CTHealthLink Offers Unique Benefits to CSMS-IPA Members
CSMS-IPA and CTHealthLink recently entered into a new and exciting initiative aimed at providing members with access to the expansive analytics and tools available in the physician-led, statewide health information exchange (HIE). Designed to help improve clinical outcomes, reduce inefficiencies, and positively impact patient safety, CTHealthLink is delivered in partnership with the Connecticut State Medical Society.

Through CTHealthLink, participating physicians can securely and efficiently access patients' health records, including accessing patients' data across disparate healthcare systems. Physicians and patients benefit from the reduction in treatment delays and enhancement of clinical decision making.
The CTHealthLink Return on Investment
CTHealthLink provides physicians with reliable, tested, HIE technology, including secure messaging with participating providers.

Participation in CTHealthLink may:
  • Enhance patient encounters;
  • Improve care coordination;
  • Increase workflow and productivity; and
  • Eliminate duplicative labs, test and x-rays.

The CSMS-IPA collaboration with CTHealthLink aligns with the organization's mission to create partnership between business and medicine that supports a value-based system of care, and the opportunity to assist physicians in achieving the highest quality of care, the greatest patient satisfaction, with the most efficient use of innovative resources and technology.

Enrollment packets with early adopter pricing will be sent to IPA members for consideration in August. For more on the CSMS-IPA and CTHealthLink initiative, please contact Pattie Mastriano at pmastriano@csms-ipa.com or 203-562-7228.

Keeping Pace With the Interoperability Landscape
TEFCA, What It Is and How It Will Work
The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) will define standards for interoperability as required by the 21 st Century Cures Act signed into law in December 2016. The 21 st Century Cures Act contains a number of interoperability requirements, including the creation of a Trusted Exchange Framework being built through TEFCA with oversight by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC).

Following a comment period, the final version of TEFCA will be published in the Federal Register later this year. The draft TEFCA guidance contains policies, procedures, and technical standards that the government views as an on-ramp to interoperability. This coordination is expected to bridge the gap between providers’ and patients’ information systems and enable interoperability across disparate Health Information Networks.  

TEFCA is meant to establish a single way for Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), enabling providers, hospitals and other healthcare stakeholders to join any health information network (HIN) and automatically connect and participate in nationwide health information exchange.

TEFCA also creates “Qualified” HINs as a vehicle to facilitate a standardized methodology for HIE interconnectivity, along with a new administrative organization, the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE). The concept is to create a network of networks and connect authorized participants or end users, including payers, vendor networks, government agencies, individuals, and the nation’s 100-or-so HIEs such as CTHealthLink, the physician-led HIE created in partnership with Connecticut State Medical Society. 

New Resources Available from CMS
CMS has posted new resources on CMS.gov to help eligible clinicians and groups understand their Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) final score, performance feedback, and payment adjustment, as well as the targeted review process.

The new resources include:

For More Information: Visit the Quality Payment Program Resources Library on CMS.gov to review new and existing Quality Payment Program resources. Contact the Quality Payment Program at QPP@cms.hhs.gov or 1-866-288-8292 (TTY 1-877-715-6222).

Just a reminder CMS reporting for the Quality Payment Programs can be simplified using the tools and resources of CTHealthLink. For more information on CTHealthLink, contact Matthew Katz at mkatz@csms.org or visit www.cthealthlink.com .

Visit the QPP Website to View MIPS Final Performance Feedback Data
If you submitted 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data through Quality Payment Program Website , you can now view your performance feedback and MIPS final score.

Access your performance feedback and final score by:

  • Going to the Quality Payment Program website
  • Login using your Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) credentials; these are the same EIDM credentials that allowed you to submit your MIPS data

If you don’t have an EIDM account, refer to this guide and start the process now. In the coming weeks, CMS will provide additional guidance to help walk through how to review your feedback and to assist in answering your questions. 

Please note: The final performance year for the Value-Based Modifier and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) programs was 2016; therefore, CMS will no longer provide PQRS Feedback Reports or Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs). The final reports under these programs were provided in September 2017 and remain available for download through the end of this year.  

Likewise, if you participated in a MIPS Alternative Payment Model (APM) in 2017, specifically in a Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program) or Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO), your performance feedback is now available to your ACO (APM Entity) via the Quality Payment Program website . Participant TINs in Shared Savings Program will be able to login to the Quality Payment Program website directly to access final performance feedback. Participants in Next Generation ACOs will need to request feedback from a representative (such as a security official) within their APM Entity.

Please note: Because all clinicians in the Next Generation ACO Model were Qualifying APM participants, performance feedback for the 2017 performance year will not be provided.

Under the MIPS APM Scoring Standard, the performance feedback, accessible to the APM Entity, will be based on the APM Entity score and is applicable to all MIPS eligible clinicians within the APM Entity group. This feedback and score does not have any impact on the Shared Savings Program or Next Generation ACOs’ quality assessment. 

Questions?  If you have questions about your performance feedback or MIPS final score, please contact the Quality Payment Program by: 

Promoting Interoperability
CMS recently restated its commitment to improving interoperability and patients' access to health information. To reflect this focus, CMS renamed the EHR Incentive Programs to the Promoting Interoperability (PI) Programs. CMS also plans to streamline the programs to reduce the time and cost required of providers to participate.

This is exciting news for physicians and their patients, and great news for CTHealthLink participants who have access to all of the tools required to align CMS's aim to become patient centric. To learn more about how this rule-making affects Medicare eligible clinicians participating in the Promoting Interoperability (formerly Advancing Care Information) performance category of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), visit the Quality Payment Program website, https://qpp.cms.gov/ and stay tuned for more information.

To become a CTHealthLink participant, visit www.cthealthlink.com or contact Matthew Katz at 203.641.7046.

Matthew Katz
Connecticut State Medical Society