IHA’s Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
CMS, DMHC and Provider Organizations Share Emerging Best Practices for Telehealth Claims Submission and Reimbursement
IHA's response to COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
At IHA, we’re extremely thankful for everything our members – and healthcare stakeholders everywhere – are doing to care for patients, families and communities during this unprecedented time.
We know priorities have shifted dramatically. And, at IHA, we’re committed to help. Not only by remaining focused on our work, but also by providing regular updates on how we’re adapting to meet our members’ changing needs.
Below are Frequently Asked Questions that offer the latest information on our response to the pandemic. We also encourage members to reach out to their IHA Client Success Manager anytime.
We’ll be updating this page as the situation evolves, so be sure to check back frequently.
- General Questions
- Align.Measure.Perform. (AMP) program questions
- Symphony Provider Directory program questions
Is IHA still open for business?
Yes. Well before California’s shelter-in-place order went into effect, our employees began working remotely. Protecting the health and safety of our staff, while continuing to support our members on the front lines, is IHA’s highest priority. To troubleshoot both organizational and personal challenges arising from the pandemic, the executive team holds virtual meetings every day, while the full staff does so every week.
How are you protecting members’ data now that staff are working remotely?
Over the past two years, IHA has taken steps to support efficient and secure remote working, including the protection of member information and data (reminder: IHA doesn’t handle Personal Health Information). For more specifics, participants can reach out to their IHA Client Success Manager.
Will you still host planned committee and board meetings?
Yes, however, we will hold them virtually. Now, more than ever, it’s important for our industry to stay connected while still respecting critical social distancing and shelter-in-place directives. We recommend downloading the free Zoom meeting client ahead of time to make it easier to join our virtual meetings.
Align.Measure.Perform. (AMP) program questions
MEASUREMENT YEAR (MY) 2020
How is IHA accounting for the pandemic’s impact on MY 2020 provider organization (PO) results?
Our goal is to ensure this system-wide crisis does not unfairly affect PO performance results. To achieve this, we’ll use a prioritized, more limited set of measures for measurement year (MY) 2020 for accountability purposes, including public recognition awards, public reporting, and incentive payments. We also updated the incentive design to reward providers for maintaining a certain level of performance in MY 2020 (attainment pathway) instead of holding POs accountable for year-over-year improvements (shared savings pathway).
How did you choose which measures to prioritize for accountability?
Our multi-stakeholder committee members voted to select the measures that are likely to drive the best outcomes for vulnerable populations during the pandemic while still tracking overall performance. The narrower MY 2020 AMP accountability measure set also accounts for the challenges the healthcare delivery system is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the majority of HEDIS measures in the smaller set includes updated telehealth guidance as part of measure specifications – a demonstration of the changing measurement landscape to reflect what providers are doing to ensure access.
The pandemic priority measures include:
- Prevention & Screening: childhood and adolescent immunizations
- Diabetes: statin therapy for patients with diabetes; HbA1c control; medication adherence
- Cardiovascular: controlling blood pressure; statin therapy; medication adherence
- Respiratory: appropriate antibiotic use; appropriate testing for pharyngitis; asthma medication ratio
You can find the final MY 2020 measure set on our measure set webpage.
How will you determine incentive payments for MY 2020?
AMP usually rewards provider organizations for meeting performance targets (attainment pathway) and for showing year-over-year improvement (shared savings pathway). But because of COVID-19 impacts, year-over-year performance may not accurately capture PO’s performance improvement in 2020.
That’s why our committees supported updating the MY 2020 IHA value-based incentive design to use only the attainment pathway for 2020. Instead of holding POs accountable for year-over-year improvements, the updated incentive design will reward providers for maintaining a certain level of performance. The Technical Payment Committee will be working to provide recommendations on the performance targets for MY 2020.
You can find detailed information on our value-based incentive design in the Standard Value Based Incentive Design Technical Overview document on our incentive design webpage.
Will you continue to collect and report data in MY 2020?
Yes. Our committees agreed that we should still collect and report data as usual for MY 2020, in part to provide insights from 2020 results due to COVID-19. Across all AMP programs, we plan to use the submitted data to analyze the impact of COVID-19.
Which measures are included in the MY 2020 AMP measure set?
The MY 2020 AMP measure set hasn’t changed and still includes all approved measures for this year. We plan to collect and report on these measures as usual. The only difference is that we’ll use a smaller subset of measures for PO accountability purposes.
We’ve updated the measure set to show which will be used for incentive payments, public reporting, and information only. You can find the full MY 2020 measure set on our measure set webpage.
MEASUREMENT YEAR (MY) 2019
Given the COVID-19 situation, is IHA considering any changes to the MY 2019 AMP program data submission deadline?
Our participants’ priorities have changed, and we fully support that. As a result, we’re reviewing the AMP data submission timeline to see where we can make adjustments. We’ll review our plans with the Governance Committee in April and provide an update once we have more information. In the meantime, if participants are concerned about making deadlines, they are encouraged to reach out to their AMP Client Success Manager or email the AMP team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is IHA changing when participants can access MY 2019 AMP results? Will you be shifting the overall timelines for all AMP programs?
Right now, we plan to report MY 2019 AMP results on schedule. Our staff is working remotely and is focused on meeting program timelines. However, this could change as the COVID-19 situation evolves. We’ll update members if any changes are made to program schedules. Members can see the current timeline in the AMP Data Collection and Reporting Timeline section of the MY 2019 AMP Program Manual.
How will COVID-19 impact MY 2019 results for the AMP program?
We don’t anticipate any impact to MY 2019 results. The data for these results covers services provided between January 1 to December 31, 2019, so will not be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have a specific concern about your AMP measure results, please reach out to your Client Success Manager or email the AMP team at email@example.com.
Our medical group surveys our providers to get results for Advancing Care Information (ACI) measures, but our physicians are too busy to respond right now. What flexibility do we have for reporting ACI measures in MY 2019?
We know priorities have shifted dramatically and recognize that fewer providers are likely to complete the survey this year. We will assess this impact and provide our recommendations to the Governance Committee. We’ll update you as soon as we have more information.
How does this impact HEDIS data submission and reporting?
HEDIS data submission and reporting and accreditation requirements are managed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). You can find the most up-to-date information on the NCQA website.
What if I have other questions?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're happy to help!
Symphony Provider Directory program questions
Clients’ internal resources are being directed elsewhere right now. Are we able to shift our Symphony onboarding deadlines?
Our clients’ priorities have changed, and we fully support that. We will absolutely partner with clients to adjust their onboarding timelines as needed. Clients should reach out to their Client Success Manager to discuss or email the Symphony team at email@example.com.
Will IHA still support the onboarding timeline as planned for those members who can still support the implementation?
Yes, IHA and our technology partners are all currently working remotely and will be able to support clients' Symphony onboarding needs. Over the past two years, IHA has taken steps to support efficient and secure remote working, including the protection of member information and data (reminder: IHA doesn’t handle Personal Health Information).
What should clients do if they're still interested in participating in Symphony but simply can’t proceed right now?
We know priorities have shifted dramatically. Those who are interested in Symphony, should reach out to our Business Development team at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can work with you when the time is right.