CMS continues to push ahead with alternative payment models while recognizing there are still plenty of areas for improvement. Dr. Patrick Conway is the Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer for CMS and was a keynote speaker at the beginning of the GI Roundtable conference. He spoke to a standing-room only crowd that was interested to hear his comments. CMS reported that one of their goals is to have 30% of all Medicare payments tied to alternative payment models in 2016, and 50% of payments by 2018.
Another interesting statistic was that in 2010, only 23.8% of gastroenterologists participated in PQRS; that number jumped to 72.7% in 2014. After the presentation, the audience asked great questions on ACOs, reporting measure options for gastroenterologists, and the ability to measure quality outcomes from available data. Dr. Conway did a commendable job on addressing the questions while also being transparent that the system is by no means perfect yet. It seems to be easier to currently track the outcome of costs vs. the outcome of quality of care.
Practices are innovating further in solving their business needs. As health care is rapidly changing, there was a lot of buzz and energy over a recent announcement: Gastro Health PL in Miami, FL has confirmed a partnership with Audax Group to recapitalize and complement their organic expansion and look toward future add-on acquisitions. From the chatter I was hearing at the conference, this appears to be one of the first relationships between a private equity firm and a large, gastroenterology practice. Gastro Health has built a successful business model in south Florida as they’ve grown to one of the largest gastroenterology practices in the country with over 50 gastroenterologists. This new partnership should help them leverage the ability to grow on a national scale, and pMD is excited to be a part of their solution to help keep their revenue cycle optimized.
It’s an exciting time to be part of an industry that is changing so quickly, and I was impressed by the leadership that attended the GI Roundtable. The network for premier gastroenterology practice administrators and key physicians were working together to help one another navigate the unchartered waters ahead. In the midst of the change, I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with many of our charge capture and secure messaging customers who had positive remarks about pMD’s ability to help them improve patient care and operate their practices more efficiently!