By Perdita Henry
Texas’ best and brightest family physicians gathered in Austin, April 13-14, to learn the latest in CME, determine the direction of the Academy, and reconnect with colleagues from across the state during the annual C. Frank Webber Lectureship and Interim Session.
More than 400 physicians, residents, medical students, and other health care professionals took part in the yearly event, featuring an energetic exhibit hall, vibrant committee meetings, and special learning opportunities and activities beyond the CME lecture hall. CME attendees had the opportunity to earn up 17 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits.more
Your patients have a lifetime of vaccines ahead of them. The easiest way to keep them organized is ImmTrac2, the Texas Immunization Registry. The Texas Department of State Health Services provides this registry. It is secure and confidential, and safely consolidates and stores Texans’ immunization records in one place.
ImmTrac2 replaces the ImmTrac system launched in 1996, and now offers expanded capabilities including immunization history, forecasts, reminders, instant reports, easy edit/delete functions, and resettable passwords.
With more than 164 million vaccine records, the registry is a major component of DSHS’s initiative to increase immunization coverage across Texas.more
By ABFM staff
PRIME Registry is a practice and population data tool developed by the ABFM that safely extracts patient data* from your electronic health records and turns it into actionable measures, presented in an easy-to-use, personalized dashboard, maintaining its full confidentiality. PRIME not only simplifies quality reporting for payment programs such as MIPS and CPC+, but also allows you to better evaluate aspects of your practice, patient groups, and individual patients, illuminating gaps or successes in patient care.
Another bonus for ABFM Diplomates is the integrated Performance Improvement activity tool. This allows Diplomates to easily use EHR data to complete PI activities and earn points toward the ABFM continuous certification requirements.more
By Alyssa Molina, MD
When it comes to residents transitioning into practice, there are a few things I would stress. Know where you would like to be on the job continuum between autonomy and security. You could have a completely autonomous position. You own your own practice, you decide when you’re opened, when you are closed, and what you do. While you’ll have complete autonomy, you won’t have security. If you are sick and you don’t come to work, you don’t get paid. At the other end of the spectrum, you have the security of being employed by a practice. In that practice, they decide how many patients you see, how many vacation days you get, and so on. There’s very little autonomy, but you have job security. You always get a paycheck, and it doesn’t matter how many patients you see. Most jobs are somewhere in the middle so, it’s important that you figure out for yourself, and your family, where you are comfortable on the spectrum.
Where I’m currently employed, I have a lot of autonomy. If I choose to take off, I just make sure I’m not on call and that someone’s covering the clinic. I’m paid based on my productivity so there isn’t a certain number of days I have off each year. If I’m willing to take a smaller paycheck, I could take off more days and still have a job when I get back. Where I am on the continuum provides me with a base. They do all the billing for me, so I don’t have to worry about that.more
By Janet Hurley, MD
Changes in health care have been fast and furious in the last several years. The advent of MACRA created the need to prepare for MIPS and APMs, and more robustly report on quality and cost. There is an ongoing desire for interoperability and EMR modifications requiring more “clicks” than we would like. Many physicians have added new types of team members to their practices, such as social workers, nurse navigators, or care coordinators to reach out to patients in new creative ways.
Some of this has been good for patients, and some of it possibly not. Some days it feels like physicians are chewing a big fat wad of gum, and feeling choked.more
By Jonathan Nelson
Want some extra cash and a chance to help refine and validate a Medicare quality measure? Check out this email we recently received from Shari Glickman, a program analyst with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
By TMF Health Quality Institute
Eligible clinicians participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System who plan to report MIPS quality measures using claims should be aware that some claims codes have changed for the 2018 performance period. Following are answers to common questions about the claims-based reporting.
Question: We noticed some of the 2018 Quality Data Codes for claims submissions have changed. If my practice submits claims using the previous codes, will they count toward our MIPS quality measure submission for the 2018 period?more
By Perdita Henry
Leaders aren’t born, they are made. Good leaders know how to listen, they know how to communicate, they practice what they preach, and they know how to encourage their team members to utilize their unique talents. They also know how sharing their values through storytelling can inspire others to join their mission. The American Academy of Family Physicians, Family Medicine for America’s Health, and Primary Care Progress recognize the importance of leadership training, which is why they joined forces to create the Primary Care Leadership Collaborative.
“Building on the unique strengths of each of the partner organizations, this yearlong learning collaborative will provide structured teaching, coaching and support to enable teams of Family Medicine Interest Group participants to have significant impact on the state of primary care delivery and education at their local institutions and in their communities,” the PCLC stated in a frequently asked questions document distributed to participants.more
By TMF Health Quality Institute
Clinicians participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) path of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) must report their 2017 data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) between Jan. 2 and March 31, 2018. (The data submission window for clinicians using the CMS Web Interface is Jan. 22 to March 16.) Following are answers to common questions about the reporting process.
Question: How many MIPS measures and activities do I need to report for the 2017 performance year?more
Answer: For the 2017 transition year, clinicians may report using the test, partial-year or full-year option. Those who go beyond the test option can earn a positive payment adjustment. Minimum reporting requirements for each are:
Each year, AAFP holds the National Conference of Constituency Leaders and Annual Chapter Leader Forum together in Kansas City, Missouri. NCCL representatives and ACLF attendees from across the nation gather to discuss various issues, suggest policies and programs to AAFP, and receive leadership training. In 2018, the conferences will be held April 26-28 and TAFP is looking for members to serve on the delegation or apply for scholarships to attend.
TAFP opportunities for NCCL
Spots are available for five TAFP members to represent each of the five constituencies: new physicians (physicians who have been out of residency for seven years or fewer), women, minorities, international medical graduates, and LGBT. TAFP reimburses up to $1,200 for expenses for each delegate. In addition, TAFP offers two other opportunities to attend NCCL with funding. These scholarships will be awarded to one third-year resident and one minority physician.
If you are interested in being considered for one of the delegate slots, please send a current curriculum vitae and/or a statement of intent to Jonathan Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. Be sure to let him know which constituency or constituencies you would like to potentially represent.more