A bi-weekly newsletter from your physician organization
Friday, October 23, 2020
Collaborative quality initiative seeks to improve heart failure care
Integrated Michigan Patient-Centered Alliance in Care Transitions (I-MPACT ) is a new kind of collaborative quality initiative working with both hospitals and provider organizations across Michigan. I-MPACT's purpose is to improve patients' care transitions from hospital to home and from skilled nursing facility to home. 

In an effort to keep the patient voice at the forefront of the work, patient advisors and caregivers are incorporated in hospital/provider organization clusters and are utilized in an advisory group working with the coordinating center. The Physician Alliance participates in I-MPACT, partnering with Ascension Macomb/Oakland Hospital, Ascension St John Hospital, Ascension Providence- Southfield Campus, and Ascension Providence- Novi Campus.

Improving care of patients with congestive heart failure is one goal of participating organizations in I-MPACT. Through the program, The Physician Alliance supports practices in the following ways:

  • TPA notifies primary care offices of inpatient discharges to improve transitions of care, encourage follow-up with patient, and ensure scheduling of the 7-day follow-up appointment.
  • Goal is increase in 7-day follow up appointments

The hospitals are responsible for patient education regarding heart failure (Click here to view the CHF handbook that provides management tips, an action plan and more.).

Primary care practices can help achieve these goals and improve patient care:  

1. If you receive notification that your patient was discharged from the hospital:
  • Reach out to the patient within 48-72 hours post discharge for a transition of care call.
  • Schedule the 7-day follow up appointment (the date of discharge is discharge day 1).
  • Closely monitor that patient to help prevent a 30-day readmission. 

2. Educate the patient regarding what to do after hours (“Call Us First”) to help reduce emergency department visits.
  • Screen for social determinants of health, which might prevent patients from managing their condition (click here to learn about NowPow and register your practice).
  • Schedule more frequent follow up visits with the patient to help them manage their chronic condition.
  • Check out the urgent care poster and customizable handout to share with patients.
New provider relief funding available, deadline Nov. 6
The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) department opened applications for the Phase 3 general distribution funds. The deadline to apply is Nov. 6, 2020. HHS encourages providers to apply as soon as possible to expedite the calculation and distribution of payments.

The application considers financial losses and changes in healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue due to COVID-19. Providers who previously received funds may apply again. Some providers previously considered ineligible may also now apply.

These funds are an additional $20 billion over the initial $175 billion distribution through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPCHE). These distributions do not need to be repaid to the US government, assuming providers comply with the terms and conditions.

Click here for more information on eligibility and application form.
Gaps in care toolkit includes patient education and more
Addressing gaps in care can help improve patient health outcomes and a practice's quality metrics. Closing gaps in care helps catch potentially life-threatening illnesses in patients, improve the health of patient populations and enable practices to be eligible for more incentive dollars from payers.
 
The Physician Alliance created a Gaps in Care toolkit to help practices communicate with patients. These materials can help educate patients on the importance of being proactive with their health. All resources are complimentary to TPA members.
 
Samples of what's included in the toolkit:
 
  • Patient posters, checklists and more
  • Patient action plans
  • Letter template to remind patients about lapsed health appointments, screenings, etc.
  • Social media graphics
Targeting Medicare population during COVID-19
Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a report about COVID-19's impact on the Medicare population.

Among the findings from CMS (click to view full report):

  • The most commonly reported preventive health behavior was washing hands or using hand sanitizer (98%) and the least commonly reported preventive health behavior was consulting with a health care provider (19%).
  • 21% of beneficiaries reported needing health care other than COVID-related but couldn't because of the pandemic.
  • The most common reason the beneficiary decided to forego care was not wanting to risk being at a medical facility (45%)
  • The most common reason the health care provider rescheduled the appointment was because their medical office was closed (38%)
  • 23% reported feeling more lonely or sad (29% female, 16% male)
  • 18% reported feeling less financially secure (19% female, 17% male)

Tips to support your Medicare population:

Consider reaching out to your Medicare population to assure them that your office is open and available for appointments. Share COVID-19 safety protocols in place at your practice to help alleviate concerns. Also remind patients about needed screenings and offer telehealth visits when appropriate to alleviate concerns about being in public.

The Physician Alliance practices can utilize NowPow, a HIPAA-compliant database that provides local resources to address patients' social determinants of health needs.

A variety of patient education materials, including telehealth engagement tips, are available to TPA members. Find these on the Learning Institute section of TPA's website.
The latest healthcare news
Ways you can save
Featured Affiliate Partner: REVENUE CYCLE MANAGEMENT - Coronis Health provides full end-to-end revenue cycle management solutions including credentialing, eligibility and verification, claim submission, accounts receivable follow up, patient collections and more. TPA members receive a 10% discount off current plan pricing.

Learn more about this partner.