Sage Growth Partners
An overview of the changes, trends, and newsmakers from the past month
While we strive to stay optimistic about the future of the healthcare, a few troubling reports and studies are showing some dire results about the state of the healthcare industry—demonstrating the need for us to all work for a better healthcare delivery system. What was on your mind this month?
- More MACRA changes, more problems: The Department for Health and Human Services has released the final rule for MACRA—yet there are still many who think the new rule creates more problems than it solved. Health Affairs published a litany of critical issues that underscore the shortcomings of the final rule, and Modern Healthcare examines the negative impacts of the new rule on Medicaid patient-centered medical homes.
- Slow progress for interoperability, desperate situation for EHRs: Interoperability, as it’s implemented and defined by the industry today, is a farce. KLAS recently published a study showing that one of the most important aspects of effective interoperability—integration across multiple EHRs—is not progressing as effectively as it needs to be. Further hindering interoperability, only 9 percent of doctors are using EHRs to their full extent.
- Provider-based plans innovating after facing payer shortcomings: As providers adjust their payment structures to capitalize on value-based initiatives, many are seeing a lack of access to effective commercial payer arrangements. The result? A rise in provider-based insurance plans.
- Promising signs for commercial ACOs: As more and more ACOs start to realize success, an interesting fact is emerging: Commercial ACOs are showing higher efficiency and quality ratings compared to noncommercial ACOs. CMS needs to pay attention to what’s working in the commercial realm and start working to duplicate that success.
- Inconsistent quality care improvement points to systematic issues: JAMA recently published their analysis of how care delivery changed from 2002 to 2013. While there were some areas of improvement, there were several metrics that remained unchanged, and others that worsened—which points to a system that continues to “pose serious hazards to the health of the American public.”
- Despite reform, post-discharge monitoring still an afterthought: Increased penalties for poor patient care monitoring following discharge are meant to prod providers to improve how they engage patients post-procedure. Yet, these penalties seem to not be enough to improve the post-discharge monitoring.
- Mitigating compliance mistakes: Meeting the compliance requirements for new regulations may not be the easiest thing in the world. There are a few mistakes that can easily be avoided—such as putting compliance before security.
- Watson continues on buying spree of data sources: Through a couple of new and interesting partnerships, it seems that IBM Watson is working hard to deliver on its potential to affect the future of the healthcare industry.