CMS Proposes Updates to Medicare Hospice Wage Index/Rates for FY 2016

CMS published a proposed rule on May 5, 2015 that would update Medicare hospice payment rates and the wage index for fiscal year (FY) 2016. CMS estimates that the proposed rule would increase overall payments to hospices by about 1.3%, or $200 million, in FY 2016. This increase reflects a 1.8% proposed FY 2016 hospice payment update, which is reduced by the use of updated wage index data and the last year of the phase-out of the wage index budget neutrality adjustment factor (-0.7% decrease), and further increased as a result of a transition to new Office of Management and Budget Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) delineations for the FY 2016 hospice wage index (0.2% increase).

In addition, CMS proposes to create two different payment rates for routine home care (RHC) that would provide a higher base payment rate for the first 60 days of hospice care and a reduced base payment rate for subsequent days. CMS also would establish a service intensity add-on (SIA) payment for services provided in the last 7 days of a beneficiary's life, if the following criteria are met: (1) the day must be billed as a RHC level of care day; (2) the day must occur during the last 7 days of life (and the beneficiary is discharged dead); (3) direct patient care must be provided by a RN or a social worker; and (4) the service may not be provided in a skilled nursing facility or nursing facility. The proposed SIA payment would equal the continuous home care (CHC) hourly payment rate multiplied by the amount of direct patient care provided by a RN or social worker for up to 4 hours total, per day, as long as the four criteria are met.

The proposed rule also would, among other things: implement Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act) changes to the aggregate cap calculation; align the cap accounting year for both the inpatient cap and the hospice aggregate cap with the federal fiscal year starting in FY 2017; make changes to the hospice quality reporting program; and clarify requirements for diagnosis reporting on the hospice claim.  CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule until June 29, 2015.

CMS Invites Suggestions for Potential PQRS Measures

CMS is soliciting quality measure suggestions for potential use in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and other quality programs in future years. Measures submitted by June 15, 2015 may be considered for inclusion on the 2015 Measures Under Consideration (MUC) list for implementation in PQRS as early as 2017. CMS notes that it will give priority to measures that are outcome-based, address a measure gap, and reflect the most up-to-date clinical guidelines. CMS is not accepting claims-based only reporting measures in this process.

CMS Call: Medicare Acute Care Quality and Reporting Programs (May 12)

On May 12, 2015, CMS is hosting a call that will provide an overview of all Medicare hospital inpatient quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs. Specifically, the call will cover: the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program; the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (HVBP) Program; the Hospital Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP); the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP); and the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program. The target audience for this call is hospital administrators, executive-level leaders, quality professionals, and staff new to quality reporting programs. Registration closes at noon on the day of the call or when available space has been filled.

CMS Issues Proposed Rule to Update FY 2016 IPPS, LTCH PPS Rates, Policies

On April 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is publishing its proposed rule to update the Medicare acute hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system (PPS) for fiscal year (FY) 2016.  CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule until June 16, 2015. The final rule will be published by August 1, 2015, and generally will apply to discharges occurring on or after October 1, 2015.

With regard to the IPPS, CMS projects that the rate and policy changes in the proposed rule would increase IPPS operating payments by approximately 0.3%, or about $120 million in FY 2016. The proposed rule would provide for a 1.1% operating payment rate update for hospitals that submit quality data and are meaningful users of Electronic Health Records (EHR). This update reflects a 2.7% market basket update, adjusted by a -0.6 percentage point multi-factor productivity (MFP) cut and an additional -0.2 percentage point cut (as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, or ACA), with an additional -0.8 percentage point documentation and coding recoupment adjustment required by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

Updates to IPPS hospitals are subject to several quality-related adjustments under the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, the Hospital-Acquired Condition (HAC) Reduction Program, the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program, and the EHR Incentive Program. Hospitals that do not successfully participate in the Hospital IQR Program will be subject to a one-fourth reduction of the market basket update, which CMS estimates would equal 0.675 percentage points. Hospitals that are not meaningful EHR users would be subject to a separate reduction equal to half of the market basket update in FY 2015 (currently estimated to be a 1.35 percentage point reduction).

