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Health Policy
August 15, 2019

One of the biggest complaints in today’s digital world is that it has not extended into the health care world. While many hospitals and physician offices have adopted some type of electronic medical record, and there is no shortage of new companies popping up every day, the world of interoperable data exchange still is elusive. In the post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) world, things are even more challenging given that they were left out of the major funding source that spurred the adoption of Health IT in the sector.  Even with the proliferation of Health IT, much of it remains in...

Health Policy
August 15, 2019

The Medicare Learning Network is hosting a call on September 10 from 1:30 to 3:00 PM ET, Dementia Care: Supporting Comfort and Resident Preferences. During this call, you’ll be able to gain insight on approaches to care for residents living with dementia that focus on resident preferences, maintaining comfort, and assisting with unmet needs. Additionally, a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) representative will provide updates on the progress of the ...

Health Policy
August 15, 2019

On October 1, the new Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) is replacing the Resource Utilization Group, Version IV (RUG-IV) for the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has videos to help you prepare:

Health Policy
August 8, 2019

Proposed changes to the CY 2020 Physician Fee Schedule are aimed at reducing burden, recognizing clinicians for the time they spend taking care of patients, removing unnecessary measures, and making it easier for clinicians to be on the path toward value-based care. During this listening session on Monday, August 12, from 1 to 2:30 PM ET, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) experts will cover three provisions from the proposed rule and address your questions so you can formulate your written comments for formal submission:

  • Increasing value of Evaluation and
  • ...
Health Policy
August 8, 2019

Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)-eligible clinicians: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an article about reporting Patient Relationship Categories and Codes (PRC) on Medicare claims. Note: Reporting these codes will not affect reimbursement or have an impact on beneficiaries.

Voluntary Reporting Period: As of January 1, 2018, Medicare Part B MIPS-eligible clinicians may report patient relationships on...

Health Policy
August 8, 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the latest episode of its podcast, CMS: Beyond the Policy. This edition focuses on the first part of its five-pronged strategy on strengthening oversight in nursing homes. You can also listen to the podcast on Google Play  and ...

Health Policy
August 1, 2019

On July 29, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that includes proposals to update payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2020. Also released was CMS’ proposed policies for the 2020 performance year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The Society will continue to review the rules and submit comments in September.

Here are some highlights of the PFS:

CY 2020 PFS Conversion...

Health Policy
August 1, 2019

On July 30, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule for FY 2020 Medicare payment rates and quality programs for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs). CMS projects aggregate payments to SNFs will increase by $851 million, or 2.4%, for FY 2020 compared to FY 2019. This estimated increase is attributable to a 2.8% market basket increase factor with a 0.4 percentage point reduction for the multifactor productivity adjustment.

The final rule also includes:

  • Payment policy
  • Sub-regulatory process for ICD-10 code revisions
  • ...
Health Policy
July 25, 2019

Last week representatives from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) testified publicly to the Senate Special Committee on Aging about their Improved Oversight Needed to Better Protect Residents from Abuse report. The report noted that “while abuse in nursing homes is often underreported, we found that abuse citations more than doubled from 2013-2017. We also found that gaps in CMS’s [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] oversight make it harder to protect residents. Oversight is critical in addressing and preventing...

Health Policy
July 25, 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is tracking the progress of the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes by reviewing publicly reported measures. The official measure of the Partnership is the percentage of long-stay nursing home residents who receive antipsychotic medication, excluding residents diagnosed with schizophrenia, Huntington's disease, or Tourette’s syndrome. In...