Is MIPS really doing what it is supposed to do? Research suggests that it is not.

Is MIPS really doing what it is supposed to do? Research suggests that it is not.

How well does the Merit-based Incentive Payment Program (MIPS) of Medicare measure the caliber of medical treatment that is given? According to the findings of a recent study, not very.

The 2017 introduction of MIPS, which replaced three prior quality measurement programs, aimed to enhance patient care by financially rewarding or penalizing physicians based on their performance on particular “process” and “outcome” metrics in four key areas: cost, quality, improvement activities, and fostering interoperability.

The six metrics that participating physicians choose to report on must include one outcome indicator, such as a hospital admission for a particular disease or condition. Currently, MIPS is the biggest value-based payment program in the country.

Data from Medicare statistics and claims records for 3.4 million individuals who saw about 80,000 primary care providers in 2019 were evaluated for the study by researchers. They compared doctors’ overall MIPS scores with their scores on five process measures, including breast cancer screening, tobacco screening, and diabetic eye exams, and six outcome measures, including ED visits and hospitalizations.

The findings showed there was no consistent relationship between the measures’ performance and the final MIPS ratings. For instance, doctors with low MIPS scores scored somewhat better on the other two process measures, while having much lower average MIPS scores than physicians with high MIPS scores on three of the five process measures examined.

Low-scoring doctors performed much worse on the all-cause hospitalizations per 1,000 patients metric than they did on the other four outcome measures, although they performed significantly better on the metric of ED visits per 1,000 patients. Similar to this, 21% of physicians with high MIPS scores had outcomes that were in the poorest percentile, compared to 19% of those with low MIPS scores who performed in the top quintile for composite outcomes performance.

The findings suggest that the MIPS program’s accuracy in identifying high- versus low-performing providers is really no better than chance.

For these findings, the authors provide a number of interpretations. Among them are the challenges in making meaningful comparisons when doctors are free to select the metrics they report on, the fact that many program metrics, as other research has shown, are either invalid or of dubious validity and thus may not be linked to better outcomes, and the possibility that high scores may simply be an indicator of a program’s capacity for data collection, analysis, and reporting rather than of higher quality medical care.

They claim that the latter conclusion is supported by the discovery that participants with low MIPS scores were more likely to work in independent, small practices even though their clinical outcomes were frequently comparable to those of medical professionals in large, system-affiliated practices with high MIPS scores.

This research was released in JAMA on December 6. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2799153

Smoldering Spots in the Brain May Signal Severe MS

Aided by a high-powered brain scanner and a 3-D printer, National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers found that dark rimmed spots called chronic active lesions may be a sign of more aggressive MS.

The team previously shared instructions for programming lower-powered MRI scanners, found at most clinics, to detect rimmed chronic active lesions. They hope researchers around the world will use the instructions to develop and monitor better diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for MS patients.

Read more: https://www.itnonline.com/content/smoldering-spots-brain-may-signal-severe-ms

Improving efficiency is key to radiology’s future

 Radiology needs to become more efficient and adapt to the shift towards value-based care.

Capitalizing on IT innovation, specifically artificial intelligence (AI), will be important in the coming years as radiology becomes more complex. Physicians will need to set aside fears around AI. AI programs will simply be providing clinical decision support.

Another major trend in healthcare is to move patients away from expensive hospital care into the outpatient environment. Ultimately, the most important step for leaders moving forward in today’s current landscape is to embrace change

Read more: https://www.auntminnie.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=imc&pag=dis&ItemID=134834

Radiologists’ trust of AI is critical for hospital adoption

Today, most radiology departments with AI-enhanced imaging applications have less-than-ideal workflow integration. Standalone AI solutions that require physicians to swivel to a different screen  or log in to separate systems force the physician to be the human data interoperability layer.

Enterprise AI platforms that deliver intersystem interoperability into physicians’ current workflows are an excellent initial step.

