April 21, 2021
Accountable Care SmartBrief
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Accountable Care Spotlight
Liz Fowler, the new director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, said the agency's commitment to value-based care remains strong and it won't pull back on development of new alternative payment models amid the recent withdrawal or delay of several payment models. Speaking at a conference of the National Association of ACOs, Fowler said she plans to refresh the CMMI's value-based care strategy by focusing on health equity, improving multipayer alignment, and expanding the agency's reach beyond Medicaid and Medicare.
Full Story: FierceHealthcare (4/20),  RevCycle Intelligence (4/20) 
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The CMS extended the deadline for practices to apply for the second cohort of the Primary Care First advanced alternative payment model from April 30 to May 21. The CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation will hold a webinar about the model on May 5.
Full Story: AAFP News (4/20) 
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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced a number of pilot programs to address members' food insecurity, including a post-hospital discharge meal program for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries and another initiative allowing members to access the Eat Well prescription food program. The insurer is also working with other organizations to educate members about the Food and Nutrition Service and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and help socially isolated members and those with diabetes gain access to healthy food.
Full Story: FierceHealthcare (4/20) 
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Aetna and CVS Health launched a co-branded health plan in St. Louis and Southern California markets to improve their members' access to quality health care at a more affordable price. The Aetna Connected Plan with CVS Health will allow members to access Aetna's cost-saving performance network and CVS' retail and pharmacy services.
Full Story: HIT Consultant (4/20),  Becker's Hospital Review (4/21) 
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Improve Post-Acute Network Performance
To maximize shared savings, it is essential for healthcare executives to obtain clinical performance data across the continuum of care - especially from their post-acute network providers. Learn how to focus your network on high-quality, low cost providers to improve patient care. Click here.
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Insight into Health Care Quality
A draft recommendation issued by the US Preventive Services Task Force said there's not enough evidence to recommend for or against atrial fibrillation screening for stroke prevention among asymptomatic adults ages 50 and older. The group reviewed screening via ECG or through smart or wearable devices such as the Apple Watch and called for more research.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (4/20),  United Press International (4/20) 
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A study published in JAMA Network Open found 17.8% of 90-day hospital readmissions following surgery potentially were preventable and cost an additional $296 million. Researchers said patients with Medicare or Medicaid coverage had a higher risk of readmission than those with private insurance.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (4/19) 
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The Technology Component
A survey by Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors found more than 80% of the 873 homebound patients who had telehealth visits required the assistance of a family member or paid caregiver to complete the visit. The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found almost one-third of older patients had trouble interacting with physicians during telehealth visits due to cognitive or sensory problems.
Full Story: McKnight's Senior Living online (4/19) 
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A deep learning model that provides patients with two-year risk scores for breast cancer "were more predictive ... than age and mammographic density," Dr. Brian Dontchos said during a presentation at the Society of Breast Imaging/American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Symposium. Researchers also found higher cancer detection rates among patients with breast cancer categorized in the intermediate- and high-risk groups after undergoing a BI-RADS 0 screening mammography exam after an initial BI-RADS 1 or 2 index screening exam.
Full Story: AuntMinnie (free registration) (4/16) 
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Population Health and Patients
Combining genomic data with health outcomes data in EHRs can provide deeper insight into population health disparities than simple race and ethnicity data, and may improve health equity and outcomes, according to a study published in the journal Cell. Embedding genomic data and using it to infer genetic ancestry "will allow the development of evidence-based means to utilize race and ethnicity, genetic ancestry, and the socioeconomic determinants of health for both rare and common diseases," researchers wrote.
Full Story: Health IT Analytics (4/16) 
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A study published in JAMA Network Open found that Black, Asian and female patients were less likely to receive a prescription for sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors, even after receiving a diagnosis for kidney or cardiovascular disease, compared with other groups of diabetes patients. The findings, based on data from 934,737 patients with type 2 diabetes, also revealed that the rate of SGLT2 inhibitor prescriptions was higher among those with a median household income of at least $100,000, compared with those who had a median household income of less than $50,000.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (4/16) 
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CDC researchers examined 689,672 COVID-19 cases and found that racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 incidence among youths ages below 25 years were substantial during January-April and generally declined during May-December. However, the findings published in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report also showed that the decrease was mostly due to an increase in incidence among white youths.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (4/15) 
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Health Insurance and Accountable Care Provider Company News
Solutions Provider News
AHIP News
White papers and case studies submitted by our Affiliate Organizations (AOs) bring you the latest thinking on current topics in health care. This month's features include Blue Health Intelligence on their Whyzen Analytics solution; Availty on streamlining authorizations; MOBE on personalized health technology; Amplifon on MA hearing benefits; Boulder Care on telehealth addiction treatment; and Zipari on consumer experience solutions.
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AHIP's DM Direct members offer products, services, and strategies that can help health plans leverage their DM programs to improve care and deliver value. Envolve is the life, health and wellness company dedicated to helping people transform their lives with support, encouragement, and motivation. The company offers an inclusive people-centered approach designed to help in all stages of life.
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