SonarMD™ Receives PTAC Recommendation to Advance the Case for Specialty Value-Based Payments Under APMs

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“The American Medical Association is extremely pleased that Project Sonar is the first alternative payment model nationally to be recommended to the HHS Secretary by the PFPM Technical Advisory Committee,” said AMA President-elect David O. Barbe, MD.

The American Medical Association is extremely pleased that Project Sonar is the first alternative payment model nationally to be recommended to the HHS Secretary by the PFPM Technical Advisory Committee.

On April 10th, Lawrence Kosinski, MD, MBA presented Project Sonar, a physician-focused payment model (PFPM), to the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC). The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) created PTAC to make comments and recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (the Secretary, HHS) on proposals for PFPMs submitted by individuals and stakeholder entities. Culminating months of public review and debate on the merits of the proposal, the Committee voted to recommend Project Sonar to the Secretary for limited scale testing.

“The American Medical Association is extremely pleased that Project Sonar is the first alternative payment model nationally to be recommended to the HHS Secretary by the PFPM Technical Advisory Committee,” said AMA President-elect David O. Barbe, MD. “This model holds great promise to improve patient care for serious chronic diseases while lowering spending on avoidable hospitalizations, as well as provides a means for specialist physicians who have had few opportunities to participate in alternative payment models to effectively do so.”

Project Sonar was developed by Dr. Kosinski, in partnership with the Illinois Gastrointestinal Group (IGG) and SonarMD, LLC, to improve care coordination and outcomes for patients with Crohn’s Disease. Clinicians using the SonarMD platform can track and manage patients between visits through ongoing electronic health assessment surveys. Nationally recognized, evidence-based guidelines, combined with Patient Reported Outcome survey scores, are leveraged to notify both patients and providers of health trends to address before more costly interventions are required, enhancing care management and reducing costs.

The results of a year-long study among 500 pilot patients enrolled in the initiative showed significant reduction in hospitalization and overall cost of care, which can have broad-ranging implications for other high-risk patient populations, their primary and specialty care providers, purchasers and payers. As Dr. Kosinski explains, “The management of most serious chronic illnesses requires close involvement and collaboration between the primary care physician and the specialist. Project Sonar shows how a specialty group, in partnership with a major payer, can advance overall patient healthcare management from fee-for-service to value-based care and, in the process, demonstrate cost savings with improved patient quality of life. We believe this model, proven in patients with IBD, is applicable to other conditions where there is an opportunity to improve care by addressing the necessity of services and potentially avoidable hospitalizations.”

The next step is for PTAC to draft its report to the Secretary transmitting its recommendations and rationales for those recommendations. The Secretary will post his response to PTAC’s recommendations on the CMS website.

In the News: MedPage Today: PTAC OK’s Alternative Payment Model for IBD

For further information, contact Scott Brown, sbrown(at)sonarmd.com, 847-496-9006 or visit http://www.sonarmd.com.

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Scott Brown
Mutare Software
since: 07/2010
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