry press Oct. 5th. The new online resources include a payment model evaluator tool, practice-improvement strategies, and MACRA-focused podcasts to provide information and guidance during upcoming Medicare changes. Continue reading…

Hospitals tell CMS to slow flood of new alternative payment models

Providers are pleading with the CMS to slow its flood of new payment models in the effort to move from fee-for-service to value-based care. Since the start of the year, the agency has introduced or expanded nine pay models and announced selected markets for another three. In comments on a July proposed rule that would make 98 markets financially accountable for the cost and quality of all care associated with bypass surgery and heart attacks, industry stakeholders ask the agency to step on the brakes. Continue reading…

Using Tc 99m PYP cardiac imaging may help diagnose and detect patients with heart failure

A retrospective cohort study found that using technetium 99m pyrophosphate (Tc 99m PYP) cardiac imaging helped detect and diagnose patients with transthyretin-related cardiac amyloidosis, a cause of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. The imaging technique also could accurately differentiate transthyretin-related cardiac amyloidosis from AL cardiac amyloidosis. Lead researcher Adam Castano, MD, MS, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York, and colleagues published their results online in JAMA Cardiology. Continue reading…

AMA launches online MACRA help for physician practices

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, with its sweeping changes for how providers will be paid, is just weeks away from finalization and is set to launch soon thereafter. The American Medical Association has unveiled two new tools to help physicians navigate the new reimbursement landscape. The AMA Payment Model Evaluator and The AMA STEPS Forward collection of educational modules are both available for use on the AMA website, and require only a login to site, not AMA membership, the organization said during a conference call. Continue reading…


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