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Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Includes Significant Changes in Medicare, Other Federal Health Programs   Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 12 February 2018 18:31

In the aftermath of the recent Federal budget approval on 2.9.18, analysts reveal the new budget's affect on the health sector. In addition to addressing a number of critical budget questions, the legislation includes significant health care policy changes impacting Medicare, Medicaid and...

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Last Updated on Monday, 12 February 2018 18:38
3 steps to avoid a penalty under MACRA Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Herschler   
Monday, 13 November 2017 00:00

Fierce Healthcare's Joanne Finnegan reports on Nov 9, 2017 that "the American Medical Association's president-elect, Barbara L. McAneny, MD, outlined several steps physicians can take to still participate under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), one of two available payment tracks under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)."

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 November 2017 19:38
CMS Announces New TPE Audit Program Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Parsley | Florida Healthcare Law Firm   
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 19:05

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) relies on its Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to serve as guardians of the Medicare trust fund through the MACs taking steps to prevent improper payments.  Despite that reliance, in its most recent report to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, the Government Accountability Organization(GAO) reports that improper payments totaling $41.1 billion (no, that is NOT a typo, that is a "b") occurred during 2016 in the Medicare fee-for-service program. That figure represents an overall 11% percent improper payment rate.
How many of us would feel good about being "wrong" in our core job function 11% of the time? Not very many of us, I suspect.
The GAO report goes on to quote the MACs as generally having ongoing concerns about the following types of claims as those which pose the greatest financial risk to the Medicare trust fund.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 September 2017 19:07
CMS cancels cardiac bundles, scales back CJR model: 8 things to know Print E-mail
Written by Ayla Ellison | Becker's Hospital Review   
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 00:00

CMS issued a proposed rule Tuesday <8/15/17> that would cancel or scale back major bundled payment initiatives.

Here are eight things to know about the proposed rule...

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What is care coordination and why does it matter? Print E-mail
Written by Accountable Care Options   
Wednesday, 05 July 2017 16:54

Care coordination has taken primacy in patient care, but not everyone understands what that means. Some physicians will hear the term and say, “I've always coordinated the care of my patients."

On a granular level, that’s true. Doctors have traditionally written orders, obtained offers and referrals from insurers, and sent patients to specialists for further evaluation and treatment.
In the context of healthcare reform, care coordination has a different meaning. It has expanded to all stakeholders in a patient’s health. Primary care physicians must open and maintain lines of communication with everybody involved in a patient’s care, including the individual’s family and social circle.
Why look beyond professionals? The first reason is to obtain and share health information such as surgical history, medication, most recent lab results, family and cultural traditions, and beneficiary preferences for care.

The goals are to reduce duplications of services and decrease the growth in health care expenditures for low-value services. Studies show that while some treatments do little to improve beneficiary health, they continue to be prescribed. When everyone talks about how to better patient care, more time and money is spent on treatments and lifestyle changes that have an impact.
The burden for coordinating care falls largely on primary care physicians. They ask each patient for a list of everyone involved with contact information. With patient consent, primary care physician can send data to other care providers and ask, “The next time you see the patient, would you be so kind as to give me feedback?" Once everyone is on board, collecting and sharing information becomes faster and easier.

The benefit goes beyond better care. CMS publishes practitioner data, and every physician has a financial incentive to achieve superior rankings for outcomes and efficiency. Top scores make the practice more attractive to patients and insurers seeking the highest quality at the lowest cost.

The tools to determine who’s best – and worst – are available to anyone, and payors have sophisticated means to evaluate practices. The simplest measure is the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, or CAHPS, survey. Among the questions, patients are asked, "Does your doctor seem informed about what other doctors are doing? Yes or no." The answer impacts beneficiary satisfaction scores and ultimately a practice’s bottom line.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 July 2017 17:00
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