By focusing on several key elements, your behavioral health practice can succeed in this new environment known as the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, aka, MIPS.
The key to survival is raising your Composite Performance Scores (CPS). It is the path to financial reward under MIPS.
These annual CPS scores are based on four categories: Quality, which will account for 50% of the score, Advancing Care Information (formerly Meaningful Use), 25%; Clinical Practice Improvement activities (15%; and Cost/Resource Use (10%). Scores will start being assigned in 2019 based on data reported in 2017.
Data is at the heart of every interaction, every transaction. Your practice must have experience in collecting and recording data. Also, you need to understand your cost centers.
Start preparing now
Let’s look at precisely where behavioral health specialists should focus their efforts in preparing for MIPS:
1 – Increase patient access
This means keeping patients out of emergency rooms – and seeing them on evenings and weekends, as well as same-day appointments. Your practice must be available when needed. Like many, you may be already working that way. That’s the new reality.
2 – Value your patients
Create a stronger connection with your patients. Bring them into a feeling of “team.” Let them know they are important to you. Patient surveys are very helpful. A patient advisory group can also be valuable. Act on patient feedback. This is imperative.
3 – Staff development
Empower your staff make improvements. Let them know their advice is valuable. Your staff are your front line patient advocates.
4 – Maximize resources
An additional revenue source will help your behavioral health practice stay solvent. Look for opportunities to create revenue streams through ancillary services like art or music therapy sessions, or special after-school or evening therapy programs for the general public. Multiple revenue streams make good business sense.
Here’s another idea: Consider taking advantage of your state’s Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) initiative. There is potential for per-patient per-month fees. This action has helped many small practices.
Watch for MIPS updates
Schedule time to absorb the coming changes and work out a game plan. Success is possible for every psychiatry practice. Every hour spent on working toward an improved Composite Performance Score will be time well spent.