Tagged with Hospitalist
The year-end spending bill package signed, last month, by the president will provide billions in funding toward research that’s key to radiologists’ work. The legislation allocates $41.7 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and also provides $338 million to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to support NIH research initiatives.
On October 9, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced proposed changes that seek to modernize and clarify the regulations that interpret the Physician Self-Referral Law (the Stark Law) and the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute. The proposed rule has been designed to provide greater certainty for healthcare providers participating in value-based arrangements and providing coordinated care for patients. The proposed changes are intended to ease the compliance burden for healthcare providers across the industry while maintaining strong safeguards to protect patients and programs from fraud and abuse.
Humana has published its latest medical claims payment policy updates, including its reimbursement policy for ambulance transportation, requirements for billing and documentation of observation services, as well as a new policy for obstetric billing, including antepartum, delivery and postpartum care.
UnitedHealthcare Expands Prior Auth Requirements and Site-of-Service Medical Necessity Reviews for Certain Surgeries
UnitedHealthcare has expanded prior authorization requirements and site of service medical necessity reviews for certain surgeries in an effort to shift surgical procedures to less expensive locations.
On October 4, New York City’s public hospital system, NYC Health + Hospitals, established a new program to provide health care to New York City’s uninsured, called NYC Care. The program originally launched in August and has a current enrollment of 5,000 people, and will expand into Brooklyn and Staten Island in January 2020.
On September 26, CMS issued The Omnibus Burden Reduction (Conditions of Participation) Final Rule, which advances the ‘Patients over Paperwork’ initiative aimed at reducing administrative costs in healthcare.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced, on October 1, that the state will be given $11.6 billion over the next three years to help reimburse health care providers for indigent services and is intended to benefit hospitals, clinics, public ambulance, and dental providers.
In a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee, Chairman Richard Neal has proposed that the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Labor and Treasury Department, along with other interested parties, consolidate their efforts to develop standards for rates for surprise bills.
Two physician lawmakers have proposed new legislation that aims to improve the accuracy of information in health plan provider directories and protect patients from surprise out-of-network bills. The Improving Provider Directories Act (HR 4575) would require health plans to provide an avenue for people to report errors in provider directories, in a “highly visible way”.
The president, on October 3, signed an executive order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to increase efforts to provide more insurance plan options under Medicare Advantage and to remove regulations that are considered burdensome to health care providers. The order is intended to protect traditional Medicare and private Medicare Advantage while ramping up alternative payment models, time spent with patients, access to innovative technology and reducing the regulatory burdens on providers.
The House, on September 19, approved a short-term spending measure that will keep the government funded through mid-November and avoid a shutdown at the beginning of October. Additionally, the Senate, on the 18th, released the FY2020 subcommittee chairman’s recommendation for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill.
A U.S. District Judge has overturned a CMS rule that had reduced Medicare reimbursement rates for off-campus hospital clinic visits.
In a recent report, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) determined that payments for outpatient Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) did not comply with Medicare billing requirements. Specifically, hospitals billed separately for complex stimulations when they were performed as part of IMRT planning. Overpayments occurred because hospitals are unfamiliar with or misinterpreted CMS guidance.
Cigna has made several additions and removals to its precertification list, as well as updates to its Preventive Care Services Policy.
CMS has posted a notice for physicians, hospitals, and other providers billing Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to ensure the payment window edits are bypassed when processing claims for donor post-kidney transplant complications services.
On June 20, CMS released a renewed guidance to state Medicaid agencies that outlines the necessary assurances that states should make to ensure that program resources are reserved for those who meet eligibility requirements.
CMS, on June 28, released its report summary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) risk adjustment program for the 2018 benefit year. The analysis found that 572 health insurers offering ACA plans participated in the program in 2018, and transfers between the companies totaled $10.4 billion.
CMS announced, on July 2, that it finalized its national coverage policy for Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM), extending coverage of blood pressure monitoring devices to all Medicare beneficiaries suspected of reporting abnormal blood pressure levels when administered in clinical settings.
CMS, on June 21, issued several new or updated frequently asked questions documents on the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Advanced Model, an Advanced Alternative Payment Model launched last October that will run through 2023.
The CMS has re-issued a memorandum on emergency stabilization and treatment of newborn infants that could cause fresh anxiety for hospitals and physicians over abortion and care for pregnant women and severely disabled infants.