Average Beneficiary CMS Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) Risk Scores for Rural and Urban Providers
Risk adjustment mechanisms predict whether a given patient, or group of patients, is likely to be more or less costly to treat than the average population and provides a way to adjust payment accordingly. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) risk adjustment model is a hierarchical condition category (HCC) score. Use of the HCC model is expanding, and there is concern over whether it functions as intended. If CMS-HCC risk scores do not accurately reflect patient health status because of factors such as coding practices or capacity, then payments may not be associated with the true cost of treatment.
Existing evidence suggests that there may be cause for concern. Rural populations experience worse health outcomes than their urban counterparts. By contrast, rural Medicare beneficiaries have lower average CMS-HCC risk scores than urban beneficiaries, suggesting that rural beneficiaries are healthier and less costly. Additionally, preliminary analyses suggest that smaller physician practices, which are disproportionately located in rural areas, have the lowest average CMS-HCC risk scores. On the other hand, rural Medicare beneficiaries are younger than urban beneficiaries, and it may be the case that patients with more complexity systematically seek care in urban areas.
This brief investigates potential differences in urban and rural CMS-HCC risk scores at the provider’s patient panel level. We used the 2015 Medicare Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File to compare patient panel CMS-HCC risk scores between urban and rural providers across provider specialties, census divisions, and Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) participation requirements. Read more
Individual Champion Award Winner
CONGRATULATIONS goes to Laura Fowler, Director of Inpatient Pharmacy at Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital in Ste. Genevieve, MO, for being voted Missouri’s Rural Health Champion for 2018!
Click here to view the nomination for the 2018 Individual Award Winner: Laura Fowler
Team Champion Award Winner:
CONGRATULATIONS goes to Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital, Ste. Genevieve, MO, for being voted Missouri’s Rural Health Champion Team Award for 2018!
Click here to view the nomination for the 2018 Team Award winner: Ste. Genevieve Memorial Hospital
Congratulations to our winners on their well-deserved honor! and Thank You and all the Nominees, for all you do for your patients and your communities!
July 5, 2018
CDC Funding for Public Health Crisis Response – July 30. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will make 69 cooperative agreements with awards ranging from $100,000 up to $5 million to increase capacity for responding to the opioid crisis, declared a public health emergency last year. Eligible applicants are state, local and territorial health departments and include federally-recognized Native American tribal governments. Applicants must have functional public health emergency management already in place and aligned with CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program (PHEP) or the agency’s Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC).
Technical Assistance Agreement for Rural Opioid Response Program – August 10. The Health Resources and Services Administration will award $3 million in a cooperative agreement with one entity to provide technical assistance (TA) support for rural communities engaging in activities to combat opioid use disorder (OUD) through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Technical Assistance (RCORP-TA) . Eligible applicants include domestic public or private, non-profit entities. Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply. The award recipient will provide resources and expertise in support of prevention, treatment and recovery efforts for OUD in rural areas. See Events section below for assistance for applicants of RCORP-TA.
June 29, 2018
Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement to Support the Rural Opioid Response Program
The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will provide up to $3,000,000 per year over a four-year project period to support one technical assistance (TA) center to assist rural communities engaging in activities to combat opioid use disorder (OUD) through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP).
The Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Technical Assistance (RCORP-TA) is part of a multi-year, $130 million opioid-focused effort by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The awardee of this cooperative agreement will be an entity with the ability to provide TA on a national scale and with extensive knowledge of OUD, and OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts, in rural communities.
The RCORP-TA award recipient will provide in-depth technical assistance to HRSA’s RCORP award recipients, who will be multi-sector consortiums engaged in the planning and implementation of OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives. The TA provider’s support will promote strategies for capacity-building and sustainability, and will cultivate methodologies to assist RCORP award recipients as they address prevention, treatment, and recovery services in rural communities.
Eligible applicants include domestic public, private, and non-profit entities. Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply.
Note: The purpose of this funding opportunity is not for the receipt of TA, but to solicit an entity(s) to provide resources and expertise in support of the execution RCORP activities.