With their reputation as early adopters of new technology, radiologists are perhaps best-suited to guide a hospital in developing a long-term, enterprise-wide AI strategy. In addition, with a significant percentage of patient encounters involving imaging studies, radiologists are gaining real-world experience integrating AI into their workflows and demonstrating the utility of AI to clinicians in other specialties.

Source: https://www.auntminnie.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=aic&pag=dis&ItemID=134824

New imaging method reveals the inner workings of a family of light-sensing molecules

Using an innovative new imaging technique, researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine have revealed the inner workings of a family of light-sensing molecules in unprecedented detail and speed. Optogenetics researchers insert genes for light-sensing molecules in neurons or other cells, enabling them to change the cells’ behavior with light pulses.

This work has revolutionized neuroscience and holds potential for treating neurological diseases as well. The more researchers know about light-sensing proteins, the further they’ll be able to push optogenetics.

Read more: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20220127/New-imaging-method-reveals-the-inner-workings-of-a-family-of-light-sensing-molecules.aspx

3 obstacles radiologists must overcome for virtual patient consultations

According to the American Journal of Roentgenology, experts listed the barriers that lie in the way of streamlining virtual radiology consultations. Three key roadblocks are highlighted below.

  • Lack of access to telehealth.
  • Participation of Radiologists and Physicians.
  • Proper reimbursement for virtual visits.

Read more: https://www.healthimaging.com/topics/enterprise-imaging/virtual-radiology-consultations

 

Researchers are developing a modified MRI protocol to help treat brain hemorrhages

Researchers with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are investigating how different MRI sequences can assist physicians in treating patients with brain hemorrhages. 

With this MRI sequence, the team hopes to see within the hematoma what percentage of the blood is already clotted and what percentage is in the liquid form. It can be determined if patients with mostly clotted blood are less likely to see their blood expand.

Read more: https://www.healthimaging.com/topics/diagnostic-screening/modified-mri-protocol-treat-brain-hemorrhages

Groundbreaking AI Technology Accurately Diagnoses COVID-19 Using Chest X-Rays in Minutes

A pioneering artificial intelligence (AI) technology is capable of accurately diagnosing COVID-19 in just a few minutes.

The groundbreaking program developed by researchers at University of the West of Scotland (UWS; Scotland, UK) is able to detect the virus far more quickly than a PCR test, which typically takes around two hours. It is hoped that the technology can eventually be used to help relieve strain on hard-pressed accident and emergency departments, particularly in countries where PCR tests are not readily available.

Read more:  https://www.hospimedica.com/covid-19/articles/294791287/groundbreaking-ai-technology-accurately-diagnoses-covid-19-using-chest-x-rays-in-minutes.html

Eliminating Lenses: Ghost Imaging Speeds Up X-Ray Fluorescence Chemical Mapping

Researchers have developed a new, focus-free technique for creating chemical maps using x-ray fluorescence. The approach offers fast, high-resolution measurements, which could be useful for analyzing chemical composition for a range of applications in biomedicine.

The new x-ray computational ghost fluorescence approach produces two sets of data for each photon energy — one with the spatial distributions of the input beam and one with the emitted fluorescence measurements. A computer program then puts these data together and overlays all the imaging data from the various photon energies to create a chemical element map of the object.

Read more:  https://scitechdaily.com/eliminating-lenses-ghost-imaging-speeds-up-x-ray-fluorescence-chemical-mapping/

Novel Nuclear Imaging Probe Rapidly Assesses Treatment Response in Gastric Cancer

A novel nuclear imaging probe can measure a gastric cancer patient’s response to treatment within days, marking a potential breakthrough that could enable patients who aren’t responding to treatment to get moved quickly to potentially more effective therapies

Current imaging modalities show tumor size, but it may take weeks before any perceptible change is demonstrated that can indicate whether the treatment is working. There is a need for new imaging approaches so that patients can be scanned within a few days after receiving treatment to see if it’s working or not.

Read more: https://www.hospimedica.com/critical-care/articles/294791225/novel-nuclear-imaging-probe-rapidly-assesses-treatment-response-in-gastric-cancer.html