Tagged with Hospitalist

Maryland Owes Millions of Dollars to Mental, Behavioral Health Providers

Mental and behavioral health providers in Maryland are owed millions of dollars for services that have gone unpaid because of a malfunctioning state payment system. The Maryland Health Department has begun sending providers estimated payments totaling about $32 million per week until the system is fixed.

CMS Issues Quarterly Update to the NCCI PTP Edits

As a guide for physicians, providers, and suppliers billing Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries, CMS has released an update to the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) Procedure-to-Procedure (PTP) edits. The agency hopes the update will promote national correct coding methodologies and to control improper coding that can lead to inappropriate payment in Part B claims.

CMS Issues Additional Guidance on D-SNP Integration Requirements

On January 17, CMS issued a memorandum providing additional guidance clarifying Medicare-Medicaid integration requirements for Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs). The memorandum is intended to clarify distinctions between fully integrated D-SNPs (FIDE SNPs) and highly integrated (HIDE SNPs); permissibility of carve-outs of behavioral health services and long term services and supports (LTSS) for FIDE SNPs and HIDE SNPs; alignment of D-SNP and companion Medicaid plan service areas; and compliance with integration requirements for DSNPs that only enroll partial-benefit dually eligible individuals.

Year-End Spending Bills Include Millions toward Key Radiology Research Efforts

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.

CMS, HHS Proposes Changes to Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute Reforms

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 Releases Latest Claims Payment Policy Updates

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.

New York Health + Hospitals Expands Health Program for the Uninsured

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.

Texas to Receive Increase in Federal Funds for Uncompensated Care

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.

Proposed Legislation Aims to Improve Provider Directories Accuracy

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”.

Executive Order Issued to Protect Traditional Medicare and MA Plans

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.

House Approves CR, Senate Unveils Draft HHS Bill

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.

Improper Payment for Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy Planning Services

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.

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