The proposed rule also would make numerous changes to hospital quality programs, including updates to quality measures. CMS also would increase the reduction to base diagnosis related group (DRG) payments under the Hospital VBP Program from 1.5% to 1.75%. In addition, CMS addresses, among many other things: proposed changes to MS-DRG classifications and recalibration of relative weights, new technology add-on payment applications, rate-of-increase limits for certain hospitals excluded from the IPPS that are paid on a reasonable cost basis, distribution of Medicare disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotments in accordance with the ACA, and a potential future expansion of the Bundled Payments for Care Initiative.

With regard to LTCHs, the proposed rule would provide for a standard federal rate of $41,884, reflecting an adjusted market basket increase of 1.9%. Nevertheless, CMS estimates that LTCH PPS payments would decrease by 4.6% (approximately $250 million) under the proposed rule. CMS attributes this cut largely to implementation of the Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013, which requires CMS to establish an alternative site-neutral payment rate, generally based on IPPS rates, for Medicare inpatient discharges from an LTCH that fail to meet certain statutory-defined, patient-level clinical criteria, beginning with LTCH discharges occurring in cost reporting periods beginning on or after October 1, 2015. Under the patient-level clinical criteria, LTCHs will be reimbursed under LTCH PPS only if, immediately preceding the patient’s LTCH admission, the patient was discharged from a general acute care hospital paid under IPPS and the patient’s stay included at least three days in an intensive care unit or coronary care unit or the patient is assigned to an MS LTC DRG for cases receiving at least 96 hours of ventilator services in the LTCH. Patient’s discharge from an LTCH with a principal diagnosis relating to psychiatric or rehabilitation services may not be reimbursed under LTCH PPS. For any Medicare patient who does not meet the patient-level clinical criteria, the LTCH will be paid a lower “site neutral” payment rate, which will be the lower of (1) the IPPS comparable per diem payment rate including any outlier payments, or (2) 100% of the estimated costs for services.

The proposed rule would establish the patient-level clinical criteria by adopting a new rule at 42 C.F.R. § 412.522 and address implementation issues, including the transitional blended payment rate methodology for FYs 2016 and 2017. CMS projects that payments for these site neutral payment rate cases will decrease by approximately 14.3% (or about $293 million). On the other hand, about 54% of LTCH cases are expected to meet the criteria for exclusion from the site neutral payment rate in FY 2016, and be paid based on the LTCH PPS standard federal payment rate. CMS projects that payment for those cases that qualify for the standard LTCH PPS payment rate will increase by 1.9%, reflecting a 2.7% market basket update reduced by a 0.6 percentage point multi-factor productivity adjustment and an additional adjustment of -0.2 percentage point under the ACA.

CMS Releases Proposed FY 2016 Medicare Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities PPS Update

CMS issued a proposed rule on April 24, 2015 that would update FY 2016 Medicare payment policies and rates for the Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities (IPF) PPS. The proposed rule also would update quality measures and reporting requirements under the the IPF Quality Reporting Program, under which facilities report on quality measures or are subject to a 2 percentage point reduction in their annual payment update. The proposed rule would expand the measure sets in future fiscal years and change certain data reporting requirements for these measures. CMS proposes a 1.6% update for FY 2015, which would increase aggregate payments by $80 million compared to FY 2015 levels. The proposed update reflects a 2.7% increase under a proposed new IPF-specific market basket, reduced by a 0.6 percentage point productivity adjustment and an additional 0.2 percentage point reduction under the ACA, and further reduced by 0.3% as a result of an update of the outlier fixed-dollar loss threshold amount. CMS also proposes to transition to new Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) designations in IPF PPS wage index, and phase out the rural adjustment for IPF providers whose status changes from rural to urban as a result of the proposed wage index CBSA changes.  The official version of the rule will be published on May 1, 2015, and CMS will accept comments on the proposed rule until June 23, 2015.

CMS Proposes FY 2016 Update to SNF PPS Rates, Policies

On April 20, 2015, CMS published its proposed rule updating Medicare skilled nursing facility (SNF) PPS rates and policies for FY 2016. CMS projects that the proposed rule would increase overall payments to SNFs by $500 million, or 1.4%, compared to FY 2015 levels. This update would be attributed to a 2.6% market basket increase that would be reduced by a 0.6 percentage point forecast error adjustment and a 0.6 percentage point multifactor productivity adjustment.

