Conference Highlights: The Whys and Hows of Heart Program Success

Thursday, October 19, 2017 | Larry Sobal

Conference Highlights: The Whys and Hows of Heart Program Success

 

If you did not attend MedAxiom’s CV Transforum Fall’17 conference last week, and are involved in a cardiology practice or CV service line at a hospital, you may have some catching up to do. A few hundred cardiovascular physician and administrative thought leaders, along with a variety of health care experts, gathered to share their successes, challenges and insights.

Participants strongly identified that developing a comprehensive cardiovascular strategy (clinical and financial for both inpatient and ambulatory) was their top priority. They left no doubt that they are preparing to lead the way regardless of what changes are thrown at them, from federal health policy and competitive marketplaces to patient demands for better access and service. And, they all share a passion for driving clinical improvement.

I always leave the conference wowed by the shared innovations and enlightened about how programs are embracing and succeeding in a rapidly changing environment. Let me share some of the highlights from last week.

Due to this era of uncertainty in health care, a number of sessions focused on various aspects of current or potential legislation and health policy.

  • One recent legislation flying under the radar, and possibly having as much or more significance as the Affordable Care Act, is the 21st Century Cures Act and its role in future EHR interoperability.
  • MACRA, despite the recent MedPAC recommendation to eliminate the MIPS payment track in MACRA, continues to warrant active discussion and shared learning as we are now in the final 90 days of the first year of MIPS reporting.
  • For those of you who are disenchanted with our current political stalemate, there was an overview of the EMBRACE proposal to create a unified health care model for the U.S.
  • The first program in the country to qualify as a NCQA Patient Centered Specialty Practice highlighted its challenges and successes.
  • It’s expected that CMS will soon announce the next iteration of the BPCI program (BPCI Advanced). With potentially as many as 16 cardiac-related patient types to choose from, the episodic data presented suggests that many organizations will have opportunities to be successful in BPCI Advanced.

The conversation related to a “volume to value” transformation continues to occur and the keynote speaker offered amazing insights into how one organization is building its clinical data strategy to support the future need to mine data and understand patterns of care. This presentation was complemented by another that focused on how one system is using data to understand and reduce clinical variation.

Participants strongly identified that developing a comprehensive cardiovascular strategy (clinical and financial for both inpatient and ambulatory) was their top priority.

For those physician leaders seeking to find the best compensation and incentive model, physicians discussed their current plans and where compensation and incentive models are heading in the future. The consensus was that plan design needs to be closely linked with organizational culture and aligned with strategy.

Electrophysiology and Atrial Fibrillation received a lot of attention during the event given the estimate of approximately 20% of hospital admissions having some type of arrhythmia, and the feeling that there is a growing AFib epidemic. Various sessions focused on optimizing your EP lab, building a comprehensive AFib treatment program and reducing radiation for EP physicians. 

Likewise the cath lab was discussed from many angles, ranging from optimizing cath lab performance, developing outpatient cath labs and boosting outpatient procedural market share to developing an interventional-based critical limb ischemia program.

Space does not allow me to cover all the great topics and speakers that we experienced in an amazing three days in Dana Point, CA. And of course, there is nothing like being there. Don’t miss out on the next conference, to be held April 12-14, in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Registration is now open, so get this important even on your calendar: MedAxiom CV Transforum Spring’18 conference.

 

 

Illustration: Lee Sauer


 

Larry SobalLarry Sobal is Executive Vice President and a Senior Consultant at MedAxiom. He has a 35-year background as a senior executive in medical group leadership, hospital leadership and health insurance. Larry consults, writes and presents on topics relevant to transforming physician practices and health systems. His weekly blog post comes out on Thursdays and can be accessed at www.medaxiom.com.

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About the Author
Larry Sobal

Larry Sobal, MBA, MHA, is CEO of a yet-to-be-named cardiology practice which is transitioning from employment to an independent physician group effective January 1, 2019. He has a 37-year background as a senior executive in physician practices, consulting, medical group leadership, hospital leadership and health insurance.

To contact, email: larry.sobal@gmail.com



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