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November 2, 2017 News No Comments

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CMS releases the final rules for the 2018 Physician Fee Schedule and year two of the Quality Payment Program. Key takeaways for physician practices include:

  • Expansion of Medicare payments for telemedicine services
  • Automatic weighting of certain performance categories at 0 percent of final MIPS scores for providers impacted by natural disasters
  • Addition of virtual groups as a MIPS participation option
  • MIPS final score bonus points for small practices, and the treatment of complex patients.

“During my visits with clinicians across the country, I’ve heard many concerns about the impact burdensome regulations have on their ability to care for patients,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in announcing the final rules. “The[y] … move the agency in a new direction and begin to ease that burden by strengthening the patient-doctor relationship, empowering patients to realize the value of their care over volume of tests, and encouraging innovation and competition within the American healthcare system.”


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November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.


November 15 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Hospitals and Practices Can Respond to Consumerism by Better Engaging Patients Through Price Transparency and Payment Options.” Sponsored by: Change Healthcare. Presenters: Kathy Moore, president, Moore Martini Medical; Linda Glidewell, VP of business development, consumer payment solutions, Change Healthcare. Healthcare consumerism and high-deductible health plans require providers to offer upfront estimates and payment options throughout all points of service. In his webinar, we’ll discuss consumerism as a critical area of opportunity in revenue cycle management and review numerous areas across the revenue cycle where your staff interacts with patients and leaves lasting impressions. From your first interaction with patients on the phone to discuss financial responsibility; to collecting payments at all points of service; to offering payment plans and various payment options — these are all areas that can be game-changing. With the right approach to consumerism, you can improve patient collections and optimize revenue from the start while also improving the overall patient experience.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.



Carl Anderson (Van Scoyoc Associates) joins HITRUST as chief legal officer and VP of government affairs.


Oncology Analytics hires Rick Dean (Optum) to take on the role of CEO.


Center for Diagnostic Imaging promotes Anh Le Kremer to chief administrative officer.



In light of the Trump administration’s declaration of an opioid-related national public health emergency, Colorado-based Medical Innovation Holdings announces that it will speed up development and launch of its nationwide network of telemedicine providers to better accommodate patients looking for substance abuse treatment.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Employee retention rate improvement startup Glint raises $20 million in Series D funding. The company’s technology helps employers conduct and analyze the results of employee surveys to measure how staff feel about compensation, management, and workplace culture. According to Glint, surveys conducted at least four times a year can help employers retain happier employees, and positively impact stock prices. These services seem like they’d find a good foothold in healthcare organizations that are looking for new ways to prevent physician burnout.


House call startup Ranger Health raises $10 million in a Series A funding round that will help the company expand beyond its San Antonio borders. The company, which offers its app-based services to consumers and employers, was founded in 2015 by AirStrip co-founders Trey Moore and Cameron Powell, MD and former Tenet Healthcare executive Michael Zuckerberg. 

Government and Politics


The Ohio Board of Pharmacy will enhance its statewide PDMP, the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System, with Appriss Health’s NarxCare analytics platform. The new technology, accessible within EHR and pharmacy management systems and via the OARRS website, will aggregate and analyze prescription data to give prescribers better clinical insight into potential patient safety risks.

The Oregon Health Authority again finds itself in the hot seat after determining a software glitch led to the improper enrollment of 41,400 people into the state’s Medicaid program. OHA spent $74 million on healthcare expenses for the beneficiaries, $64 million of which it may have to pay back to the federal government. The findings come six months after it came to light that the organization was not performing annual eligibility checks required by federal law.


Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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