Today’s Top Story
CMS announces additional opportunities for incentive payments by participating in Advanced APMs.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced new opportunities for clinicians to join Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) to improve care and potentially earn incentive payments under the Quality Payment Program. The agency says that it expects to re-open applications for new practices and payers in the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) model and new participants in the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model for the 2018 performance year. Further, as reported earlier this year, CMS anticipates that in 2018 clinicians may earn the incentive payment through sufficient participation in the additional models, including:

  • ACO Track 1+
  • New voluntary bundled payment model
  • Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Payment Model (Certified Electronic Health Record Technology [CEHRT] track)
  • Advancing Care Coordination through Episode Payment Models Track 1 (CEHRT track)

The agency states that opportunities for participation will continue to change and grow as more models are proposed and developed. Read more…(registration may be required)
Read the CMS statement…

Other News

FDA seeks to improve data collection on medical devices.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced steps to improve the way the agency works with hospitals to modernize and streamline data collection about medical devices. The agency notes that factors such as increased diversity and complexity of medical devices, rapid technological advances, and short product life cycles for certain devices present unique challenges for evaluation of medical device safety. FDA states that recent inspections of 17 hospitals at which device-associated adverse events occurred found no corresponding adverse event reports in the agency’s adverse event database. Among other things, the agency plans the following actions:

  • Working with the hospital community to discuss what role it should play in assuring the safe use of medical devices
  • A review of current reporting requirements
  • A public workshop to be held Dec. 5, to solicit input and advice on improving hospital-based surveillance systems
  • A discussion on incorporation of unique device identifiers into electronic health records

Read more…
Learn more about the public workshop…

Study: LIPUS may not promote healing for patients with tibial fracture.
Postoperative use of low intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) after tibial fracture fixation may not accelerate healing or improve functional recovery, according to a study published online in the journal The BMJ. The authors conducted a concealed, randomized, blinded, sham-controlled clinical trial of 501 skeletally mature patients who underwent open or closed tibial fracture amenable to intramedullary nail fixation, who self-administered daily LIPUS (n = 250) or used a sham device (n = 251) until the tibial fracture displayed radiographic healing or until 1 year following intramedullary fixation. They found no significant difference between cohorts in SF-36 physical component summary scores, interaction between time and treatment, or time to radiographic healing. The authors note that patient compliance was only moderate; with only 73 percent of patients administering at least 50 percent of all recommended treatments. Read more…
Read the abstract…

Study: Older hip fracture patients often fall short of full recovery.
Findings from a study published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine suggest low rates of recovery for older patients who sustain a hip fracture. The research team reviewed data on 733 hip fracture patients aged 65 years or older. At minimum 6-month follow-up, they found that 31 percent returned to pre-fracture activities of daily living (ADL) function, 34 percent to pre-fracture mobility function, and 41 percent to pre-fracture climbing function. In addition, of those who were ADL independent prior to fracture, 36 percent returned to independence, 27 percent survived but needed ADL assistance, and 37 percent died. The research team found that return to ADL independence was less likely for patients aged 85 years or older, who had dementia, and who had a Charlson comorbidity score >2. Read more…
Read the abstract…

Medicare Advantage provider directories contain large numbers of errors.
Kaiser Health News reports that a CMS review finds a large number of errors in provider directories for private Medicare Advantage plans. The agency states that incorrect information was found for almost half of 5,832 physicians listed in directories across 54 Medicare Advantage plans. Among other things, the review found:

  • Wrong phone numbers for 521 physician offices
  • Wrong addresses for 633 physician offices
  • Five Medicare Advantage plans had error rates that exceeded 60 percent of listed physicians

Read more…

Modern Healthcare reports that a ballot initiative in Colorado will address the issue of implementing a single payer healthcare system in the state. If adopted, Amendment 69 would establish a universal healthcare system for most Colorado residents under a federal waiver available to states under the Affordable Care Act. The program would be funded by payroll taxes, and beneficiaries would have no deductibles or copays for preventive and primary care. In 2015, supporters collected more than 150,000 signatures to bring the plan to voters on the upcoming Nov. 8 ballot. Read more…(registration may be required)

Last call: NQF committee positions closing soon!
A number of National Quality Forum (NQF) committee openings are on the AAOS Committee Appointment Program website and close Nov. 1. Act now to apply for the following positions:

  • NQF Infectious Disease Standing Committee (two liaisons)
  • NQF Admissions and Readmissions Standing Committee (two liaisons)
  • NQF Cost and Resource Use Standing Committee (two liaisons)

Learn more and submit your application…(member login required)