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GroupOne Health Source Practice Management Blog

      

The GroupOne Health Source Blog

 Answers and Insights Every Healthcare Professional Needs.

 

Medicare Eligible Professionals: Take Action by July 1 to Avoid 2016 Medicare Payment Adjustment

by Kaitlyn Houseman on May 15, 2015

Payment adjustments for eligible professionals that did not successfully participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2014 will begin on January 1, 2016. Medicare eligible professionals can avoid the 2016 payment adjustment by taking action by July 1 and applying for a 2016 hardship exception.

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Topics: CMS

Updated 2014 Electronic Clinical Quality Measures for 2016 Reporting

by Kaitlyn Houseman on May 4, 2015

On May 1, CMS posted the annual update for the 2014 electronic clinical quality measures(eCQMs) for eligible hospitals and eligible professionals. Providers will use these updated measures to electronically report 2016 quality data for CMS quality reporting programs, including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Inpatient Quality Reporting Program (IQR), and the EHR Incentive Programs.

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Topics: CMS, PQRS

CMS Releases 2013 PQRS and eRX Incentive Program Experience Report

by Kaitlyn Houseman on April 30, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2013 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program Experience Report.
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Topics: CMS, PQRS

CMS Proposed Rule to Shorten Meaningful Use Reporting Period

by Kaitlyn Houseman on April 14, 2015

CMS issued a new proposed rule for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs  to align Stage 1 and Stage 2 objectives and measures with the long-term proposals for Stage 3.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

Update on the Status of Provisions Expiring on April 1

by Kaitlyn Houseman on April 1, 2015

The negative 21% payment rate adjustment under current law for the Medicare Physician FeeSchedule is scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2015.  CMS is taking steps to limit the impact on Medicare providers and beneficiaries by holding claims for a short period of time beginning on April 1st.  Holding claims for a short period of time allows CMS to implement any subsequent Congressional action while minimizing claims reprocessing and disruption of physician cash flow in the event of legislation addressing the 21% payment reduction.  Under current law, electronic claims are not paid sooner than 14 calendar days (29 days for paper claims) after the date of receipt. CMS will provide more information about next steps by April 11, 2015.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, CMS

2013 Quality and Resource Use Reports Are Available Online

by Kaitlyn Houseman on March 31, 2015

Did you know that CMS provided Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) to  physicians in groups of all sizes and physician solo practitioners in September of 2014? The 2013 QRURs provide clinically meaningful and actionable information that can be used to improve the quality and efficiency of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries and also to understand and improve performance on quality and cost measures. If you are a physician subject to the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM) Program, the reports also contain information about how your performance is affecting your Medicare payments in 2015.

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Topics: CMS

NPRM for Stage 3 Meaningful Use & 2015 Edition Certification Criteria

by Kaitlyn Houseman on March 25, 2015

On Friday, CMS released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Stage 3, the next step in the implementation of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. Concurrently, ONC also announced the proposed 2015 Edition certification criteria for health IT products. Both proposed rules focus on the interoperability of data across systems, and make the EHR Incentive Programs simpler and more flexible.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

CMS Announces Extension for EPs Participating in PQRS via EHR and QCDR (QRDA III format)

by Kaitlyn Houseman on February 26, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the submission deadlines for the PQRS reporting methods below have been extended. All other submission timeframes for other PQRS reporting methods remain the same.
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Topics: CMS, PQRS

CMS Extends EHR Attestation Deadline for Medicare Eligible Professionals

by Kaitlyn Houseman on February 26, 2015

 

Eligible professionals now have until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year. 


CMS extended the deadline to allow providers extra time to submit their meaningful use data. CMS continues to urge providers to begin attesting for 2014 as soon as they can. 

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

Hospitals Must Start Medicare EHR Participation in 2015 to Earn Incentives

by Kaitlyn Houseman on February 17, 2015

Last Year for Eligible Hospitals to Begin EHR Participation and Earn Incentive Payments is 2015

To earn a 2015 incentive payment and avoid a 2016 payment adjustment, first-time participants should:

  • Begin their 90-day reporting period no later than April 1, 2015
  • Attest by July 1, 2015

Eligible hospitals that miss this deadline can still earn a 2015 incentive payment—and avoid the 2017 payment adjustment—if they begin their reporting period by July 1 and attest by November 30. However, they will be subject to the 2016 payment adjustment unless they apply and qualify for a hardship exception.

Hospitals that successfully attest in 2015 will also be eligible to earn a 2016 incentive if they continue to participate.

Eligible hospitals that begin participating after 2015 will not be able to earn incentive payments. They will also be subject to payment adjustments in 2016 and 2017.

