Physician Practice Roundup—CMS posts MIPS final scores for 2017 and more news

Male doctor in white lab coat
Doctors can find MIPS final scores on the Quality Payment Program website. (Getty/Saklakova)

CMS posts MIPS final scores for 2017

Clinicians who participated in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2017, can now view their MIPS final score and performance feedback, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The information is now available on the Quality Payment Program website.

To help clinicians understand their MIPS 2019 payment adjustment that is based on their 2017 performance and data, CMS has posted a fact sheet. The fact sheet highlights how CMS assigns final scores to clinicians and how payment adjustment factors are applied for 2019.

The payment adjustment clinicians will receive in 2019 is based on their final MIPS score. A positive, negative or neutral payment adjustment will be applied. Clinicians or groups who believe an error has been made in their 2019 calculation may request a targeted review until Sept. 30 asking the agency to review their performance feedback and final score. (CMS fact sheet)

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How an Ohio health system says it cut opioid prescriptions for acute pain by 62%

An electronic medical record system is being credited with helping a public health system in Ohio reduce its opioid prescriptions for acute pain by more than 60% in the last 18 months.

Officials from Cleveland-based MetroHealth System said they also cut opioid prescriptions by 25% for chronic pain. In all, they estimate they cut opioid prescriptions by 3 million pills.

How'd they do it? Officials pointed to the alerts they set up in the EMR system.

In particular, those alerts for prescribers were set up to flag patients who may be at risk for addiction to guide them toward alternative drugs and lower doses. They also had an alert to add a prescription for the antidote drug Naloxone when prescribing opioids. That alert led to a 5,000% increase in Naloxone prescribing in the past three months. (Fierce Healthcare)

California physician group buys closed hospital, plans urgent care center

A California physician group has bought the closed Pacific Alliance Medical Center in Los Angeles for $33 million and plans to convert the former hospital into an urgent care clinic.

Allied Pacific IPA, an HMO physician group, bought the 90,000 square foot hospital in L.A.’s Chinatown, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. The 128-bed hospital closed late last year when faced with the $100 million expense of renovations to meet California’s seismic standards to survive an earthquake. Allied Pacific plans to renovate the building, and as an urgent care facility won’t be required to meet those same seismic standards as it will not admit overnight patients. (Los Angeles Business Journal article)

Medical student diversity in jeopardy with Trump administrative policy, AAMC says

The Association of American Medical Colleges has spoken out against the Trump administration’s rescission of guidance on consideration of race in university admissions, saying the change will lead to a less diverse medical student population.

“Medical student diversity is necessary to prepare physicians to provide care to an increasingly diverse population and to address significant health disparities,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D. “To prepare a physician workforce for these challenges, many medical schools have determined that it is necessary to include the consideration of race and ethnicity, along with many other factors, in the admissions process.”

The Trump administration Tuesday reversed Obama-era guidance on the consideration of race in university admissions to promote diversity. The AAMC said it is "deeply concerned" that the policy change signals opposition to the consideration of race as one of many factors in higher education admissions. (AAMC statement)