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, November 10, 2017
Help patients choose wisely while earning CME

Choosing Wisely, an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, aims to encourage conversations between physicians and patients about selecting care that is evidence-based, not duplicated, has the lowest possible risk for harm, and is necessary. It is often challenging to know where to begin with these conversations, a catalyst for the Choosing Wisely campaign. The campaign consists of leading national medical specialty societies developing evidence-based lists of tests and treatments typically overused in their specific field.
The American Medical Association and ABIM Foundation have made it easy for physicians to learn about Choosing Wisely while earning CME at no cost. The Advancing Choosing Wisely module helps physicians add the campaign into practices through learning:
  • Five STEPS to advancing Choosing Wisely in your practice
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about Choosing Wisely
  • Tools and resources to help you and your team implement Choosing Wisely
Click here to get started with Choosing Wisely and earning CME today.
Grant funding available to support e-prescribing

Michigan recently updated its Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS) to a more user-friendly platform. The new system helps the state use improved prescription drug monitoring technology. MAPS helps physicians and dispensers protect patients from prescription drug abuse by providing a single click connection into the new system's platform where users access one system and avoid multiple logins. These tools increase care coordination and provide a more efficient process that saves physicians time and resources.  
The state is providing funding support through grants to cover the costs to integrate the upgraded MAPS directly into a practice's electronic medical records to enable instant access.  
For more information about funding requests and application process, visit the state's website.   
Changes in 2018 BCBSM clinical quality value-based reimbursement

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan recently announced changes to the 2018 clinical quality value-based reimbursement (VBR) weighting by metrics and category.  
BCBSM calculates, along with the annual patient centered medical home, a clinical quality score based on specific measures for internal medicine, family practice and pediatrics (download document). Primary care physicians that reach specific clinical quality rates can earn an additional valued-based reimbursement, which can be 0%, 5%, 10% or 15%.  

Metrics eliminated from clinical quality VBR in 2018:
1. HbA1c testing
2. HPV testing in adolescents
3. Adolescent immunization (Combination 1)

"New" metrics included in clinical quality VBR in 2018:
1. Adolescent immunizations (Combination 2)
Visit the patient centered medical home page on The Physician Alliance website to download a document highlighting the clinical quality VBR commercial weighting by metric and category.  
If you have any questions about this document or the quality VBR, please contact your assigned practice resource team member. 
Educating to prevent chronic opioid use

The Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network works with providers, patients and communities to develop a preventative approach to the opioid epidemic in the state.

Michigan-OPEN works with healthcare providers to try to prevent chronic opioid use and abuse before it starts. Education is a key strategy. The organization created a free brochure that provides facts about what's classified as an opioid, who is at higher risk for opioid addiction, how to safely dispose of prescription drugs and managing pain after surgery. The brochure can be downloaded, along with other patient resources.
The Physician Alliance presents at Blue Cross meeting

The Physician Alliance leadership recently attended the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Physician Group Incentive Program quarterly meeting with other physician organizations in the state. One BCBSM initiative that TPA participates in and was also a focus of this meeting is the Resource Stewardship Initiative (RSI).  
The initiative promotes the use of evidence-based medicine when making health care stewardship decisions. The RSI also encourages conversations between physicians and patients about appropriate and necessary care. TPA has been focusing on three areas for RSI this year, including decreasing use of imaging for low back pain, Pap smears in women under 21 years, and antibiotic use for adults with acute bronchitis (these are all HEDIS measures).

Decreased use of these services can lead to higher quality of patient care, increased patient safety, improvement in the practices pay for performance revenue, and decrease in overall healthcare costs. 

During the afternoon breakout sessions, Karen Swanson, MD, TPA's chief medical officer, presented educational materials created by TPA for the RSI. These patient education materials can help initiate conversations with patients regarding evidence-based care. 
The materials created by TPA were well-received by other physician organization audience members and BCBSM leadership. These materials are available to members - visit TPA's website to download for print or order online.
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