Tagged with Telemedicine
CMS has released final rules for the 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The rules, scheduled to take effect January 1, 2018, address changes within the fee schedule as well as other Medicare Part B payment policies, such as changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program.
Massachusetts Senate leaders have released a comprehensive health care legislation containing a wide range of provisions that, if finalized, would require the state to report the top 50 employers with the highest number of employees who receive coverage through MassHealth as well as require those companies identified to pay a large portion of a $200 million assessment to cover funding shortfalls in the state’s Medicaid program, MassHealth.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has proposed a rule that would preempt state laws restricting the ability of VA healthcare providers to supply telehealth services to veterans across state lines or within states, intended to increase the availability of mental health, specialty care, and general clinical care to veterans, especially in rural areas.
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.
CMS has released the 2017 list of approved qualified registries. Physician practices may utilize these third-party vendors to report individual or group data for the Quality, Advancing Care Information, and Improvement Activities categories of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in order to avoid a -4% penalty and potentially earn a small bonus in 2019.
The CHRONIC Care Act of 2017 was reintroduced to Congress this month. The proposed bill targets Medicare payment reform for chronic disease management services and would promote the use of telehealth by eliminating geographic restrictions on telestroke consult services, expand telehealth coverage under MA part B, and give ACOs more flexibility to use telehealth services.
The bill hopes to expand existing telehealth services for Medicare patients by improving Medicare reimbursements and encouraging healthcare providers to launch telehealth programs through the DHHS’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
The Rhode Island telehealth firm, American Well, along with many other top telehealth firms, are turning their sights toward hospitals and health systems and have been rapidly expanding the parts of their businesses which cater directly to providers.
CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt is urging healthcare and political leaders to continue value-based care progress made under the Affordable Care Act, including value-based care progress after MACRA implementation through universal coverage, the CMS Innovation Center, interoperable health IT, and patient-centered care.
In a unanimous vote of 97-0, the Senate has passed the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act in an effort to increase access to healthcare in rural areas through the use of telehealth.
Eleven private insurers have joined forces in seeking action from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to expand data collection when scoring congressional proposals to include telemedicine data from non-Medicare sources as a means to support value-based care efforts.
CMS has issued the final rule updating the Medicare’s physician fee schedule for 2017. Under the final rule, physician payment rates increase slightly, as called for by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.
Telemedicine has been around in one form or another for many years. But the convergence of technology and need (care coordination, medical services in rural areas, etc.) is now driving rapid expansion. Whether this continues to the point where telemedicine is mainstream will be determined by regulatory action and provider inertia.