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Medicare Updates Physician Quality Program

December 2021

In November, CMS issued annual updates to the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP), which links physician payment to performance on cost, quality, and patients’ experience of care. Most physicians in the country participate in the QPP, and the program’s measures influence care decisions and population health priorities. Notably, CMS affirmed its goal to use the…

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Using Quality Measures to Drive Improvements in Immunization Rates

December 2021

Adult immunization rates are low and continue to fail to meet national targets. The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic halted routine health care services for many, including vaccinations. In collaboration with the American Medical Group Association and GlaxoSmithKline, Discern Health presents findings from a real-world evaluation of three US health care organizations in a new Population…

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Assessing Opportunities to Advance Quality Measures in Adult Obesity

December 2021

Obesity is a serious chronic disease in the United States. From 2017 to 2018, the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity in adults was 42.4%, with no significant differences between men and women among all adults or by age group. In a new American Journal of Managed Care article, Director Kaitlyn Esselman, Senior Project Manager Tess Donckels,…

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New Measure List Previews CMS Priorities

December 2021

In early December, CMS released the 2021 Measures Under Consideration (MUC) list. The MUC List identifies the quality and efficiency measures under consideration by CMS for use in certain Medicare quality programs. As such, the list previews priority areas for CMS’s value-based care programs in the future, many of which are relevant to Real Chemistry’s…

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Issues with Enhanced Longevity Among Patients with Beta-Thalassemia

November 2021

The annual incidence of beta-thalassemia is approximately 1 in 100,000 with significant regional variations globally. It has decreased over time especially with the introduction of national-wide screening programs. In Taiwan, the prevalence decreased from 5.6 in 1994 to 1.2 per 100,000 births in 2002. The diagnosis of beta-thalassemia may entail life-long regular transfusion for survival…

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Expanding Pharmacy Personnel Scope of Practice to Increase Adult Pneumococcal Vaccination Coverage Rates at a State-level

November 2021

Previous research has demonstrated that increasing scope of practice for pharmacists has been shown to have an impact on vaccine coverage rates. However, it has yet to be explored if there is an association between vaccine coverage rates and other personnel within the pharmacy, such as pharmacy technicians, students, and interns. Therefore, Discern Health, Real…

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CMS’s Innovation Center Refreshes Strategy

November 2021

CMS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) took a 10 year look back for key lessons learned, challenges encountered, and what a strategy refresh would need to incorporate. The strategy refresh includes five strategic objectives that expects models that would continue or to be introduced to be driving accountable care, advancing health equity, supporting…

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Comprehensive Support for the Seriously Ill: Developing a Home- and Community-Based Palliative (HCBP) Care Model in Arizona

October 2021

Serious illness impacts an estimated 45 million Americans and their families/caregivers. Defined as “one or more chronic conditions that limit personal function and are likely to worsen rather than get better,” serious illness costs the US health care system nearly 1 trillion dollars a year, making up almost 60% of health care expenditures. People with serious illness…

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CMS Programs Provide Numerous Opportunities to Define and Improve Quality

October 2021

At times, the “alphabet soup” of Medicare quality programs can be confusing and intimidating. MIPS. MVPs. IAs. What does it all mean? While they take some effort to understand, Medicare’s programs provide numerous opportunities for public input. Discern Health works with clients to navigate these opportunities and has achieved significant results for both chronic and…

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Access to Obesity Prevention and Treatment Improves Health Equity

October 2021

Obesity prevention and treatments remain underused even as the disease remains a primary risk factor for chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even COVID-19 severity that disproportionately affect minority and underserved populations. Reimbursement or insurance coverage for medications, procedures, and programs to treat and prevent obesity varies and can create additional barriers to…

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New Report: Recommendations for Patient and Family Engagement in Measure Development

Harnessing the stories, ideas, and innovations of patient and caregiver partners is the key to making measurement meaningful. With support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)...
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