Better Health, Better Healthcare and Lower Costs with Quality Improvement

By  Rhonda Buckholtz, CPC, CPMA, CPCI, CGSC, CPEDC, CENTC
Vice President, ICD-10 Training and Education

CMS has launched numerous programs and models to help health providers achieve large-scale transformation since the ACA was launched. Programs and models, such as the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program, Accountable Care Organizations, and the Partnership for Patients initiative with Hospital Engagement Networks, are striving to help clinicians and hospitals move from volume-based towards patient-centered quality health care services. The thought is to pay for quality, not quantity. CMS states this has resulted in fewer unnecessary hospital readmissions, reductions in healthcare-associated infections and hospital-acquired conditions, and improvements in quality outcomes and cost efficiency. Lower costs will be a goal but only with health improvement.

CMS estimates that only about 16 percent or 185,000 of the nation’s clinicians currently participate in existing programs, models, and initiatives that facilitate practice transformation.

The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative is one of the largest federal investments uniquely designed to support clinician practices through nationwide, collaborative, and peer-based learning networks that facilitate large-scale practice transformation. Transformation will allow movement and adaptation.

CMS will award cooperative agreement funding for two network systems under this initiative: Practice Transformation Networks and the Support and Alignment Networks.

Practice Transformation Networks are designed to coach, mentor, and assist clinicians in developing core competencies to practice transformation. Clinical practices are allowed to become actively engaged. The most important is that health outcomes will improve.

Support and Alignment Networks provide the workforce development using national and regional professional associations and public-private partnerships that are currently working in practice transformation efforts. These will be made up of medical/specialties societies and those others helping provide evidence-based education and offerings.

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Rhonda Buckholtz

Rhonda Buckholtz

Rhonda Buckholtz, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, CENTC, CGSC, COBGC, CPEDC,has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare, working in the reimbursement, billing, and coding sectors, in addition to being an instructor. She is responsible for all ICD-10 training and curriculum at AAPC. She has authored many articles for health care publications and has spoken at conferences across the country. She is co-chair for the WEDI ICD-10 Implementation Workgroup and has provided testimony ongoing for ICD-10 and standardization of data for NCVHS. She also sits on the Provider Outreach and Education committee for Novitas Solutions (formerly Highmark Medicare Services).
Rhonda Buckholtz

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Rhonda Buckholtz, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, CENTC, CGSC, COBGC, CPEDC, has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare, working in the reimbursement, billing, and coding sectors, in addition to being an instructor. She is responsible for all ICD-10 training and curriculum at AAPC. She has authored many articles for health care publications and has spoken at conferences across the country. She is co-chair for the WEDI ICD-10 Implementation Workgroup and has provided testimony ongoing for ICD-10 and standardization of data for NCVHS. She also sits on the Provider Outreach and Education committee for Novitas Solutions (formerly Highmark Medicare Services).

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