CJR Program Success: Stick to Metrics That Matter

Data can be a valuable strategic asset for hospitals. Benchmarked internally and to national best practices, it can be used to identify opportunities to lower costs as well as improve quality and patient outcomes. But hospitals only benefit when the right data is communicated in the right way to the right stakeholders at the right time. Continue reading

Building a Balanced Trauma Team – Determining the Right Mix of Nonphysician Staff

The importance of trauma centers cannot be overstated. They are the first line of care for the most serious injuries that patients suffer, from broken bones to head trauma to gunshot wounds. The heroic actions of emergency physicians and their staff can be the difference between life and death. It’s surprising, then, that the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the association charged with setting standards for surgical care, offers little guidance on trauma center staffing – particularly for the nonphysician staff who extend and support physicians.

In a recent study, ECG Senior Manager Jason Lee and Senior Consultant Dwight Asuncion examined nonphysician staffing at 14 Level II trauma centers in an effort to offer guidance on appropriate staffing and personnel ratios. They published their results last month in an article for H&HN. Here, they discuss their findings and describe the challenges that trauma centers face in determining the most effective way to use nonphysician staff to bolster their services. Continue reading

Transforming Your Care Model? Don’t Forget the Physicians

Whether prompted by government mandate, regional competition, or patient demands, healthcare organizations are adopting new care models designed to foster value-based care. Patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs), accountable care organizations (ACOs), and a host of other options offer organizations a structured approach to improving patient outcomes while lowering the cost of care. Continue reading

MACRA Forces Providers Seeking APM Track to Move Quickly

In the recent proposed rules for MACRA, CMS offered some clarity for providers who are trying to decide whether to participate under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or the Alternative Payment Model (APM) track.  In short, it really is not a decision that the provider makes, but rather a determination made by CMS based on the provider’s level of participation – if any – in qualifying APMs (also known as advanced APMs). Continue reading

CMMI Remains Bullish on Bundled Payments

On April 18, as anticipated, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) announced it would be extending one of the few healthcare programs that has actually saved the government money. The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) initiative was originally scheduled to be a 3-year pilot ending in the fall of 2016. But now CMMI is offering current participants the opportunity to extend their participation in Models 2, 3, and 4 for an additional 2 years, through September 30, 2018. Continue reading