Welcome to the First Update of Health Policy Pro
Starting a new project begins with a certain amount of excitement at all the possibilities but then the work starts and dozens of small decisions take over. I am well into the process, having experienced more than a few false starts.

As I mentioned in the blurb on my newsletter, this project is intended to fill a perceived void in our collective knowledge base. We deal with Medicare and Medicaid every day and your customers and colleagues often struggle with the "how" and "why" of all the moving parts of these massive programs.

You know infinitely more about filing claims and responding to prior authorization requests than I will ever know, but how much do we actually know about how these programs work?

If this works out, I hope we all know a lot more than we do now. The process will be a bit messy but I hope you will stick with me while we put it together.
We Have a Website
OK, it's not completely fleshed out, but at least we have a web presence. Check it out at healthpolicypro.com. I decided to use a Wordpress platform, mostly because I am familiar with it, even though it has some maddening habits and inscrutable rules.

I also have a temporary logo (see the header of this email). I liked it when I first created it. Like it less now. Will keep working at it.
The First Draft Tutorials are Up
When you go to the home page of the website you will see some icons that connect to our first three tutorials. These are outlined below. These are very basic tutorials on Medicare, intended to get a novice up to speed on the basics pretty quickly. I am working on the next set of courses that will cover the landscape of Medicare Part A services. 

The courses are built on Adobe Captivate, which is a pretty good piece of eLearning software. I have some experience with it, but am still learning its devious secrets. 
Medicare: The Very Basics
This short tutorial is intended for the complete novice, although I imagine there aren't too many of those in this audience. It covers what Medicare is, who is eligible, how it's paid for, and what services are provided under each part.

I would appreciate your feedback on this. Is it too basic? Does it cover the essentials? What should be added and what should be deleted? 

Just drop a note or post a comment. It's fairly rough, but as with all these, if I wait to publish until I am completely satisfied I will never publish anything.
Prospective Payment and Patient Classification
Many programs in Medicare, and all programs under Part A, are paid prospectively. They are also modified by some sort of patient classification system (case mix adjustment). The concept is simple enough, but we all need to understand it before we get too deep in the weeds on the individual pieces of the various Part A services.

I struggled with this one and am not sure I explained it well enough. I could use your feedback on this one as well.
Elements of a Payment Rate
How does CMS take a legislative mandate to create a prospective payment system and turn it into a payment rate? What does the law tell us, and what does CMS need to do to flesh it out and create the annual updates?

Again, the process is common to all Part A services so I thought it should be a foundational tutorial. 

Again, I need your help on this one. Does it work or do I need to start over?
Your Feedback Please
Obviously, this whole thing is a work in progress. I continue to try to refine it but I need a bit of feedback to make it work for everyone else.

If you could take a look at these tutorials (they are all mercifully short) and give me your candid feedback. I welcome your straightforward criticism, not because I am a masochist, but I really want these to be helpful.

You can reach me at paul@ltcpharmacy.net

Until next time, thanks for subscribing.