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Policy Snapshot
March 28, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is supporting clinicians on the front lines by getting red tape out of the way so the health care delivery system can focus on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) response. CMS is implementing additional extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy exceptions and extensions for upcoming quality measure reporting and data submission deadlines for the following CMS programs:

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Provider Programs

Policy Snapshot
March 28, 2020

CMS has issued an electronic tool kit regarding telehealth and telemedicine for long-term care nursing home facilities. This document contains electronic links to reliable sources of information regarding telehealth and telemedicine, including the significant changes made by CMS in response to the COVID-19 national health emergency. 

Most of the information is directed toward providers who may want to establish a permanent telemedicine program, but there is information that will help...

Policy Snapshot
March 28, 2020

CMS is delaying the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 v1.18.1 release, which had been scheduled for October 1, 2020, in response to stakeholder concerns. Visit the MDS webpage for more information....

Policy Snapshot
March 20, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is delaying the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 v1.18.1 release—which had been scheduled for October 1, 2020—in response to stakeholder concerns. The MDS item sets are used by nursing home and swing bed providers to collect and submit patient data to CMS. This MDS data informs payment, quality, and the survey process.

In December of 2019, CMS posted a draft of the MDS 3.0 item set v1.18.0 and received...

Policy Snapshot
March 19, 2020

Last week the Society continued to push for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to lift the once a month restrictions on telehealth visits in nursing facilities. The Society continues to tell CMS that our clinicians are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and are a high-risk group of necessary staff that could transmit the virus from facility to facility since the average clinician visits multiple facilities. “By lifting telehealth restrictions on nursing facilities, it will greatly help to reduce this risk of transmission by clinicians and enable safe social...

Policy Snapshot
March 19, 2020

Facility-based measurement offers clinicians and groups the opportunity to receive scores in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Quality and Cost performance categories based on the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program score earned by their assigned facility. Check your 2020 facility-based status with the Participation Status Tool.

For more information:

Policy Snapshot
March 12, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic Congress and the administration took action to expand the use of telehealth to help mitigate the spread of the virus. In a press release on March 9, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) led with the following headline: Telehealth Benefits in Medicare are a Lifeline for Patients During Coronavirus Outbreak. Congress also authorized nearly $500 million in its $8 billion package to expand the use of...

Policy Snapshot
March 12, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to issue guidance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency:

Policy Snapshot
March 12, 2020

Last week, Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), members of the Senate Finance Committee, and Reps. Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Ann Kuster (D-NH) introduced companion versions of the Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalizations (RUSH) Act of 2020—legislation to facilitate greater use of telehealth in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).

The RUSH Act would allow Medicare to enter into voluntary, value-based arrangements with medical groups to provide acute care to patients in skilled nursing facilities using a combination of telehealth and on-site staff. Working together to...

Policy Snapshot
March 12, 2020

The data submission deadline for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians who participated in the 2019 performance period of the Quality Payment Program is March 31 at 8 PM ET. Note: The data submission period for accountable care organizations and pre-registered groups and virtual groups also closes on March 31.

For more information: