Meaningful Measures

By Ryan Kelly –

Seema Verna, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced yesterday (Monday, October 30th) that CMS will make an even greater shift from fee for service payments to quality based payments.  CMS has been working on making this shift for several years now, focusing on Meaningful Use, MACRA, and many other quality-based areas.  This has prompted commercial insurers to do the same.

But, this recent shift at CMS may be geared as much to the ‘deregulatory’ mantra of the Trump administration than it is anything.

The new focus, called Meaningful Measures, will allow providers to assess core issues that are most vital to providing high-quality care and improving patient outcomes.

“We need to move from fee-for-service to a system that pays for value and quality—but how we define value and quality today is a problem,” said Verma. “We all know it –  Clinicians and hospitals have to report an array of measures to different payers. There are many steps involved in submitting them, taking time away from patients. Moreover, it’s not clear whether all of these measures are actually improving patient care.”

It appears that the overall goal of this new program is to give providers more flexibility in innovation and patient engagement and minimize administrative burdens associated with the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act.

“Our overall vision is to reinvent the agency to put patients first.  We want to partner with patients, providers, payers and others to achieve this goal,” said Verma.

The Mississippi Rural Health Association will continue to monitor this new development and provide the appropriate level of training associated with it so that all of our providers and facility staff can be well aware of the changes before they happen.

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