Category: Meaningful Use Criteria

“Mapping” Madness

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I had to bring in another one.

Another company.

I’ve now lost count.

I just know the number of 3rd-parties involved with documenting the medical care I provide exponentially dwarfs the actual people that I have providing it.

The latest company deals with something called “mapping.”

Certified mapping, if you will.

Now, take what I’m about to say with caution, because I’m not here to steer you wrong. But, when it comes to healthcare in this country, the following advice comes from my own experience:

Whenever you learn about someone, or something, or some other entity getting another medical “certification,” run away from them. Go the other direction. For one, it means that you probably won’t be able to afford them. But two, the certified medical system has just gone haywire.

I’ll break it down for you.

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Business As Usual

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It’s business as usual at the office.

Another Fall season is here.

It’s time, once again, to sort through all the madness.

I wish it were “Midnight Madness.” Because, I like college basketball. That’s the name we give to the first formal practice of the season. The one where you get a glimpse of your local team’s talent.

Unfortunately, that’s not what I’m talking about at all. But, there are some similarities.

For example, the madness (I speak of) spans numerous midnights and deals with a practice—albeit a physician operated one.

My office is currently back at it again trying to figure out how we can continue to see Medicare patients. One day soon, we might just give up. But, if you are one of my Medicare patients, don’t call me in panic. Call your congress member instead. Click here if you don’t know who that is.

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Open Letter Response to CMS on MACRA & MIPS

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My recent post appeared to catch the attention of Mr. Slavitt, Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):

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My article recapped another day of insanity within our healthcare enterprise, and yes, taking a look, Mr. Slavitt, would be greatly appreciated.

Choosing to see, however, is my challenge for you—for as a friend reminded me, you seem to be very good at “feeling our pain.”

But, I must admit, thanks to you, I was contacted by a CMS official overseeing the startup of MACRA.

For those that don’t follow healthcare policy closely, MACRA is our government’s latest medical project. Another soon-to-be-implemented healthcare law with 962 pages of rules, including the most recent method devised to pay physicians, something known as the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

CMS was seeking my perspective on MACRA and MIPS.

My written response to them—edited only somewhat for brevity—is shared below:

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Enterprise Gone Overboard

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My satellite clinic is about an hour away. I drive there with my nursing staff each month.

We load up ECG equipment, pacemaker programming machines, and a few other doctoring items in my truck.

I provide services to an area that has no permanent resident doing what I do.

Then, I return home.

Today is one of those days. I arrive back to my main office. It’s after 5pm and officially closed for the evening. I hurry to help my remaining staff return numerous phone calls to patients who had left messages while I was away. I hope to finish up at the office soon. Then, I intend to check on a patient at the hospital before making it home for dinner with my family.

I peer down at a piece of paper on my desk, given to me by one of my staff. It’s a printed email message. Sent by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The message is arguably from the most descriptive email address on the planet—and I’m not making this up—it’s from DONOTREPLY@CMS.GOV.

DONOTREPLY.

It’s rather fitting.

Because they definitely don’t want you to reply. That would be easy for me. Too efficient, perhaps. No, they don’t want a reply. They just want me to DO what they say.

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The Real Story of Value over Volume in Medicine

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This is important to you. Trust me.

If you’re young at heart, it matters because it’s your tax dollars this April. If you’re wiser in years, it directly affects your health and the system you’ve been pumping money into for decades. This is the same medical system that you thought would take care of you later in life. Again, this is about your money and your health, so read on.

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In Search of a Meaningful Life

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Meaningful. Having a serious, important, or useful quality.

You know this word because you want it to define your life. Nearly all of us, at some point, will seek a more meaningful existence. Most wish our jobs were that way too.

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