If you’re just catching up with PQRS, MU, and VM (Physician Quality Reporting System, Meaningful Use, and Value Modifier), then you’re woefully behind. We have now entered the world of MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015), MIPS (Merit-Based Incentive Payment System), APMs (alternative payment models), HVBP (Hospital Value-Based Purchasing), and CJR (Comprehensive Care For Joint Replacement).

(I can just hear my old newspaper editor yelling at me about having too many acronyms in one paragraph. But, hey, this is the federal government we’re talking about).

What this means is, quite simply, that value-based reimbursement has finally arrived, at least for traditional Medicare. Although built on the old fee-for-service system, the new reimbursement structures bring rewards and penalties to all healthcare facilities and providers based on the cost and quality of the care they provide.

The formulas are complicated, the expectations are high, and, to be honest, no one really knows how it will all work. Several of the new initiatives, such as the bundled payments for total knee and hip replacements, are based on successful pilot programs, which should help.

If your head is spinning, check out my webinar on the topic. It’s about 90 minutes long, but I’ve tried to keep the acronyms under control (no easy task).

I’ll be speaking about the topic at the American Medical Writers Association annual meeting in October in Denver and presenting another webinar on the topic targeted at CME professionals in June. It’s free. You can register here.

No matter how you educate yourself on the new normal, you need to learn. If you’re in the healthcare field, you can’t afford to fall behind.

Life Is Not a Dress Rehearsal

I just returned from 12 glorious days in France touring the Chablis, Burgundy, and Champagne wine regions, something that has been on my bucket list for a long time. I tell you this not to turn you green with envy, but to compel you to think about what’s on your bucket list. As our tour guide reminded us numerous times during the trip: Life is not a dress rehearsal.

I was reminded again of this last week when a I learned that a friend’s cancer had returned, one of my husband’s golfing buddies had a massive heart attack, while another was diagnosed with late-stage prostate cancer (both are his age), and, in a freak accident, a woman was killed at the beach when an umbrella blew into her and stabbed her in the chest. And, of course, the week was capped off with the horrific shooting in Orlando.

Truly living life doesn’t have to mean a two-week jaunt to Europe. It could mean taking a Friday afternoon off to see the Picasso exhibit at the museum without crowds; kidnapping your 7-year-old from school for a long lunch and trip to the zoo; or tearing up the lawn you’ve always hated and planting a vegetable garden.

The older I get, the more convinced I am that living is about experiences, not stuff.

So get out there and experience life.  

On the Project Side …

I’ve been freelancing nearly 16 years now and I never get bored. The projects just get more and more interesting. This summer, I’m turning cardiovascular guidelines into an e-book with video and audio; writing a book on cybersecurity in health care; and covering an all-day symposium on the future of oncology. I am so lucky!

The Business of Freelancing: Getting to Six Figures

I know that many of you are freelancers or wish you were a freelancer (it’s a great life, I promise). Which is why I’m bringing back my four-week webinar on successful freelancing.

It’s been two years since the last webinar, long enough for several of my “students” to tell me they reached six figures for the first time, many after several years in the business, by following my advice.

Now it’s your turn. I will offer a live webinar on four Wednesdays in August. Each session is 90 minutes – one hour of advice and tips and 30 minutes for questions.

This is your opportunity to start off your fall (which, as we know in the working world, is the true “New Year”) on the right foot.

Can’t make the live presentations? No problem. They will also be available for viewing on demand – and I’ll respond to emailed questions.

Here are the details:
  • Wednesdays, 1-2:30 pm Eastern: August 3, 10, 17, 24
  • $279 with a money-back guarantee
  • Available live and on demand  Membership in a private LinkedIn group that will help you grow your business
  • Discounts for one-on-one coaching

You can learn more and register here. Use the code newsletter and receive a 15 percent discount off the regular price.  

Cheers from the Midwest (where summer has finally arrived).

Now that I’m living in the Windy City (well, just outside), I can cover medical meetings and conferences here with minimal expenses. Just shoot me an email with your needs: journalistic coverage, competitive intelligence, educational symposium development/management, overviews and reports are all available.
The blog has been quiet in recent months due to deadlines and my move to Chicago. But it’s worth directing you to a previous blog, one written after the massacre at Sandy Hook that tries to put these mass killings into a public health context.
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