Dr. Clark Trask has always emphasized wellness and preventive medicine at his family medicine practice in South Carolina. By limiting the number of patients in his practice, Trask is able to spend a lot of time with each patient, educating them about their diseases and explaining why it’s important for them to take certain medications. This strong focus on patient engagement and care gap closure positions him to succeed in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), a quality payment program.
Reporting all the necessary data for MIPS is confusing, complex, and time-consuming, but Trask says that athenahealth’s MIPS support helps his practice stay organized. “Honestly, without athena, I think it would be a really scattered approach,” Trask said. “But athena puts a lot of organization into it and makes it really easy for us.”
Staying on the right track with MIPS support
Because his practice is small, any support that takes the pressure off his staff makes a meaningful difference. “athenahealth takes the worry away,” Trask explained. “I don’t hear many positive comments about MIPS from my colleagues and friends who have other EHRs, but I would hate to imagine practicing without athena. I would have to hire another employee to do what athena allows us to accomplish regarding MIPS, and that would add significantly to my office overhead.”
The practice’s customer success manager at athenahealth helps steer Trask and his team in the right direction, proactively identifying areas for improvement. “Our CSM is excellent about sending reminders of when we need to sign off on items or if we are low on a particular MIPS benchmark,” Trask said. The proactive support empowers Trask to focus on patients, armed with the knowledge he needs to provide excellent care and simultaneously stay on track with MIPS. “These quality benchmarks are there for a reason, and we should be doing it anyway,” Trask said. “We’ve incorporated them into our processes, so it feels integrated and part of each patient encounter.”
Trask’s team also frequently checks athenahealth’s MIPS dashboards and reports to gain insight into their performance and progress throughout the year. “The dashboard serves as our GPS for MIPS and reassures us that we are meeting quality markers,” Trask said. “We can look at the dashboard and know exactly where we stand and what we need to improve. We use automatic reminders and triggers to make sure that we stay current with required benchmarks.”
The MIPS dashboards and reminders from their CSM have helped the practice achieve exceptional performance on MIPS, with a final 2020 score of 94.62 out of 100.* Succeeding with MIPS enhances the practice’s revenue potential, but more importantly, Trask emphasizes that MIPS confirms that his practice is on the right track with patient care. “Achieving high performance on MIPS is recognition that we are doing our job successfully,” Trask said. “It validates that we are doing what we need to be doing to provide the best care for our patients.”
"athenahealth takes the worry away … I would have to hire another employee to do what athena allows us to accomplish regarding MIPS, and that would add significantly to my office overhead."
- Clark Trask, M.D. and owner, Ribaut Medical Partners, LLC