As we approach the end of the year, this is a great opportunity to look back on a year full of significant developments concerning care coordination and patient navigation.
Here are eight of the top stories from 2016.
Medicare changes could direct $4 billion to care coordination and patient-centered care. In early November, Medicare announced coding and payment changes intended to improve how Medicare pays for primary care, care coordination and mental health care. These changes will result in an estimated $140 million in additional funding in 2017 to physicians and practitioners providing these services. Over time, if the clinicians qualified to provide these services were to fully provide these services to all eligible beneficiaries, the increase could be as much as $4 billion or more in additional support for care coordination and patient-centered care.
CMS releases MACRA final rule. In October, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which will gradually replace the traditional Medicare payment system with a new focus on value-based reimbursement.
AHA urges Congress to remove care coordination barriers. In July, the American Hospital Association (AHA) issued shared a report with Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services examining barriers to health care delivery created by outdated fraud and abuse laws. The report recommends enacting comprehensive safe harbors under the Anti-Kickback law and reforms to the Stark law to remove barriers that impede hospitals and replace them with measures to foster teamwork and ensure accountability.
Sarah Cannon and AONN+ launches cancer moonshot initiative to improve oncology nurse navigation. Sarah Cannon, Hospital Corporation of America’s global cancer institute, and the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) announced in October a joint project that will invest $12 million in measuring and improving the utilization of nurse navigation as part of oncology treatment.
American Cancer Society recommends care coordination for head and neck cancer survivors. A guideline issued by the American Cancer Society in March, recommends providers improve care coordination for head and neck cancer survivors through survivorship care plans, stronger communication between providers, and inclusion of caregivers.
Care coordination is the biggest challenge to population health management. The results of a health care leadership survey by Philips that were published in March indicated that care coordination is the biggest challenge organizations face in their effort to achieve population health management.
Caregivers of patients with cancer experience increased stress and responsibilities. A report by the National Alliance for Caregiving, conducted in partnership with the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Support Community, published in June shows that people caring for a loved one with cancer often have more intense, episodic caregiver responsibilities than those caring for someone with other health needs.
Care coordination improves outcomes for dual-eligible patients. A June report from CMS revealed that patients enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid who received care coordination demonstrated improved outcomes.