Week In Review

Date: 9/15/17

Spotlight on Geriatric Emergency Care: National Collaborative Focused on Improving Care and Clinical Practice for Older Adults

With a $3 million grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation and The Gary and Mary West Health Institute, the AGS will join the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) in a new national geriatric emergency department collaborative (GEDC) to help improve emergency care for older adults. The four societies previously developed expert guidelines on geriatric emergency care in 2014. Those guidelines and new educational activities will help GEDC partners at nine leading health systems across the U.S. promote a variety of proven techniques for improving care for older men and women, from coordinating expertise among diverse professionals to ensuring that older people can transition from the hospital to outpatient settings as soon as safely possible. Learn more.

This Week in Advocacy & Public Policy

  • Dedicated Legislation Introduced to Support the Geriatrics Workforce: On Fri., Sept. 9, Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Doris Matsui (D-CA), and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced the Geriatrics Workforce and Caregiver Enhancement Act (H.R. 3713). This important legislation is tied to our advocacy with the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA), the National Association for Geriatric Education (NAGE), and other members of EWA for reauthorization of the Titles VII and VIII program, with a particular focus on codifying the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) into law, restoring the Geriatric Academic Career Awards (GACAs) as a separately funded program, and obtaining increased funding to support both initiatives. We are thrilled to report that this bipartisan bill does all of these things. Read AGS CEO Nancy Lundbjerg's latest MyAGSOnline blog post and our press release to learn more, and take action through our Health in Aging Advocacy Center to support funding for the GWEP in 2018.
  • AGS Comments on 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposal: The AGS submitted a comment letter earlier this week to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the agency's 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. In our letter, we commented on a number of proposals, including those regarding misvalued codes, telehealth services, payment for behavioral health and prolonged preventive services, efforts to reduce administrative burdens, quality reporting criteria, revisions to the Value-based Payment Modifier, and the use of the patient relationship codes under the Quality Payment Program. Our joint comments, which were signed by 10 other organizations and are summarized in the AGS comment letter, focus on ways to reform documentation guidelines for Evaluation & Management services that will reduce burden and redundant documentation, improve accuracy, and allow healthcare professionals to spend more time with their patients and improve care for Medicare beneficiaries. The Final Rule is due for release later this fall. Be sure to follow your member emails and AmericanGeriatrics.org for more details.

Upcoming MACRA MIPS Deadline

If you are participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) this year, you have until Mon., Oct. 2, to start collecting your performance data. Under CMS's "Pick Your Pace" option for reporting in Year 1, you have a flexible start date from Jan. 1, 2017, to Oct. 2, 2017. Whenever you choose to start, you'll need to send in your performance data by Sat., Mar. 31, 2018. If you think you are exempt from MIPS, you can check your MIPS Participation Status here. Clinicians participating in MIPS who report at least one quality measure or one improvement activity, or who report the required electronic health record (EHR) measures in 2017, will avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2019. Those who report more than the minimum measures can receive higher scores, and also may receive a positive payment adjustment of up to 4% on each claim in 2019 (depending on performance). Only clinicians who report no measures or activities in 2017 will receive a negative adjustment in 2019. For more information on MACRA, check out AGS's toolkit here.

Spotlight on HealthinAging: Translations of Our Popular Caregiver Self-Assessment

HealthinAging.org offers a Caregiver Self-Assessment Questionnaire that allows caregivers to consider their own health and well-being in light of stresses they may encounter during caregiving. The self-assessment comes in an interactive format that walks through the questions about caregiver health. We also offer downloadable PDF versions of the questionnaire in four different languages: Spanish, Russian, Greek, and Nepali. We welcome more translations, so contact us if you would be interested in working on one!

Board Nominations Due Mon., Oct. 2nd

Our volunteer leaders are vital to AGS efforts ensuring high-quality, person-centered care for older adults. Application season is in full swing for the AGS Board of Directors, with three-year tenures beginning in May 2018. Nominate yourself (or someone you know) by Mon., Oct. 2nd. Learn more.

Members & Geriatrics in the News

  • Cynthia Brown, MD, MSPH, AGSF; Sharon Inouye, MD, MPH, AGSF; and Ronald Shorr, MD, MS, discuss improving mobility during hospital stays based on data from a recent Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study in a report from The Wall Street Journal.
  • The Curbsiders Internal Medicine Podcast featured an interview with Sean M. Jeffery, PharmD, AGSF, on deprescribing and how to counsel older adults about polypharmacy.

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