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Policy Snapshot
November 1, 2019

Last week the House of Representatives passed H.R. 647, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA). The bipartisan bill, authored by Reps. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY), and Buddy Carter (R-GA), supports palliative care education for physicians, nurses, clinical social workers, and others who make up the...

Policy Snapshot
November 1, 2019

Last week the Society, along with the American Medical Association and many other national and state medical societies, sent a letter to Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) concerning language in a recent executive order entitled, “Protecting and Improving Medicare for our Nation’s Seniors.” The letter noted the groups’ concern with language related to the supervision and reimbursement of nonphysician professionals.

“We are highly concerned this language requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to propose a regulation to eliminate or...

Policy Snapshot
November 1, 2019

Staffing data from July 1-September 30 must be submitted no later than 45 days from the end of the quarter. The final submission deadline for this quarter is November. Only data successfully submitted by the deadline is considered timely and used on the Nursing Home Compare website and in the five-star rating calculations. Once a facility uploads its data file, it needs to check the final Validation Report, which can be accessed in the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting (CASPER) folder, to verify that the data was successfully submitted.

It may take up to 24 hours...

Policy Snapshot
November 1, 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted six Continuing Medical Education (CME) modules on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Access them by logging into the Medicare Learning Network Learning Management System. Modules include:

  • Quality Payment Program (QPP) 2019 Overview: Information on the origin and objectives of the program, MIPS, and Advanced Alternative Payment Models
  • QPP MIPS: Participation
  • ...
Policy Snapshot
November 1, 2019

The QPP website has been updated to include 2019 Alternative Payment Model (APM) Incentive Payment details. Clinicians and surrogates can now log in to the QPP website using...

Policy Snapshot
October 25, 2019

AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) have issued a joint letter in response to a House Ways Means Committee inquiry made by Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) on the utilization of antipsychotics in the nursing home.

The groups state that while they share in the chairman’s concerns on the inappropriate use of antipsychotics, it is important to note that “the important decision to reduce and/or eliminate medications is one based on diagnosis, evidence, and thorough evaluation of patient welfare....

Policy Snapshot
October 24, 2019

Seema Verma, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has announced plans to modernize Medicare’s integrity methods to protect from fraud, waste, and abuse. CMS is developing a five-pillar program integrity strategy:

  • Stop Bad Actors: CMS will increase their work with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Unified Program Integrity Contractors (UPICs) to deliberate on potential health care fraud cases, quickly direct them to law enforcement, and take appropriate administrative action such as payment
  • ...
Policy Snapshot
October 24, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new module, A Nurse's Call to Action for Safer Opioid Prescribing Practices in the interactive online training series, Applying CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids. In this module, nurses learn how they can support the implementation of the CDC guideline to address the opioid overdose epidemic.

Each module offers free continuing education and includes...

Policy Snapshot
October 24, 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted five Continuing Medical Education (CME) modules on Alternative Payment Models (APMs). Access them by logging into the Medicare Learning Network Learning Management System. Modules include:

  • Quality Payment Program 2019 Overview: Information on the origin and objectives of the program, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), and Advanced APMs
  • Transitioning to an
  • ...
Policy Snapshot
October 17, 2019

On October 10, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) published a new Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics, which provides advice to clinicians who are contemplating or initiating a change in opioid dosage. Prescription opioids help the patient only when the benefit of using opioids outweighs the risks. But once a patient is on opioids for a prolonged period, any abrupt change in the patient’s regimen...