Reforms to Medicare regulations identified as unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on hospitals and other health care providers will save nearly $660 million annually, and $3.2 billion over five years, through a rule issued today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services (CMS).

 

Additional Resources
The EHR Incentive Programs website offers tools and resources to help eligible hospitals to successfully participate:

News Update from www.CMS.gov

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Topics: CMS, Hospital Networks

CMS Considering Changes to the EHR Incentive Programs

by Kaitlyn Houseman on February 2, 2015

CMS Announces Intent to Engage in Rulemaking for EHR Incentive Program Changes for 2015

In response to input from health care providers and other stakeholders, CMS is considering the following changes to the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs:

  1. Shortening the 2015 reporting period to 90 days to address provider concerns about their ability to fully deploy 2014 Edition software Electronic Health Record (EHR) 

  2. Realigning hospital reporting periods to the calendar year to allow eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows and to better align with other quality programs

  3. Modifying other aspects of the programs to match long-term goals, reduce complexity, and lessen providers’ reporting burden

These proposed changes reflect the Department of Health and Human Services’ commitment to creating a health information technology infrastructure that:
  • Elevates patient-centered care
  • Improves health outcomes
  • Supports the providers who care for patients

While CMS intends to pursue these changes through rulemaking, they will not be included in the pending Stage 3 proposed rule. CMS intends to limit the scope of the pending proposed rule to Stage 3 and meaningful use in 2017 and beyond.

Read  Dr. Conway’s blog on this announcement. Visit the  EHR Incentive Programs web page for more information.
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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

Eligible Professionals 2014 EHR Attestation Deadline on February 28

by Kaitlyn Houseman on January 26, 2015

2014 EHR Reporting Deadline Approaching

If you are an eligible professional participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, you have until February 28, 2015 to attest to demonstrating meaningful use of the data collected during your EHR reporting period for the 2014 calendar year. If you are participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, please refer to your state’s deadlines for attestation information.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

CMS Expands Telehealth Physician Reimbursement in 2015

by Kaitlyn Houseman on December 3, 2014

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Topics: CMS, Telehealth

How to Report Once in 2014 for Medicare Quality Reporting Programs

by Kaitlyn Houseman on November 14, 2014

Providers participating in the 2014 PQRS program may be eligible to report their quality data one time only to earn credit for multiple Medicare quality reporting programs.

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Topics: CMS, PQRS

Now Available: 2012 eRx Supplemental Incentive Payments

by Kaitlyn Houseman on November 12, 2014

CMS is pleased to announce that the 2012 Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program Supplemental Incentive Payments are now available for eligible professionals who submitted data for the reporting period of January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012 and met criteria for satisfactory reporting. 2012 eRx Supplemental Incentives are provided to those eligible professionals (EPs) and group practices that submitted an eRx Informal Review (IR) request that was approved by CMS. The incentive is 1.0% of total estimated 2012 Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) allowed charges for covered professional services furnished during reporting period

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Topics: CMS

Register Now: National Provider Call on CMS 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Rule

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 27, 2014

Are you an eligible professional or eligible hospital that has not fully implemented 2014 Edition certified EHR technology (CEHRT) for an EHR reporting period in 2014? Join CMS this Thursday, October 30 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET for a National Provider Call providing guidance and instructions on how the provisions of the 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Rule can help you report for 2014.

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Topics: CMS

Last Chance to Earn Medicare Meaningful Use Incentives

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 24, 2014

2014 is the last year to begin participation in the Medicare Meaningful Use Incentive Program and earn incentives.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

Hardship Exception Application for 2014 CEHRT Issues Due 11/30

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 7, 2014

Hardship Exception Applications to Avoid the 2015 Medicare Payment Adjustment Due November 30, 2014 

CMS reopened the submission period for hardship exception applications for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to avoid the 2015 Medicare payment adjustments for not demonstrating meaningful use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). The deadline is 11:59 PM EST November 30, 2014.

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Topics: CMS

PQRS GPRO Registration Extended Until Friday, October 3

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 1, 2014

The PV-PQRS registration system, initially scheduled to close on September 30, 2014, allows group practices to register to participate in the PQRS Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) in 2014 via Qualified PQRS Registry, EHR, or Web Interface (for groups with 25 or more eligible professionals (EPs) only). 
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Topics: CMS, PQRS

CMS: Medicare ACOs have saved $372M

by Kaitlyn Houseman on September 19, 2014

Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) have improved patient care and produced $372 million in savings for the program, according to performance results released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Topics: ACO, CMS