The Virginia Cardiac Services Quality Initiative was awarded a grant from CMS to serve as a Support and Alignment Network (SAN) 2.0 in October 2016 to support clinicians’ participation in the Quality Payment Program (QPP). This contract requires the VCSQI SAN 2.0 to provide education and consultation to group practices that voluntarily seek assistance with improving outcomes, lowering costs, and enhancing clinical experiences for their patients. Through these efforts, clinicians will also be prepared for CMS’ new payment models under MACRA, MIPS and APMs, for performance year 2017 and beyond.
When a practice voluntarily enrolls in the VCSQI SAN 2.0, the following steps will begin:
- Formal assessment of the practice’s structures and processes related to measuring and improving quality, managing costs, and engaging patients in their care. This assessment is conducted through a one-hour phone interview/discussion with your practice administrator. A CMS-developed form and criteria will serve as the basis of the assessment. This form is available in advance of official enrollment for review.
- Identification of ‘gaps’ against the assessment criteria that may serve as priority areas to address. Through review of assessment results and discussion with VCSQI SAN 2.0 performance improvement experts, practice leaders will select priority areas for targeted improvement.
- Deeper analysis of priority areas to identify interventions that target gaps. VCSQI SAN 2.0 staff will help clinicians to first identify specific improvement needs and then define performance improvement teams and interventions that will address these targeted areas.
- Implementation of selected interventions. VCSQI SAN 2.0 staff will assist in development of the team plan and implementation of structures and processes that address priority areas. Participating practices are re-assessed every 6 months using the same tool and method described in Step 1. As gaps are closed, a practice will offer patients improved quality, a better experience and more cost-effective care. Furthermore, the practice will be positioned to financially benefit under the new CMS payment models, MIPS and APMs.
The VCSQI SAN 2.0 staff consultation described in Steps 1-4 are provided virtually (phone calls, webinars) and onsite when indicated. The relationship established between practice staff and the VCSQI SAN 2.0 staff will support effective analysis and improvement of identified priority areas.
Throughout the assessment and improvement activities described in Steps 1-4, practice staff will have access to multiple educational opportunities offered by VCSQI SAN 2.0 staff, other CMS-contracted national partners, and CMS. Most education programs are offered virtually through webinars; these webinars are recorded and thus available to practices in real-time or later as a recording.