The Pulse is the bi-weekly e-newsletter from The Physician Alliance, one of Michigan's largest physician organizations serving more than 2,200 primary care and specialty physicians.
The Pulse of The Physician Alliance
Friday, August 19, 2016
Learn about Comprehensive Primary Care Plus

The Physician Alliance is hosting two free information sessions on Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+).*

Monday, Aug. 22, 7:30-8:30pm 
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 6-7pm

Roseanne Paglia, clinical coordinator, ambulatory/managed care, Partners In Care
Dr. Karen Swanson, chief medical officer, The Physician Alliance
Who should attend: Primary care physicians, practice directors/administrators, office managers
Location: St. John Macomb Oakland Hospital, Education Building, 27351 Dequindre, Madison Heights 48071
*The same information will be provided at both sessions. Light snacks/beverages will be provided.
Sept. 15 deadline approaching to apply for Comprehensive Primary Care Plus

Michigan was recently chosen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to be a Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) region. The goal of CPC+ is to improve the quality of patient care, improve patients' health, and to more effectively spend health care dollars. The program can provide significant dollars in care management fees, performance incentives and fee for service dollars for greater upfront cash flow and flexibility for PCPs to deliver care.

ACP and AAFP support this program as a good opportunity for primary care physicians to deliver better, patient-centric care. CPC+ is the largest-ever multi-payer initiative to improve primary care in America. Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Priority Health will be participating.

Primary care practices must submit an application to participate in CPC+ by Sept. 15, 2016. Only practices that apply by Sept. 15, 2016 will be given consideration for participation. Participation is a five-year commitment but it is possible to withdraw with a 90-day notice. There are no plans at this time to add practices after the Sept. 15 date.

For more information on CPC+, visit TPA's website

For a schedule of free webinars hosted by CMS, click here.
To complete an application (by Sept. 15), click here.  
Patient poster helps decrease imaging for low back pain
Resource Stewardship Initiative key focus area

The Physician Alliance continues to work with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan on the Resource Stewardship Initiative, which addresses appropriate use of healthcare services and tests to improve patient care, while also working to lower costs.

Decreasing imaging during the four weeks post-diagnosis for low back pain is a focus area for TPA in the Resource Stewardship Initiative.

Keep in mind that a doctor's recommendation is a major contributing factor to treating patients with conservative treatments and in assuring appropriate indications for imaging studies. It is not recommended to do imaging for low back pain within the first four weeks, unless red flags are present (examples include: recent trauma, history of cancer, or loss of feeling/weakness/numbness in the lower limbs, IV drug use, fever, weight loss, or incontinence). Imaging of the lower spine before four weeks does not improve outcomes, but does increase costs and may lead to unnecessary invasive treatments. TPA offers additional conversation strategies with patients experiencing low back pain on our website.  
TPA created a poster that offers six tips for managing low back pain that can be posted in waiting areas and exam rooms to help support conversations between physicians and patients.
Choosing Wisely, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation, is a national healthcare campaign to promote important healthcare conversations between physicians and patients. Working with national medical societies, Choosing Wisely has produced numerous tip sheets focused on physician tips and patient tips.
Sources: American College of Radiology; American Academy of Family Physicians; Agency for Health Care Research & Policy;; American College of Physicians
Blue Cross offers wellness/care management programs for complex patients

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan offers health and wellness programs to help providers achieve better outcomes with patients. Aligned with the Patient Centered Medical Home program, each program is designed to handle patients' unique needs and help patients get healthy and better manage their health conditions. 

For more information, click here. To refer patients to BCBSM's Case Management program, call 1-800-845-5982. For information about other Blue Cross Health & Wellness programs, call the Engagement Center specialists at 1-800-775-BLUE (2583) Monday through Friday from 8am-6pm Eastern standard time.

**Patients who qualify for Provider Delivered Care Management services are not eligible for these health and wellness programs. 
Frustrated with slow paying patients?
Receive extra discounts on payment accelerator and collections services

Slow paying patients are costing your practice more than an outstanding balance when you factor:
*    Staff time for follow up calls
*    Monthly reviews of receivables
*    Delays in patient visits

Transworld Systems, Inc. provides TPA members with automated solutions to help practices improve their cash flow and reduce slow pay concerns. Transworld Systems programs can be integrated with your practice management software, providing the ability for follow up that is less expensive than in-house efforts.

The Physician Alliance members will receive an additional 10% discount off the standard special TPA pricing on new TSI program services in August and September.

Contact Mike at Transworld Systems today at (877) 377-5378 or for an appointment or more information.

Transworld Systems is a partner in TPA's Physician Discount Program.

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