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Meaningful Use to end in 2016.And more announcements by Andy Slavitt!

The year starts with some unexpected announcements from CMS acting administrator, Andy Slavitt at the J.P. Morgan Annual Health Conference on January 11, 2016. Accompanied by James Madara, Chief Executive Officer, American Medical Association revealed some of the exciting measures they were working together to implement this year.

He threw light on the successful programs which happened in 2015.The biggest event, the implementation of ICD-10, Medicaid covering three new states and the milestone of 17000 newly insured under ACA, since the beginning. Andy expressed his views on how CMS works. According to Andy, CMS plays three major roles, first, as a policy maker and regulator, second, as an operator, providing services to their beneficiaries and technical support to providers, third, as a catalyst in the market to increase the speed of improvement and efficiency.

21 Participants In The Next Gen ACO Model!

The Next Gen ACO participants were officially announced by CMS on January 11, 2016. This Next Gen ACO model, full financial responsibility of the patient care can be taken by the provider and they can have the best in healthcare patient care options like telemedicine, home visits, direct consumer engagements, etc.

With the 21 new participants entering the ACO gate, the count now shows 475 ACOs, 30,000 physicians across the nation, 64 two sided model included, increased from 19 in 2015. So this time ACO has risen above all who thought it couldn’t last in the long run.

Let’s meet the 21 new participants and wish them all the luck in their new decision!

Accountable Care Coalition of Southeast Texas (Houston)

Baroma Accountable Care (Miami)

Beacon Health (Brewer, Maine)

Bellin Health Physician Partners (Green Bay, Wis.)

Cornerstone Health Enablement Strategic Solutions (High Point, N.C.)

Deaconess Care Integration (Evansville, Ind.)

Henry Ford Physician ACO (Detroit)

Iowa Health Accountable Care (West Des Moines)

Optum ACO (Phoenix)

MemorialCare Regional ACO (Fountain Valley, Calif.)

OSF Healthcare System (Peoria, Ill.)

Park Nicollet Health Services(St. Louis Park, Minn.)

Pioneer Valley Accountable Care (Springfield, Mass.)

Prospect ACO CA (Los Angeles)

Regal Medical Group  (Northridge, Calif.)

River Health ACO (Harrisburg, Pa.)

Steward Integrated Care Network (Boston)

ThedaCare ACO (Appleton, Wis.)

Triad HealthCare Network (Greensboro, N.C.)

Trinity Health ACO (Livonia, Mich.)

WakeMed Key Community Care (Raleigh, N.C.)

The program, a big distraction for physicians is set to go!

No one better than a physician, knows what it is to be under the pressures from the government’s programs. The levels of frustration have always been on the high. And, many physicians feel that these measures were designed to distract them and increase their burden. They also feel that those who design these programs have never approached or worked with a physicians and hence are not aware of what a physician needs.

The implementation of MACRA legislation is a top priority for CMS and everyone is looking forward to it. This program was build with the main objective to get “pay for value” with the help of Merit-based incentive program. CMS will be measuring a provider based on four parameters: quality, utilization of technology, cost and practice improvement. CMS together with AMA started working with physicians, tech companies and practice managers which covered a four day session which helped them get lot feedbacks and advice through RFI on how to implement the program in the most simple way.

We are committed to building a program that is flexible and adapts around the goals of a provider’s individual practice and patient population” said Andy Slavitt, acting administrator at CMS.

CMS sees that since technology has covered effectively wherever care is provided, the process has started to put an end to the Meaningful Use and and moving to a new regime culminating with the MACRA implementation” says Slavitt.

The Meaningful Use will be over by this year and will be replaced with something better. Andy said CMS along with the American Medical Association(AMA) is working with healthcare organizations to know the needs and the concerns of a physician. CMS will be announcing their final take in the next few months.

Three aspects CMS is targeting together with AMA:

1.  The target shifts from rewarding providers for the use of technology to getting outcomes from patient care.

2.  Tech companies can now build features that supports a physician requirement not the government needs.

3.  Use of open APIs for the physicians desktop to unlock it from the EHR decision and facilitate data in and out through apps analytics tool from the EHR securely.

Conclusion: The end of Meaningful Use would be certainly a big relief for many but the other program which replaces it will be a better is tough to say now. We wish CMS all the luck in their new projects. For more information visit the CMS Blog page

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