The ACA in 2018, Patients Over Paperwork, MACRA Changes and Women in HealthIT: Your #KareoChat Recap

As 2017 comes to a close, we look ahead at what’s in store for the healthcare industry. The past few weeks of #KareoChat focused on preparing for changes in the ACA and MACRA coming 2018, while also taking a good look at how to enhance patient care through various initiatives. To round out the topics, we were inspired by the #MeToo movement to look inwards at our own HealthIT industry: What are we getting right? What in the industry can be improved? Thank you to our hosts for moderating the insightful conversations!

What To Know About the Affordable Care Act in 2018

Host: Dr. Tom Giannulli @drtom_kareo

As 2018 creeps closer, what will be the provider impact of the changes to ACA? How will the patient-physician relationship be affected? These are just a few questions we sought to answer during this #KareoChat hosted by Kareo’s own Dr. Tom. As he wrote in his recent blog on the topic of the ACA’s open enrolment: “The ACA is still the law of the land. Although it may continue to undergo incremental change in the next few years, it is still in effect and operational.”  Here’s what we covered in the #KareoChat:

What are the estimated cost changes for reference plans and subsidies?

What are the plan/insurer coverage differences from last year?

What are the patient payment issues and tech that apply?

Thank you, Dr. Tom, for driving this conversation, and all for helping shed some light on what we can expect from the ACA in 2018.

Meaningful Measures and Patients Over Paperwork

Host: Stephanie Crabb @stephaniecrabb

As our host Stephanie Crabb explains: “CMS recently announced two significant initiatives aimed at addressing the regulatory burden for healthcare providers. These efforts advance CMS’s “patients first” focus, under the working premise that the regulatory burden has a negative impact on the provider-patient relationship.

#PatientsOverPaperwork is geared toward scrapping or reducing regulations while lowering healthcare costs and enhancing patient care. CMS has signaled the intention to review “all” of their regulations to retain or improve only those that advance the goal of putting “patients first.”

#MeaningfulMeasures is CMS’s comprehensive initiative on quality measures to reduce the burden of reporting such that only those core issues that are the most vital to providing high-quality care and improving patient outcomes are required for assessment and reporting. “Meaningful Measures” draws upon advice and input from the LAN, the National Academies of Medicine, the Core Quality Measures Collaborative and the National Quality Forum.”

In this #KareoChat, we discussed these two initiatives and the implications for the modern physician practice.

Thank you, Stephanie, for guiding us through this chat! This would be a great topic to revisit in 2018 as we continue to see what plays out.

2018 MACRA Rule Changes and What They Mean for Small Practices  

Host: Shereese Maynard, MS/MBA @ShereesePubHlth

Reaction to MACRA rule changes have been mixed, but believe it or not, there are some bright spots in MACRA for small providers and Shereese was excited to let #KareoChat know where we could find them! Can small practices maximize revenues under MIPS? Read on to find out answers to that and more.

We kicked off our chat on a positive note:

What are some MACRA advantages / allowances for small practices?

How can eligible clinicians maximize revenue under MIPS and where can clinicians find MIPS reporting support?

How can smaller practices leverage the MIPS reporting flexibilities to maximize their composite performance scores and avoid penalties?

How can small practices identify branded #MIPS compliance #technologies, in lieu of current #EHR vendor capabilities?

Thank you, Shereese, for hosting this thoughtful #KareoChat! You always come prepared with excellent advice for our attendees! 

Women in HealthIT 

Host: Janae Sharp, @CoherenceMed

As host Janae Sharp wrote in her blog post to accompany this chat: “With recent culture shift and #metoo leading to the firing of high profile men in Hollywood it is a topic of discussion in many industries. What is happening in HealthIT?” Are the healthcare and HealthIT industries like others? Read our recap below:

What examples are out there of women promoting women in HealthIT?

Does news about workplace harassment impact women working in HealthIT?

Why do some leave the HealthIT industry to go to others?

What would be your wish list for women in HealthIT?

What unique contributions can women give in improving #informatics and #EHR development?

Thank you, Janae, for encouraging a discussion around this topic, and for coming to the table with anecdotes and advice that we could all relate to and learn from. We hope this is an ongoing discussion online and offline!

Which topic stood out to you the most? And which topics would you like us to add into the mix moving forward? Tweet us @GoKareo #KareoChat and join us every Thursday at 9 a.m. (Pacific time) for our weekly forum on healthcare, technology and practice management topics facing independent practices. If you’re interested in hosting, we’d love to hear from you as well!

About the Author

Erika facilitates robust conversations online around healthcare for independent practice professionals and patients alike.

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