Washington, DC—Good morning, ProviderNation. All hail AHCA/NCAL’s new overlords.
The fine folks at AHCA/NCAL have wrapped their 66th annual convention and now head back to their homes and lawful businesses. But they’re hoping that what happened in San Anton’ won’t stay in San Anton’: “This is the mother of all times for our profession,” new AHCA Board Chair Tom Coble tells me.
“Changes are happening quickly and in all directions, and it can seem frightening to many people,” he says. “But you don’t get caught in the wake if you’re the one setting the course. We’ve embraced change, and now we’re in a position to set the course of it. Fact is, we’re the high quality, low cost provider. And regulators and politicians want the best quality at the lowest cost. So I firmly believe this is our time.”
Parkinson And The Great, Gray Lady
Speaking of AHCA/NCAL, while they was busy touring the Alamo, AHCA/NCAL honcho Mark Parkinson was busy scribblin’.
In a letter to the New York Times, Parkinson pushes back against some of the Great, Gray Lady’s assumptions about the most recent inspector general’s report on Medicare therapy. “The therapy services we provide let patients return home and to their communities. Patients want a level of therapy that improves their functionality as quickly as possible, and regulators expect us to deliver it,” he says.
“We are actively advancing a proposal to Congress and C.M.S. for an improved payment structure that measures outcomes and better reflects the success of the therapy our members provide rather than just measuring the minutes provided,” Parkinson adds.
In case you weren’t depressed enough about the IG’s report, though, they’ve put together a podcast on it.
The March of ACOs
Speaking of reforming things, the fine folks at CMS have launched another ACO model, this time aimed at dialysis.
“This new ACO model represents a paradigm shift in care for beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease; it promotes a patient-centered approach to their dialysis and non-dialysis care needs that will help accomplish our delivery system reform goals of better care, smarter spending, and healthier people,” CMS Chief Medical Officer Patrick Conway says in a statement.
The new model doesn’t have much of a long-term care element (yet), but recall the prophetic words of AHCA/NCAL’s own James Michel, who says that ACOs “are the new normal.”