CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2015 - (Page 16)

NTOCC Update "As the nation moves toward fully interoperable system, NTOCC is pleased that transitional care is a major part of the conversation." was an early supporter of NTOCC and has been instrumental in helping NTOCC achieve so much success. NTOCC's public policy goals are centered on three major priorities: payment model reform, telehealth, and new member education. Congress and CMS are working to create and implement new payment models that move away from the traditional fee-for-service system and focus more on value and quality measures. As this work continues, NTOCC strongly believes care coordination and transitional care need to be an important part of these new payment models. Telehealth has also been a major focus for 2015. Both branches of Congress and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) have asked for external input on creating a health IT system that will work in today's changing environment. NTOCC provided comments to ONC on the importance of interoperability across different providers and systems in order to create smooth transitions. Finally, Congress has seen a large number of new members win elections. With these new members and their new staff, we have been focused on educating them on the importance of transitional care. On Capitol Hill, NTOCC saw a long awaited win with the end of the "Doc Fix." After 17 short-term fixes, Congress was able to produce a bipartisan, bicameral package to repeal and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate - an issue that has plagued health care since its creation in 1997. The SGR package establishes a simpler payment that focuses on value and quality measures instead of the current system that rewards volume over everything else. Transitional care is an important part of the new valuebased system. Congress established at least one new payment code on care management services for individuals with chronic conditions and gives flexibility for CMS to implement more if needed. In addition, on Monday, April 20, NTOCC hosted its first congressional briefing titled Transitional Care 101: How to Improve Care Transitions in Today's Healthcare Environment. The briefing attracted a large crowd, including staffers representing multiple Congressional offices from both the House and Senate. The purpose was to introduce those staffers to transitional care and the current legislative and regulatory barriers to full implementation. Thanks to the advertisers that have made this issue possible. 16 CMSA TODAY Issue 5 * 2015 * DIGITAL The event featured three panelists: Peggy Leonard, senior vice president for Clinical Services at Hudson/MVP, who gave remarks on the current state of transitional care in the U.S.; Dr. Jim Lett, from the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA), who discussed important elements of a successful transitional care system built on NTOCC's Seven Essential Elements; and Gail Embt, founder of Kinergy Health, who shared her own personal experiences dealing with the health system as she tried to seek adequate care for her mother. Cheri Lattimer, executive director of NTOCC, served as moderator for the briefing. The event was a great success and has allowed NTOCC public policy staff to be involved in advising Congressional staff on upcoming legislation affecting the transitional care community. It also was an important tool in educating new staff on the importance of transitional care. With telehealth, NTOCC has been closely involved in the work of the House's Energy and Commerce telehealth working group. These members have expressed interest in improving the current telehealth standards and working toward interoperability. Everyone is hopeful that final language will be included as part of the House's 21st Century Cures Initiative, but it is too early to tell what that package will contain. 2015 also saw the ONC release their draft nationwide health IT interoperability roadmap titled Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0, referenced by Kelly Cronin at the National Transitions of Care Summit this past December. This is a continuation of the commitment to building a more robust health IT structure as part of a departmentwide effort to achieve better care, smarter spending, and improved health outcomes by improving our health care delivery system. As part of this work, HHS is focused on three key areas: improving the way providers are paid; improving and innovating care delivery; and sharing information more broadly to providers, consumers, and others to support better decisions while maintaining patient privacy. NTOCC submitted a comment letter focused on creating a better system for patients and providers to access health records and health information technology to empower patients. The comment letter incorporated two of NTOCC's Seven Essential Elements: information transfer and shared accountability across providers and organizations. NTOCC was strongly supportive of ONC's goal to leverage health IT to increase the quality of health care while lowering the cost. As the nation moves toward a fully interoperable system, NTOCC is pleased that transitional care is a major part of the conversation. As Congress and CMS continue to work on health policy issues, NTOCC will continue pushing for improved care transitions for providers, patients, and their families. Through the end of the year, NTOCC is looking forward to working with all stakeholders as legislation moves through the policy process, and as CMS is gearing up to release more rules and regulations affecting transitional care. If you have any specific questions around NTOCC's policy statements or goals, please feel free to contact NTOCC's policy director, Jessica Layson at â– 

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2015

Blazing Trails Together
Public Policy On-the-Go
Making Improvements in Transitions of Care
Building Relationships

CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2015