The proposed rule also would implement a provision of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act) that reduces, by two percentage points, the annual update to SNFs that fail to submit required quality data to CMS under the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP), beginning with FY 2018. CMS is proposing to adopt three measures SNFs would be required to report beginning with the FY 2018 SNF QRP that address three quality domains identified in the IMPACT Act: (1) skin integrity and changes in skin integrity; (2) incidence of major falls; and (3) functional status, cognitive function, and changes in function and cognitive function. The proposed measures are intended to address the IMPACT Act requirement of standardized post-acute care data reporting across home health agencies, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long term care hospitals, and SNFs. CMS intends to propose additional quality measures and resource use measures in future rulemaking.

Additionally, CMS proposes establishing a 30-day all-cause, all-condition hospital readmission quality measure that will be used in a new SNF Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program beginning with FY 2019, as required by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA). CMS notes that PAMA also requires CMS to specify an all-condition, risk-adjusted potentially preventable hospital readmission rate, which CMS intends to address in future rulemaking. CMS also seeks comments on numerous issues associated with the SNF VBP Program, which will be addressed in the FY 2017 SNF PPS proposed and final rules. In addition, the proposed rule would establish new regulatory reporting requirements for SNFs and nursing facilities to electronically submit staffing information based on payroll data, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until June 15, 2015.

CMS Proposes 1.7% Increase in Medicare IRF PPS Payments for FY 2016

On April 23, 2015, CMS released its proposed rule to update Medicare prospective payment system (PPS) rates for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) for FY 2016, which begins October 1, 2015. CMS estimates that rates would increase by 1.7% overall ($130 million) under the proposed rule compared to FY 2015 levels. This proposed increase reflects a 2.7% market basket update (using a proposed new IRF-specific market basket) that is reduced by a 0.6 percentage point multi-factor productivity adjustment and an additional 0.2 percentage point reduction required by the Affordable Care Act, with an additional 0.2% decrease resulting from an update to the outlier threshold.

CMS proposes to revise quality measures and reporting requirements under the IRF quality reporting program, including adopting measures to satisfy the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act). Specifically, CMS is proposing to adopt measures in the following three domains for FY 2016: (1) skin integrity and changes in skin integrity; (2) incidence of major falls; and (3) functional status, cognitive function, and changes in function and cognitive function. The reporting of data for these measures would affect the payment determination for FY 2018 and subsequent years. These measures are also being implemented for long-term care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies. CMS also is proposing other IRF quality provisions, including implementing public reporting of IRF quality data beginning in 2016 and temporarily suspending a current quality data validation policy. In addition, the proposed rule would phase in revised wage index changes. CMS is not proposing changes to the facility-level adjustment factors for FY 2016; CMS will maintain the facility-level adjustment factors at FY 2014 levels.  The official version of the proposed rule will be published on April 27, 2015, and comments will be accepted until June 22, 2015.

CMS Issues First Hospital Compare Star Ratings

CMS is now posting star ratings on Hospital Compare to help consumers assess hospital performance related to patient experience of care. The Hospital Compare star ratings are based on data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS) measures on patients’ perspectives of hospital care, including such topics as: how well nurses and doctors communicated with patients; how responsive hospital staff were to patient needs; how clean and quiet hospital environments were; and how well patients were prepared for post-hospital settings. CMS is posting 12 HCAHPS Star Ratings on Hospital Compare: one for each of the 11-publicly reported HCAHPS measures and a summary star rating. The ratings will be updated each quarter.

CMS Report Assesses Effectiveness/Impact of Medicare Quality Measures

CMS has released the “2015 National Impact Assessment of Quality Measures Report,” which examines the effectiveness of quality measures used in CMS hospital, ambulatory, and post-acute quality programs. The report found that 95% of 119 publicly reported measure rates across seven quality reporting programs showed improvement from 2006 to 2012, with process measures most likely to be high performing. There were also achievements in reducing disparities in measure rates based on race and ethnicity. According to the report, CMS programs and measures reach a wide range of patients with high-impact medical conditions, although measures are not evenly distributed across CMS reporting programs. The report also considers measure alignment with other programs, impact beyond Medicare, measure exclusions, and other performance metrics. Numerous action items are suggested to guide future measure design and development. 

CMS Call on Physician Quality Reporting Programs (March 18)

On March 18, 2015, CMS is hosting a call to discuss how providers may report once across various 2015 Medicare Quality Reporting Programs, including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, the Value-Based Modifier (VM) program, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Providers that satisfactorily report will avoid the 2017 PQRS negative payment adjustment, satisfy the Clinical Quality Measure component of the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, and satisfy requirements for the VM.

