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Health Policy
November 30, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced upcoming efforts to support better care and outcomes for nursing home residents under the Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program (CMPRP). This three-year initiative aims to improve residents’ quality of life by equipping nursing home staff, administrators, and stakeholders with technical tools and assistance to enhance resident care.

As part of the CMPRP, CMS will develop a variety of work products for nursing home professionals such as staff competency assessment tools, instructional guides, training...

Health Policy
November 30, 2018

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a draft strategy designed to help reduce administrative and regulatory burden on clinicians caused by the use of health information technology (health IT) such as electronic health records (EHRs).

Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs was led by the HHS Office of the National Coordinator...

Health Policy
November 30, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) understands that if you’re a clinician living or practicing in an area affected by Hurricane Florence and/or Hurricane Michael, you may experience difficulties collecting and submitting data for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) on time during the 2018 MIPS performance period. Most recently, for those affected by Hurricane Florence,...

Health Policy
November 30, 2018

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC HIT) recently released data on electronic health record (EHR) adoption among skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and home health agencies (HHA) for 2017.

Some highlights from the report include:

  • More HHAs (78%) adopted EHRs than SNFs (66%) in 2017
  • The ability to integrate patient health information received from outside facilities lagged behind for both HHAs (36%) and SNFs (18%) compared to these facilities’ engagement in other domains of interoperability
  • HHAs (32%) and
  • ...
Health Policy
November 16, 2018

The Society brought forward a resolution to expand the use of telemedicine in the nursing facility that passed at the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates’ (HoD) Interim Meeting in National Harbor, MD. Specifically, the resolution’s resolves stated:

RESOLVED: That our AMA advocate for removal of arbitrary limits on telemedicine visits by medical practitioners in nursing facilities and instead base them purely on medical necessity and collaborate with relevant national medical specialty societies to effect a change in...

Health Policy
November 15, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released 2017 performance data for the Quality Payment Program. CMS announced the preliminary data earlier this year, and now has released additional data elements that show significant success and participation in both the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and Advanced Alternative Payment Model tracks. For a complete breakdown of the 2017 performance data, see the ...

Health Policy
November 15, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated the Quality Payment Program Participation Status Tool based on calculations from the second snapshot of Medicare Part B claims data to calculate the Alternative Payment Model (APM) entities threshold scores. The second snapshot is for dates of participation between January 1 and June 30, 2018. The tool includes 2018 Qualifying APM Participant (QP) and Merit-based Incentive Payment System APM status.

For more information:

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Health Policy
November 15, 2018

The CY 2019 Physician Fee Schedule final rule is estimated to increase the amount of time doctors and other clinicians spend with their patients by reducing the burden of Medicare paperwork. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will hold a call on Monday, November 19, from 2 to 3:30 PM ET to briefly cover three provisions and address your questions:

  • Streamlining Evaluation and Management (E/M) payment and reducing clinician burden
  • Advancing virtual care
  • Continuing to improve the Quality Payment Program to reduce burden and offer
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Health Policy
November 8, 2018

On November 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Calendar Year (CY) 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule, which will take effect January 1, 2019. The final rule updates Medicare Part B payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services under the Medicare PFS. This is the same fee schedule used to pay for Medicare Part B therapy services in nursing facilities. The final 2019 PFS conversion factor is $36.0391, a slight increase above the CY 2018 PFS conversion factor of $35.77510.

Here are how the nursing home...

Health Policy
November 8, 2018

The final performance period for the Value Modifier and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) programs was 2016 and the final payment adjustment year is 2018. Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) and PQRS Feedback Reports will no longer be available after the end of 2018. If you need these reports, download them through December 31, 2018, from the CMS Enterprise Portal using an Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) system account with the correct role. Visit the ...