Ryan Larosa Joins Health e Paradigm
Join us in welcoming Ryan Larosa as Director of HealtheParadigm, the physician-led health information exchange endorsed by the Medical Association of Georgia.

Ryan has been an effective advocate for physicians and patients his entire career, including serving as a key member of the MAG Government Relations team and serving as GAMPAC manager, 2012-2015.  

In 2016, Ryan became the manager of state affairs for the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). ACR quickly promoted Ryan to the role of director of registry operations where he was responsible for onboarding and reporting all rheumatology providers’ Medicare Quality data to the legacy PQRS and MIPS programs. 

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Georgia State University, Atlanta, Ga., and in March 2019 will receive a Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business, also in Atlanta.  
Ryan can be reached at rlarosa@mag.org or 678.303.9290. 
Health Care Needs to Catch-up; It's Time to #killthefax
In medical facilities throughout the country, physi­cians, nurses, and staff are placing medical records in a tray, dialing a number, pressing send to fax private health information across town, across the state, or around the world. According to one private firm’s estimate, 75 percent of all health care communications are sent by fax. Isn’t it time we change this picture and #killthefax?

While industries such as banking, insurance, and education consider faxing a nearly antiquated form of communication, many in health care have not tran­sitioned to the digital transfer of information. The fax’s endurance may be a symptom of regulations, technological limitations, or simply tradition. The lack of privacy for personal health information, the un­certainty and unreliability on the part of the end user, half-printed and missing pages, are all critical reasons to #killthefax.

In August, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced their goal to eliminate fax machines from physician offices by 2020. CMS Administrator Seema Verma noted that health care is stuck in a 1990s time warp — it is possible to keep patient data secure while sharing it with them. Verma challenged developers to help make doctors’ offices a fax free zone by 2020. 
Recently released research dubbed, ‘Faxploit’, demon­strates how cyber criminals can now infiltrate a cor­porate network by exploiting all-in-one-printer-fax machines. The only thing required to carry out the attack is a fax number. Another reason to #killthefax.

Interoperability remains the key in accomplishing the #killthefax initiative. 

Participation in a health information exchange, such as HealtheParadigm, will not only help #killthefax in Georgia but also allows health care providers to quickly access their patients’ data across disparate health care systems, reducing treatment delays and enhancing clinical decision making. The HIE supports patient care coordination and transitions of care by allowing health care professionals to access their patients’ most recent test results, procedures, diagnoses, and medica­tions in a secure environment.
To learn more about HealtheParadigm's #killthefax initiative, visit
State Medical Societies Collaborate to Impact Health Care Disparities Through Utilization of Health Information Exchange Data
Seven state medical societies announced the creation of the Health Equity Network for Change (HENC) which is focused on improving the health status of medically underserved populations. HENC employs a new data source, health information exchange data, and powerful analytic tools provided by KAMMCO. Medical societies in each of these states have engaged KAMMCO to build physician-led exchanges: Kansas, Georgia, South Carolina, Connecticut, New Jersey, Missouri, and Louisiana. 

HENC chairman M. Natalie Achong, MD, MHL, FACOG, representing the Connecticut State Medical Society, shared, “Physicians across the nation are increasingly concerned about health disparities. To address this, HENC brings leading physicians together to examine trends in health disparity data. This will allow HENC to make data-driven recommendations for the establishment of population health priorities at regional, state and national levels aimed at improving health outcomes.” 

“The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) and the state’s physician-led health information exchange, HealtheParadigm, are excited to participate in this new initiative,” said Donald J. Palmisano, Jr., MAG CEO. “By working together to address universal health care issues such as health care disparities and population health, we can broaden our impact across the country.”

Laura McCrary, Ed.D, Senior Vice President of KAMMCO added, “Health information exchange data is an enormously valuable, rich set of clinical data aggregated across all exchange participating health care providers within a region, state or nation. This data provides key insights into health care patterns and utilization previously not available from static, outdated or geographically limited clinical data sets.” 

HENC has tapped leading physicians with expertise in health disparities including: Amin Yehya, MD, representing the Medical Association of Georgia; Tracie Collins, MD, MPH, MHCDS, representing the Kansas Medical Society; Donnie Batie, MD, ABFM, representing the Louisiana State Medical Society; Kirsten Dunn, MD, FACP, representing the Missouri State Medical Association; Soumen Samaddar, MD, representing the Medical Society of New Jersey; and, Gerald Wilson, MD, representing the South Carolina Medical Association.
New MIPS Resources are Now Available in the Quality Payment Program Resource Library
CMS has posted the following new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) resources on CMS.gov :

2019 Virtual Groups Toolkit: Includes an overview fact sheet, which details what virtual groups are and how to participate in a virtual group in 2019; an election process fact sheet that describes the process for forming a virtual group; a sample virtual group election submission email; and a virtual group agreement template.

2018 Cost Performance Category Fact Sheet (updated): Offers an overview of the Cost performance category including how the Cost performance category is weighted and scored.

2018 Claims Data Submission Fact Sheet: Provides details on how to submit Quality performance category data through claims for the 2018 performance year.

2018 MIPS Specialty Measures Guides for Anesthesiologists and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), Cardiologists, and Radiologists: Highlights a non-exhaustive list of measures and activities for the Quality, Cost, Improvement Activities and Promoting Interoperability performance categories that may apply to anesthesiologists and CRNAs, cardiologists, and radiologists in 2018.

MIPS Data Validation Criteria: Includes an overview fact sheet and the 2018 criteria used to audit and validate data submitted in the Quality, Improvement Activities, and Promoting Interoperability performance categories.

2018 Eligible Measure Applicability (EMA) Resources: Provides an overview of the Eligibility Measure Applicability (EMA) process and lists individual quality measures for both registry and claims data submission.

For More Information
Come and See Us!
October 15 - 16, 2018
Georgia Chapter of HIMSS
2018 Annual Conference
Cobb Galleria
Atlanta, GA
October 19 - 21, 2018
Medical Association of Georgia
2018 House of Delegates Meeting
The Westin Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island, GA
November 5 - 7, 2018
Georgia Rural Health Association
2018 Rural Health Conference
Westin Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island, GA
November 7 - 9, 2018
Georgia Academy of Family Physicians
2018 Annual Scientific Assembly
Marriott Evergreen Conference Resort
Stone Mountain, GA
November 14, 2018
North Fulton Medical Group Management Association
November Event
The Metropolitan Club
Alpharetta, GA

Ryan Larosa
Director, Health e Paradigm