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Policy Snapshot
August 6, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Proposed Rule Revisions to Payment Policies under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, Quality Payment Program and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 202.

Included in the fee schedule were a number of telehealth provisions that either extended current waivers under the public health emergency or added new services. Of note, CMS is proposing to revise its long-standing policy on frequency of subsequent nursing facility visits via telehealth. They say:

In response to...

Policy Snapshot
August 6, 2020

The July 2020 Nursing Home Compare refresh is available, including quality measure results based on Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program data. Visit the Nursing Home Compare website to view the data.

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Policy Snapshot
August 6, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule [CMS-1737-F] for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 that updates the Medicare payment rates and the value-based purchasing program for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). The rule included an increase net market basket of 2.2%. CMS estimates it would increase Medicare SMF payment by almost $750 million in FY 2021.

CMS is finalizing changes to the ICD-10 code mappings, effective October 1, 2020. CMS encourages stakeholders to continue to provide this essential feedback on the ICD-10 code mappings so that they may continue...

Policy Snapshot
July 30, 2020

Last week, Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced a new COVID-19 relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

The bill includes proposals to have the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) create nursing home strike teams, develop online staff training courses on infection control, and provide governors a list of all Medicare and Medicaid-enrolled nursing facilities that saw an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the previous week.

The nursing home strike teams would help perform medical...

Policy Snapshot
July 30, 2020

During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) relaxed requirements for a limited number of laboratory tests required for a COVID-19 diagnosis. These tests do not require a practitioner order during the PHE. CMS added a new test to this list: CPT 87426 (infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay technique, (e.g., enzyme immunoassay [EIA], enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA], immunochemiluminometric assay [IMCA]) qualitative or...

Policy Snapshot
July 23, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) extended the deadline for eligible Medicaid and CHIP physicians and organizations to submit...

Policy Snapshot
July 23, 2020

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced initiatives designed to protect nursing home residents from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

New Funding

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will devote $5 billion of the Provider Relief Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to Medicare-certified long-term care facilities and state veterans’ homes (nursing homes), to build nursing home skills and enhance nursing homes’ response to COVID-19, including enhanced...

Policy Snapshot
July 23, 2020

The Physician Compare preview period is open through August 20 at 8:00 PM ET. Preview your 2018 Quality Payment Program performance information before it appears on the Physician Compare website profile pages and in the Downloadable Database. Access the secured preview through the Quality Payment Program website.

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Policy Snapshot
July 17, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is holding the next edition of its Comprehensive National Nursing Home Training Series this Tuesday, July 21, at 4:00 PM ET. ...

Policy Snapshot
July 16, 2020

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a targeted approach to provide additional resources to nursing homes in COVID-19 hotspot areas. Specifically, CMS plans to:

  • Deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in the hotspot areas as identified by the White House Coronavirus Task Force
  • Implement an enhanced survey process tailored to meet the specific concerns of hotspot areas and coordinate federal, state, and local efforts to leverage all available
  • ...