Happy Thanksgiving from Eyefinity!

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I would like to wish all of you safe, warm, and happy holiday with friends and family. During this season, the Eyefinity team reflects on all that we are thankful for – and we are so very thankful for you! As doctors and eye care professionals, you help people see and improve the quality of their lives every day. You also manage practices, keep up with advancing technology, and weather complex changes to government regulations. This is no easy task, and we are thankful that you choose Eyefinity to help your practices and patients thrive.

Whether you will be celebrating this Thanksgiving with a turkey or a Tofurkey, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or football, the in-laws or “Friendsgiving,” we hope you have a great holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Masoud Nafey, OD
Vice President, Professional Relations
Eyefinity

Michelle Cooper, OD Presents for #DoctorKnowsBest

Earlier this month, I launched a new doctor-led webinar series, #DoctorKnowsBest. I’ve invited expert guest doctors to give advice and answer the crucial questions doctors face on a daily basis. Robert Bass, OD got things started with a fantastic presentation on what to look for when choosing an EHR for your practice – thank you, Dr. Bass!

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Missed it? Check out the recording here.

#DoctorKnowsBest continues on November 30 with a presentation from Michelle Cooper, OD on what your EHR should do for you (and what you should do when it doesn’t).

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Title: 5 Things Your EHR Should Do For You
Date: November 30
Time: 4:30 p.m. PT

You can register for her webinar here: http://ow.ly/P79L306r5fK

Since the first #DoctorKnowsBest webinar, I’ve been using Facebook and Twitter to share highlights from the presentation that you can like, comment on, and share by searching for the hashtag #DoctorKnowsBest on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for participating in the conversation on social media!

If you have any questions or comments or are a doctor interested in presenting in the series, please email marketing@eyefinity.com. I’d also love to hear your suggestions for topics we can cover in upcoming presentations. Thank you for joining us for #DoctorKnowsBest!

90-day Meaningful Use Reporting Period for 2016 and 2017

Meaningful_Use_sticknoteEarlier this month, CMS quietly finalized the 90-day reporting period for meaningful use in 2016 and 2017. This means participants have the option of reporting only 90 continuous days of meaningful use. This should come as welcome relief for eligible providers who are in danger of not meeting certain thresholds. The 90-day reporting period gives the provider the ability to report the 90 days in which he or she performed well.

The 90-day reporting period in 2017 should come as no surprise as meaningful use morphs into the Advancing Care Information category in the Quality Payment Program. CMS has given eligible clinicians (ECs) the option to pick your pace. This means ECs can choose minimal reporting, reporting 90 days, or reporting the full year of MIPS in 2017.

CMS press release (look for “Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program”)

 

Announcing #DoctorKnowsBest Webinar Series!

As doctors, we look to each other for advice on tough decisions about our practices and patients. We have so much to consider every day: patient satisfaction, complex government regulations like MIPS, and the bottom line.

That’s why I decided to start #DoctorKnowsBest, a doctor-led webinar series. I’ve invited expert guest doctors to give advice and answer the crucial questions doctors face on a daily basis. Their presentations will cover a variety of relevant topics including the latest features and best practices of EHR, and how to grow your practice.

Tomorrow afternoon, Robert Bass, OD will share how he chose the right EHR solution for his practice, and what you should consider when purchasing yours.

  • Title: Love ‘em or Hate ‘em – EHRs Are Here to Stay
  • Date: November 16
  • Time: 4:30 p.m. PT

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You can register for his webinar here: http://ow.ly/HwvX3060PLj

I’ll be using Facebook and Twitter to share highlights from the webinars that you can like, comment on, and share by searching for the hashtag #DoctorKnowsBest on Facebook and Twitter, as well as including it in your tweets and Facebook posts. Here’s an example of how you can join the conversation on Twitter:

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I look forward to sharing this opportunity with you for collective growth and learning. Join us throughout November and December for #DoctorKnowsBest!

3 Options to Participating in MIPS that Will Make You Breathe a Sigh of Relief

MIPS data collection begins January 1, 2017. However, CMS has provided some flexibility to help eligible clinicians (ECs) ease their way into the brave new world of MIPS. This means that if you’re eligible to participate in MIPS, choosing one of these options would ensure that you don’t receive a payment penalty in 2019.

