Health Changes Upcoming in 2013 with Best Wishes For A Happy New Year

Date: December 30, 2012||   0  Comments

As 2012 draws to a close, we take this moment to look back at the transformational changes over the previous year that will likely shape the coming year ahead.

The year’s biggest story would have to be the re-election of President Obama and the impact the national election had on the US, as both states and the federal government seek to reign in costs while improving clinical quality standards. Several provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect over the course of 2012.

In March, digital data collection went into effect, to reduce healthcare disparities. This provision requires providers to enhance collection and reporting of data on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, disability status and underserved rural populations. Data associated with healthcare is growing at a tremendous rate, as shown in our original Big Data is a Big Deal infographic. This provision requires providers enhance digital capture and reporting of data on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, disability status, and rural populations.

Two provisions of ACA took effect in October 2012. Medicare value-based purchasing began, which established a value-based purchasing program to pay hospitals based on performance on quality measures, and requires plans to be developed to implement value-based purchasing programs for nursing facilities, home health agencies, and ambulatory surgery centers. Also in October, reduced Medicare payments for excessive hospital readmissions began.

During 2013, 15 additional provisions of the ACA are set to go into effect.

The 2012 partners and presenters at our Fall Accountable Care and Health IT Strategies Summit included clinical and administrative leaders from across the country, gathering in Chicago to both present their best practices and to listen and learn from the perspectives of other health IT professionals.

Our Keynote Panel discussion on Performance Analytics included Andrew Weniger, CPA Director of Value Driven Health Care at Cornerstone Health Care, Alan M. Eisman, Vice President Healthcare Solutions at Information Builders, Steven J. Bernstein, MD, MPH, Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs, Professor, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Research Scientist at the University of Michigan.

We also welcomed Dr. Bala Hota Chief Medical Information Officer at Cook County Health and Hospital System (CCHHS) who shared his waiver demonstration project experience. CCHHS recently secured the $100 million federal waiver to begin the effort of a 100,000+ Medicaid population, ahead of the planned 2014 expansion outlined in the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Sandeep Wadhwa, Chief Medical Officer at 3M Information Systems,  joined our Fall summit as well to deliver a presentation entitled Measure Twice, Cut Once: The Role of Analytics in Accountable Care. Dr. Wadhwa illuminated his experience at 3M, in the context of ACO formation, helping providers find savings opportunities, in emerging care models.

2012 welcomed more Accountable Care Organizations into formation as health systems and insurance providers sought to deliver more value-based care. In April, CMS named the first Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs. Beginning April 2012, Twenty-seven ACOs were accepted into the program. CMS recognized 88 more Shared Savings ACOs in July, and that group’s performance period began July 1.

Stage 2 final rule for meaningful use was also released in August 2012. CMS released the final rule for stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs. Starting in 2014, hospitals and healthcare providers must attest to the requirements to qualify for incentive payments under the program. Incentive payment were on track to pass $10 billion as of the end of 2012.

The divided political climate in the US has several state issues aligning their health insurance exchanges (HIX) and Medicaid expansion along party lines. Thus far, 17 states have elected to roll out Medicaid expansion, while 9 have decided to abstain. The deadline to declare whether or not states intend to manage their own HIXs came and went in late 2012. Despite a one month reprieve by President Obama, following a closely watched national election, several states elected to defer to the federal government, while some will stand up and manage their own exchanges.

The 2013 State Healthcare IT Connect Summit brings together public and private sector thought leaders to share ideas and benchmark implementation strategies of state health IT systems, as they move forward with diverse state health reform agendas. Our 2013 summit is co-sponsored by the National Association for County and City Health Officials NACCHO) and Official Media Sponsor Health Affairs.

The conference will be hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore. Registration is now open. State Government Representatives and State Designated Entities (HIXs, HIEs, and RECs) can register at the complimentary rate – Registration information.

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