2017 brings many uncertainties for all Americans and for health care providers in particular, with the possibility of a major repeal to Obamacare. Over the past several years, there’s been a lot of talk about transitioning from a fee-for-services model to a more value-based model.
Regardless of what happens in the White House, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has put together programs to test the waters, in the form of Meaningful Use, Value Modifier, and The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Last year, these were all rolled into MACRA. For the time being, MACRA is here to stay, and CMS has declared the first two years as transition years, which means that performing in the first two years will be easier. And for most of us, our only option will be to participate in MIPS/ACI.
The basic required participation for 2017 to avoid a downward payment adjustment is simple. You can avoid the penalty by submitting one quality measure or one improvement activity or participating in advanced care information for any point in 2017. The major downside of doing this, however, is that your overall score will be low. CMS will be publishing this data on Physician Compare and patients could potentially use this site to make decisions on which provider to choose. By doing the minimum, your score could be low, thereby affecting your positive patient perception.
However, performing well on MIPS under some categories, particularly under Advancing Care Information, can be easy. As far as performance measures, there’s no minimum or maximum measures you can report. Thus, to maximize your score, it would be advantageous to report as many as possible.
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How We’re Using Secure Messaging
We are in the process of building our own secure messaging service. So, let me highlight how using our service can help you maximize your own score.
The minimum requirement for secure messaging is sending to one patient, and the maximum score you can receive is a 10. Scoring is broken down on deciles. So, if you send at least one message to 45% of the patients you see, you will receive 5 of 10 possible points. To get the full 10 points, you will need to send a message to at least 90% of your patients. This may sound a like a daunting task, particularly since most secure messaging providers require this be a manual process which can be very time-consuming.
By using our secure messaging service, we can route your other messages such as reminders, appointment cancellation offers, and post-appointment feedback via secure messaging rather than text or e-mail. By doing this, we can massively increase your messaging penetration and help you achieve the full 10 points.
If you’d like to find out how we can help your practice with our secure messaging tool, contact us today for a free demo.
Tashfeen Ekram, MD, is a radiologist, self-taught coder, healthcare innovator and Co-Founder of Luma Health. Contact him on Twitter at @tashfeenekramMD.