Option 1: Submit Something

As long as you report some data from after January 1, 2017, you will not be subject to a negative payment adjustment in 2019. This option is intended to allow you to test your software, while getting your practice fully onboard MIPS in 2018. If you’re using Eyefinity EHR or ExamWRITER, this is a slam dunk.

  • Pros: Very low threshold, avoid a 2019 payment penalty
  • Cons: No financial incentive for doing well

Option 2: Partial Participation

If you submit 90 days of 2017 data to Medicare, you may earn a neutral or small positive payment adjustment. Under this option, you would submit quality measure information for part of the year, report how your practice uses technology, and report on your practice improvement activities. Again, if you’re using Eyefinity EHR or ExamWRITER, and if you implement a practice improvement initiative, you’re ready.

  • Pros: Low threshold, similar to current incentive programs, possible financial incentive
  • Cons: Incentive payment would be small

Option 3: Participate for the Full Calendar Year

There are some ECs who are eager to jump right into MIPS. If that’s you, you can start your reporting period on January 1. Under this option, you would submit quality measure information for the full year, report how your practice uses technology, and report on your practice improvement activities. If you’re using Eyefinity EHR or ExamWRITER, you will be able to report MIPS for the entire year.

  • Pros: Similar to current incentive programs, possible higher financial incentive
  • Cons: Higher threshold

Learn more about your options and check out our MIPS Resource Center for the latest information.

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Masoud Nafey, OD

4 Reasons You Might be Excluded from MIPS

With MIPS looming on the horizon in 2017, many optometrists are anxious about meeting the program requirements. The first step in determining how to meet MIPS requirements is to determine whether you even have to.

Who’s Required?

According to the final rule, CMS anticipates that 24,252 or 66% of optometric clinicians will be excluded from MIPS in 2017.

Clinicians who fall under one of the following categories are excluded from the first year of MIPS:

  • Clinicians who see 100 or fewer Medicare Part B patients;
  • Clinicians who bill $30,000 or less in Medicare Part B;
  • Clinicians in their first year of Medicare Part B billing; or
  • Clinicians who are participating in an Advanced APM (alternative payment model, more on this later).

Each of these criteria excludes Medicare Parts A, C, and D from eligibility requirements.

It’s important to note that these exclusions are expected change in subsequent MIPS program years.

Next Up: When Should I begin MIPS?

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Masoud Nafey, OD

It’s ALIVVVEE! Here’s What You Need to Know about MIPS.

This is the first in a series of articles about MIPS. Stay tuned to this blog for additional information about MIPS and Eyefinity product updates.

Since CMS released the final rule on October 14, MIPS has been a popular topic on news sites, blogs, and Facebook posts.

So, what do you need to know about MIPS and how does it affect your practice? Read on to get the scoop.

What’s MIPS?

MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Program System) is a Medicare payment program that is intended to incentivize eligible clinicians (ECs) to focus on the quality of care rather than quantity of care.

In a nutshell, MIPS streamlines and combines meaningful use and PQRS. MIPS does not apply to hospitals; it applies to individual clinicians.

Clinicians will be scored based on the following areas in 2017:

Category Explanation Value
Quality Formerly PQRS and CQMs 60%
Advancing Care Information Formerly meaningful use 25%
Clinical Practice Improvement Expanding hours improving outreach, etc. 15%

The lion’s share, 75%, is accomplished using a certified EHR—completing measures and quality reporting currently associated with meaningful use and PQRS. Data collection begins in 2017.

A fourth category, Cost, will be added in 2018. Cost will be based on episode-specific costs as reported on claims.

What’s at stake?

Payment adjustments start at 4% in 2019 and ramp up quickly to 9% in 2022. Since MIPS is required to be revenue neutral, the program applies a penalty to the bottom performing ECs to pay incentives to the top performing. Given that payment adjustment can be up to 9% in 2022, ECs can expect to see an 18-point spread in Medicare payments. That means serious money to some ECs.

Payment Year 2019 2020 2021 2022 and beyond
Max Adjustment 4% 5% 7% 9%

MIPS is designed to make ECs compete in quality performance. Since MIPS takes money from lower performing ECs and pays it to higher performing ECs, there’s a lot of incentive for ECs to bring their A-game.

Keep your eye on this blog for more MIPS information.

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Masoud Nafey, OD