Coker Connection

Coker Connection is Coker’s premier monthly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay on top of the latest news going on in healthcare and always features two new articles by different Coker consultants. To view the most recent articles, they are included below for download.

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2019: New Year, New Physician Fee Schedule, and New Opportunities for Your Practice

By Brandt Jewell, Senior Vice President and Andy Sobczyk, MHA, FACMPE, Manager | Coker Group


With a new year freshly upon us, we would like to use this month’s Coker Connection article to analyze and explore the impacts of the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Final Rule. Our regular subscribers may recall Jeannie Cagle’s September 2018 Coker Connection article that summarized the (then) proposed rule and listed potential concerns and considerations for leaders as the rule entered the comment and finalization phase. Well, a lot happened during that comment period as physicians, administrators, and healthcare professional societies inundated CMS’ inbox with feedback. The result of this process was an 852-page final rule that adjusted several key components of the proposed rule and laid out significant changes and additions to the E&M and Quality Payment Program landscapes. If you’re looking for a good read on a cold winter night, the final rule can be found here for your enjoyment. Today, we would like to review the short and long-term impact of these changes, as well as highlight potential opportunities for health systems that roll out this year. Additionally, we will analyze and model the impact of the highly-scrutinized 2021 E&M payment adjustments.

Read more.



Past Coker Connection Newsletters

  • The Tone at the Top Sets the Standard for an Effective Compliance Program
  • IT Choice Points
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare: How is it Changing Healthcare and What are the Ramifications?
  • CDI – It’s No Longer Just About Inpatient Services
  • Has Your Practice Had an Annual Exam? Check These ‘Vital Signs’ to Assess the Health of Your Operations
  • CIO-on-Demand” – An Innovative Approach to Meet Interim CIO Needs
  • Just When Your Think You’ve Heard It All: CMS’s Proposal for an E/M Makeover
  • The Next Stage of Evolution in Physician Practice Transactions: Can hospitals compete with private equity in attracting physician group deals?
  • Health System Practice Investment: What’s the Cost?
  • Vendor Selection and Negotiating EHR Vendor Contracts
  • Interim “C” Suite Management: Develop a Customized Job Description
  • The Intersection of Compliance and Fair Market Value: Are You Sure Your Arrangements Coincide?
  • Practice Management: An Integrated Approach to Short- and Long-term Improvement
  • Healthcare Cybersecurity Threats and Trends for 2018
  • Revenue and Quality Integrity: A Comprehensive Approach to Coding, Compliance, and Clinical Documentation
  • Key Factors for Developing High-Potential Employees
  • Are Single-Specialty CINs as Valuable as Multispecialty CINs?
  • Mitigating Risk when Migrating from one EMR to Another
  • Direct to Employer Contracting Arrangements – A Response to Rising Premiums and Compromised Care
  • Patient Access
  • Physician Compensation Governance: Building a Good Foundation
  • Find, Develop, and Retain Successful Executive Leaders – A Three-Pronged Approach!
  • Front-End Patient Collections: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
  • Strategic Planning for Healthcare Systems and Practices
  • 2018 Updates to MACRA
  • Achieve Quality Improvement through IT Integration
  • The Dangers of an Unstable IT Infrastructure
  • Where’s the Value in Physician Practice Valuation
  • Practice Optimization: An Argument for Spending More
  • The Real Value of Executive Search
  • Four Areas to Incorporate in Your Hospital Service Line Strategic Planning
  • Long-Term Value Creation Through Effective Post-Merger Integration (And how football teams aren’t that different from hospitals pursing successful transaction strategies.)
  • Coding Compliance and wRVUs: What Lurks Beneath the Surface?
  • Coker IT Assessments: What’s Involved?
  • Relationship Status with Productivity-Based Compensation: It’s Complicated
  • Conflict Management and Successful Leadership
  • Coker ValuePathServices: Successfully Navigate the Path to Value
  • Revenue Cycle Management: It’s More Than You Think
  • Five Steps to Building a “MACRA Ready” Physician Compensation Plan
  • The Increasing Demands on Internal Recruitment Departments
  • Spring Is a Good Time to Clean Up Your Vendor Contracts
  • The Value of Clinical Documentation Improvement
  • Smoothing the Rough Spots in Patient Flow in Outpatient Practices
  • MACRA’s Medicare Part B Payments Under MIPS
  • Leadership Development and Succession Planning
  • Myth of the Median
  • Interim Management: Allow Your Organization Time to Find Expert Leadership
  • Cyber Security Lessons from 2016 and Trends for 2017


  • Information Technology: A Competitive Necessity or A Competitive Advantage?
  • Benchmarking to Perfection
  • The Effect of the Election on the Healthcare Industry
  • External Value-Based Incentives: What Should You Do With Them?
  • The Importance of Accurate Cost Accounting in Healthcare Delivery
  • A Reflection on Coding and Compliance Changes
  • Prepare Your Organization for Unexpected Leadership Gaps
  • Navigating the Documentation of Community Need
  • Creating Balance between Clinical Needs and Cyber Security Policies
  • Alignment Deal-Making: Keys to a Successful Transaction
  • MACRA and MIPS in Physician Practice Valuations
  • Identifying and Retaining Leadership Talent
  • MU will Soon be a MIPS – Why and What do you need to Know?
  • The First Step on the Road to Value: The Coker ValuePath Assessment
  • Harmony – MD
  • wRVUs: Are Yours Accurate
  • Credentialing: The First Step to Revenue
  • Developing a Physician Leadership Strategy
  • Too Little? Not Too Late!
  • Bridging the Gap from Fee-for-Service to Fee-for-Value (without Losing Your Mind)
  • Physician Documentation: My, How Times Have Changed!
  • A Strategic Systematic Approach to Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA): A Living Plan for Your Community Health Improvement
  • Mitigating Organizational Stress
  • When and How to Convert to another EHR
  • Do M&A Deals Really Result in Long-Term Value Creation? Increasing Your Odds of Success