Tagged with Medicare Billing

Medical Liability Reform Bill Passes House

In a vote of 218-210, the Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017 (H.R. 1215) has passed the House of Representatives and will now advance to the Senate for consideration.

CMS Releases Quality Payment Program Proposed Rule

On June 20th, CMS released its 2018 Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) proposed rule. Officially titled, “CY 2018 Updates to the Quality Payment Program,” the rule includes key policy updates that seek to streamline reporting requirements and simplify participation under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) [Track 1] and the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (Advanced APM) [Track 2] pathways created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

End-Stage Renal Disease Proposed 2018 Policy and Payment Rate Changes

CMS has issued a proposed rule that would update payment policies for the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS). The ESRD PPS proposed rule is one of several for CY 2018 that reflect a broader strategy to relieve regulatory burdens for providers; support the patient-doctor relationship in healthcare; and promote transparency, flexibility, and innovation in the delivery of care.

IN – Request for Medicaid Recipients to Work Could Face Challenges

The Governor of Indiana is seeking permission from CMS to require some Medicaid beneficiaries to be employed or searching for work to be eligible for the Healthy Indiana 2.0 (HIP) plan, but since public comments were not permitted, the state request could be facing some legal challenges.

New Medicare Cards to Offer Greater Protection

Increasing efforts toward the prevention of fraud and identity theft, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) mandates that all Social Security numbers be roved from all Medicare cards by April 2019. CMS will begin mailing the new cards with randomly-assigned and unique identifying number in place of the beneficiary’s Social Security number in April 2018.

CMS Releases 1991-2014 Health Care Spending by State

CMS’ Office of the Actuary (OACT) has released its ‘State Health Expenditure Accounts’ report detailing state-level health care spending data for the period 1991-2014. The data reveals large differences of personal healthcare spending from region to region as well as growth in spending in non-expansion states that show similar rates in Medicaid expansion states.

NH – Minuteman Health ask for 30% Rate Increase

The second-largest insurer in the New Hampshire Affordable Care Act (ACA) market has requested average rate hikes of 30% for 2018, citing Medicaid expansion and federally imposed risk adjustments as the cause for the request.

FY 2018 Budget Released

The White House has released its budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2018 and presented it to Congress. Totaling at $4.1 trillion, the proposal requests $69 billion in discretionary budget authority and $1,046 billion in mandatory funding to help the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

New Medicare Bundled Payment Models Delayed until 2018

CMS has delayed the start date of the new bundled payment program for heart attack, cardiac bypass, and hip and femur fracture episodes of care and the new cardiac rehabilitation incentive program. The agency also delayed several conforming changes to the existing Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model until 2018.

Senate Finance Committee Approves Chronic Care Bill

The Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017. The legislation seeks to expand telehealth services to Medicaid populations and has received a favorable score by the Congressional Budget Office.

CARC and RARC Updates Announced

CMS has announced updates to its Claims Adjustment Reason Code (CARC) and Remittance Advice Remark Code (RARC) policy. The newly revised set of codes provides either supplemental explanation for a monetary adjustment or policy information that generally applies to the monetary adjustment.

FL – State Legislators Approve $83B Budget

Florida House and Senate leaders have agreed to approximately $650 million in cuts to hospital payments through Medicaid. The state plans to cut its share of Medicaid payments by $250 million in the upcoming budget, which reduces federal matching dollars by more than $400 million.

Transition Period Extended for Compliance with HCBS Criteria

CMS issued an Informational Bulletin providing additional clarity on provisions of the final regulation defining home and community-based service (HCBS) settings. The bulletin indicates that that states may take an additional three years to ensure compliance with criteria of a HCBS setting. The agency says this additional time “will be helpful to states to ensure compliance activities are collaborative, transparent and timely.”

CMS gives over 800K Physicians Reprieve from MACRA Reporting in 2017

CMS has sent over 800,000 letters to clinicians, with notification that they will not be evaluated under the MACRA Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2017. Federal officials predict only about one-third of clinicians will have to file quality reports this year under the new Medicare payment system.