The AMGA 2019 Annual Conference was held March 27–30 in National Harbor, Maryland. The conference is tailored to medical groups and physician practice groups focused on improving the quality of patient care. As the industry transitions from volume to value-based care payment models, conference attendance has been strong. Healthcare leaders and other attendees are looking to share best practices, experiences, and learn new strategies from their peers. This year was no exception as the conference was attended by over 1,500 participants with medical and clinical leadership comprising approximately 85%.

Interactivity with fellow leadership

AMGA modified the conference format this year and included a new section for networking discussion groups. These were interactive discussion groups organized by hot topic to share challenges and successes from peers focused on similar issues.

Facilitated by respected leaders at AMGA member organizations, participants had a choice of sessions covering a broad spectrum of topics including a few listed below.

  • Advanced Practice Providers/Clinicians: establishing collaborative models and developing high-functioning teams
  • Medicare Advantage: developing strategies to achieve success and optimizing your program
  • Physician Engagement: navigating challenges to enhance provider satisfaction
  • Population Health: succeeding when you don’t have the resources

From my perspective attending last year’s AMGA annual conference, the buzz on the floor was an increase in conversations around revenue cycle management, operational improvement, and reimbursement optimization. There was certainly a shift in emphasis from last year’s conference as session topics and peer conversations focused on global strategic initiatives as we continue the transition into the value-based environment.

Evolving global initiatives 

Many of the educational sessions focused on global initiatives and strategies emphasizing the need to have physicians spend more time with patients and improving outcomes. Case studies and performance improvement initiatives directed at closing operational gaps, physician education, and improving documentation and coding accuracy were shared. Here are four highlights from the conference.

By focusing on improving their population health care delivery model, this healthcare system increased HCC capture rates by more than 10 percent adding close to $3 million in additional revenue.

Presenters provided their insights on how they focused on people, processes, and technologies necessary to achieve significant ROI in both the fee-for-service and risk-based contract environments of today.

By optimizing technologies, this healthcare system successfully closed gaps resulting in $3.7 million additional billing revenue.

Presenters explained how technology, reporting, and analytics enabled them to successfully close care gaps improving patient outcomes. This was accomplished by optimizing technologies which they identified as a driver for succeeding in the value-driven payment model environment

Primary care clinic identifies an additional 23 percent in undocumented chronic conditions.

Presenters provided a case study on their primary care operational redesign, resulting in better coordination of care and the identification of an additional 23 percent in undocumented chronic conditions

Health system achieves an increase in HCC diagnoses code capture of 10 percent.

Presenters provided their strategies and solutions for maintaining clinical excellence while balancing cost, patient safety, and managing the administrative burdens of clinical documentation in the EMR, medication management, coding, and charging. Through this initiative, an increase in HCC diagnoses code capture was achieved and clinical documentation improved, while automating 112,000 medication renewals increasing physician effectiveness and patient safety.

The challenges of transition

As the industry continues to transition from fee-for-service to risk-based reimbursement models, health systems face similar challenges to achieve success with value-based care. Organizations are embracing these challenges as they continue to develop their clinical, operational and financial strategies for success. AMGA 2019 was educational and insightful into the key issues facing physician practice groups today. Looking forward to AMGA 2020 to see the future progress organizations make in today’s ever-changing regulatory environment.

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