Tag Archives: provider risk sharing

Overview of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System

As part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) seeks to tie Medicare payments to provider performance within the fee-for-service (FFS) system.

In her article “MIPS adjustment overview,” Milliman’s Pamela Pelizzari discusses the MIPS inclusion criteria and the MIPS Composite Performance Score (CPS). She also demonstrates how the CPS leads to the determination of the MIPS adjustment factor and explores the effect of changing practices on both the CPS and MIPS adjustment factor.

The article is part of a series examining the impacts of MACRA on providers, alternative payment models, and health plans. To read other articles in the series, click here.

Advanced APM considerations for clinicians

Two value-based reimbursement models exist under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) that tie Part B payments to clinician performance: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (Advanced APM) track. The Advanced APM track encourages groups of clinicians to shift from fee-for-service to delivery models in which clinicians assume more accountability and risk for the cost and quality of care. In the initial years of the program, MACRA provides incentive payments to early APM adopters.

This paper written by Milliman’s Lynn Dong and Pamela Pelizzari explores the definition of an Advanced APM, how providers can qualify to be paid under the provisions of the Advanced APM track instead of under MIPS, and why that might be desirable. In addition, the authors highlight the need for careful evaluation regarding APM participation because there is often a complex interaction between the risk inherent in an Advanced APM and the benefits under MACRA.

The article is part of a series examining the impacts of MACRA on providers, alternative payment models, and health plans. To read other articles in the series, click here.

MACRA deadlines and timeframes

While many of the programs of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) start after 2019, there are some aspects that will begin by 2017. In this article, Milliman’s Pamela Pelizzari, Susan Pantely, and Mary Huizinga explore key deadlines and timeframes associated with MACRA. The figure below represents an overall view of many of the MACRA activities from 2016 to 2027. The authors describe each one in the article.

MACRA

The article is part of a series examining the impacts of MACRA on providers, alternative payment models, and health plans. To read other articles in the series, click here.

MACRA issues for providers to consider

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) presents several key issues for providers. In this article, Milliman’s Lynn Dong, Colleen Norris, and Christopher Kunkel examine the five considerations below related to MACRA and how they may affect providers. The authors also highlight details from the proposed regulation as well as potential implications for providers.

1. Under MACRA, the Medicare Part B fee schedule increases only slightly through 2019 and not at all from 2020 through 2025. After 2025, there will be minimal annual increases to the Part B fee schedule.

2. The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) consolidates and streamlines three existing programs, resulting in both negative and positive adjustments to providers’ current reimbursements.

3. MACRA encourages providers to participate in Alternative Payment Models.

4. Providers will need to make numerous decisions regarding the submission of quality metrics, participation in Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIAs), and Advancing Care Information.

5. Participation in an Alternative Payment Model (APM) requires a careful review of potential financial risks and opportunities.

The article is part of a series examining the impacts of MACRA on providers, alternative payment models, and health plans. To read other articles in the series, click here.

How will providers be reimbursed under MACRA?

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) reforms how providers are reimbursed for care provided under Medicare Part B. In their article “MACRA: Overview for providers,” Milliman consultants Colleen Norris and Mary van der Heijde offer questions and answers concerning the three reimbursement adjustment options eligible clinicians will have under MACRA.

The article is part of a series examining the impacts of MACRA on providers, alternative payment models, and health plans. To read other articles in the series, click here.

MACRA considerations for health plans

In the article “MACRA: Key considerations for health plans,” Milliman consultants Colleen Norris and Mary van der Heijde answer four questions health insurers need to consider about how the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) will affect their business:

• How does MACRA affect providers?
• Why is Qualifying Participant status so desirable, yet so challenging to achieve?
• What opportunities might MACRA provide for a health plan?
• For a health plan, what are the challenges associated with MACRA?

The article is part of a series examining the impacts of MACRA on providers, alternative payment models, and health plans. To read other articles in the series, click here.

Value-based reimbursement makes actuarial expertise a must

Value-based reimbursement presents healthcare providers with risks they have limited experience and expertise addressing. These risks call for actuarial, analytic, and data mining capabilities that can help providers improve their quality of care and succeed in this new environment. Milliman’s article “Are you ready for the new world of value-based reimbursement?” explains how providers can benefit from hiring experts with contracting and data management knowledge.

Here’s an excerpt:

Contracting
There are many contracting choices offered to clinicians and facilities by both CMS and private payers. Knowing which option at which negotiated rate will work best for them is essential to the survival and prosperity of providers. In addition, ensuring that the contract includes certain types of protection to control risk is critically important and requires forethought and planning. It would be prudent for providers to engage actuaries who possess a deep understanding of actuarial risk to assist in structuring and negotiating these risks. In addition, the reconciliation of payments from these contracts will also require analytic and actuarial resources to ensure all aspects of the contract have been properly applied.

Analytics
Advanced analytics and data management is another area that requires additional focus in order to be successful. Providers need to have a data analytic strategy with tools and resources to develop a quantitative-based plan of action that focuses clinical resources on the areas of highest importance.

A first step in this process is to complete a review of current capabilities and a gap analysis. This expertise should include capabilities in medical cost and trend analytics, population health, quality analytics, and risk score analytics (see Figure 1). In addition, development of a data warehouse and the necessary analytic tools and reporting functions will set the organization on a path to success.

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Mistakes to avoid in risk sharing

Managed Healthcare Executive digs into the kinds of nuanced mistakes that can complicate risk-sharing efforts. Here is an excerpt:

Experts agree that the 1990s’ capitation agreements were not adjusted for the risk of the population, leaving some winners and some losers in risk sharing without any correlation to how well providers did their job. Typically, payers counted on controlling costs by contracting with provider organizations in capitation models.

Today, they need better ways to identify variance in the underlying morbidity of the populations they serve or they might not be getting an accurate picture of the capitated population and its risk proposition.

Robert M. Damler, principal and consulting actuary for Milliman, says failing to adjust for age and intensity in the capitation model, and simply using an average of the total population and calculating a value at the beginning of the year, could have a significant impact on risk sharing. While most experts agree that no risk-adjustment methodology is perfect, the process could become a key to driving the payer’s bottom line.

“Some groups look profitable, but when you adjust for the underlying morbidity, they may actually be creating an issue,” Damler says.

 For more perspective on how this time it may be different, check out this paper.

Controlling healthcare costs the old, new way

We’ve talked about cost control before (here and here in particular). A new healthcare reform briefing paper continues the discussion, focusing on the topic of provider risk sharing.

In the past, provider risk sharing has attracted substantial attention as a means of controlling healthcare costs. But efforts to implement provider risk-sharing strategies have often not lived up to their promise.

With healthcare costs reaching unprecedented level—and with certain reform provisions encouraging providers to shoulder more risk—the concept is again attracting attention. Given the far more precise tools now available to both payors and providers—not to mention the possibility for better coordination among all stakeholders—the healthcare system may now be primed for a successful move toward provider risk-sharing strategies.

Read the paper.