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July 6, 2017

ACO roundup: CMS cancels release of 2014 MA encounter data

Daily Briefing
  • Most docs don't feel 'well-prepared' for MACRA reporting, survey finds. Fewer than one in four physicians involved in practice decision-making feel well-prepared to participate in MACRA's Quality Payment Program (QPP), according to a new survey from the American Medical Association (AMA) and KPMG. According to the survey, more than half of respondents said they felt at least somewhat knowledgeable about MACRA or QPP, but only 8 percent said they felt "deeply knowledgeable" about QPP and its requirements. In addition, an overwhelming majority—90 percent—of respondents felt the reporting requirements were somewhat or very burdensome.

  • CMS halts release of MA encounter data. CMS last month canceled plans to make public 2014 encounter data on Medicare Advantage plans at an AcademyHealth conference in New Orleans, saying the data were not yet complete enough to be useful in research. According to ProPublica, encounter data is provider-generated data on patient diagnoses and the services delivered to treat those diagnoses. CMS began collecting the data in 2012, and it started to use the data to calculate risk scores in 2016, but it has yet to release any of the data publicly. In a statement, CMS said questions remained about the accuracy of the 2014 data, making it unsuitable for use in research, and said it was still assessing whether the 2015 encounter data were "robust enough to support research use."

  • ACOs proliferate, spurred by MACRA, study finds. The number of ACOs and other alternative payment models (APMs) have increased since the start of 2016, driven in part by MACRA implementation, according to a new study in Health Affairs. According to the study, the number of ACOs has increased by 11 percent since early 2016, with 92 new ACO organizations bringing the overall total to 923 as of early 2017. However, the researchers said while the impact of APMs likely will continue to grow as providers take on more risk under MACRA, "the payment model is not an end in itself." They wrote, "To achieve better value across the American health care system, more progress is needed to refine and align alternative payment models, and to help all types of health care providers develop the capabilities needed to succeed in them."

From Advisory Board:

  • Become a post-acute population manager. With uncertainty around the speed of value-based payment implementation, progressive organizations may be tempted to skip ahead and take on full accountability for the outcomes of a subset of patients—which is not a decision to be made lightly. Join us on July 11 for a webconference about how providers can position themselves for flexibility in their current pursuits and growth in future endeavors

Register Here

Register Here

  • MACRA: What the 2018 proposed rule means for providers. Join us on July 11 to get an overview of the most important implications of the proposed rule for provider organizations, a review of key changes to the MIPS and APM tracks for the 2018 performance year, as well as guidance on navigating the transition to risk-based payment and the evolution of hospital-physician alignment.

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