BPCI Advanced, prior authorization among timely topics on ACC Summit agenda

Each year, the American College of Cardiology’s Cardiovascular Summit strives to provide business and leadership strategies to clinicians, practice administrators and executives.

As one of three course directors, Cathie Biga, MSN, RN, is admittedly biased but believes deeply in the value of the conference.

“Whether you’re a solo practitioner or in a multispecialty group, the summit has big takeaway messages for you,” said Biga, president and CEO of Cardiovascular Management of Illinois.

To identify the most pressing topics for industry leaders, Cardiovascular Business spoke to Biga about the meeting’s 2018 agenda. The summit will take place Feb. 22-24 in Las Vegas.

What’s new?

The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) model is so new, in fact, Biga said meeting planners had already sent out an early agenda and save-the-dates by the time CMS announced the voluntary bundled payment option in January.

The organizers scrambled to get BCPI Advanced on the docket ahead of its March 12 application date. They plan to show attendees how to make the program work in their practice, which could lead to a 5 percent bonus through the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (AAPM) track of the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

“The stuff that we’ll be focused on this year will be episodic care and dealing with … BPCI (Advanced),” Biga said. “The thread that will run through the two-and-a-half days is how you get ready for delivering care in a different way as opposed to a fee-for-service way.”

Biga said another important topic, physician coding and documentation, ties directly into payment reform because CMS includes risk-adjustment for how sick an institution’s patient population is in setting target pricing.

“The only way they will know that is through proper documentation,” Biga said.

What’s not so new?

Some of the topics at the Cardiovascular Summit are evergreens—they’re always important for practice administrators. Prior authorization has been a hot-button issue for years now and remains a headache for the healthcare industry, prompting six healthcare organizations last month to join forces to streamline preapproval for patients’ medical treatments.

That topic will be addressed, along with updates on recently implemented policies like the QPP, Biga said. For these repeat topics, experts will share what the industry has learned and the best next steps to take given available evidence.

Biga expects some of the general practice management topics to prove most valuable to her, even though she has more than 40 years of experience as a registered nurse and cardiovascular service line director. In a business that’s constantly changing, there are always areas for improvement, she’s found.

“What are people doing for quality financial integration, what are people doing for outpatient cath labs? What’s new out there that we can bring back home?” she said.