CMS Raises the Bar for Nursing Home Quality Ratings under "Nursing Home Compare 3.0"

CMS has made revisions to the measurements used in the Nursing Home Compare Five Star Quality Rating System that have resulted in a decline in the star rating for about one-third of nursing homes. Specifically, on February 20, 2015, CMS added quality measures regarding the use of antipsychotics, revised the calculation of nursing home staffing levels, and strengthened the criteria for nursing homes to achieve top “star” ratings. According to CMS, before this “recalibration” (dubbed Nursing Home Compare 3.0), about 80% of nursing homes received either a 4 or 5-star quality rating; now about 49% will receive these top star ratings. The number of nursing homes receiving one star has increased from 8.5% to 13% after the recalibration. CMS advises consumers to rely on multiple factors in selecting a nursing home, however, including star ratings, visits, and reputation.

CMS Adds Star Ratings to Dialysis Facility Compare

On January 22, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added star ratings to the Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC) website, with a one- to five-star rating assigned based on performance on nine quality measures. CMS plans to update the star ratings annually beginning in October 2015. CMS also announced plans to add the dialysis facility Standardized Readmission Ratio (SRR) to the data available on the DFC website, although it will not be included in the star rating at this time. 

MedPAC Voices Concerns about Growing Volume, Burden of Medicare Quality Measures

In December 2014, CMS released a 329-page list of quality measures under consideration for the Medicare program. In a January 13, 2015 comment letter, MedPAC observes that volume of measures under consideration “reinforces our concerns that Medicare’s provider-level measurement activities are accelerating without regard to the costs or benefits of an ever-increasing number of measures.” MedPAC suggests that CMS is “relying on too many clinical process measures that are, at best, weakly correlated with health outcomes.” Moreover, including numerous process measures could reinforce “undesirable payment incentives in FFS Medicare to increase the volume of services and is overly burdensome on providers to report, while yielding limited information to support clinical improvement or beneficiary choice.” While acknowledging that CMS includes more measures than will be adopted in order to solicit comments, MedPAC urges CMS to “carefully consider whether each additional measure would simply reinforce or exacerbate the current system’s problems.”

The following is MedPAC’s count of measures under consideration (note that the largest number of measures under review this year apply to accountable care organizations):

CMS program*

Number of measures under consideration

Medicare Shared Savings (ACOs)

116

Physician Feedback/Quality and Resource Utilization Reports

102

Physician Value‐Based Payment Modifier

102

Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System

96

Physician Compare

96

Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs for Eligible Professionals

31

Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting

29

Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting

16

Hospital Value‐Based Purchasing

12

Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting

9

PPS‐Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting

9

End‐Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program

7

Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Quality Reporting

6

Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Quality Reporting

4

Long‐Term Care Hospital Quality Reporting

4

Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs for Eligible Hospitals/CAHs

4

Hospital‐Acquired Condition Reduction Program

2

Home Health Quality Reporting

1

Hospital Readmission Reduction Program

1

Skilled Nursing Facility Value‐Based Purchasing Program

1

Hospice Quality Reporting

0


 *A single measure may be under consideration for more than one program.
Notes: ACOs (accountable care organizations); PPS (prospective payment system); CAHs (critical access hospitals).

CMS Call: Medicare Quality Reporting Programs: Data Submission Process (Jan. 13)

On January 13, 2015, CMS is hosting a national provider call to provide an overview of the 2014 submission process for Medicare quality reporting programs, including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Value-Based Payment Modifier, and the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program. This session will discuss how eligible professionals and PQRS group practices can earn the 2014 PQRS incentive and avoid the 2016 negative PQRS payment adjustment through these reporting mechanisms.

CMS Call on Adding Star Ratings to Medicare Home Health Compare (Dec. 17)

On December 17, 2014, CMS is hosting a Special Open Door Forum (SODF) call to allow stakeholders to provide feedback on the planned addition of star ratings to the Medicare.gov Home Health Compare web site. 

GAO Calls on CMS to Improve Transparency of Health Care Cost, Quality Data

The GAO recently examined the effectiveness of health cost and quality transparency tools available to consumers, including two private consumer health cost/quality websites and CMS “Compare” databases. The GAO determined that the CMS tools — Nursing Home Compare, Dialysis Facility Compare, Home Health Compare, Hospital Compare and Physician Compare — are limited in their provision of relevant and understandable consumer cost and quality information. For instance, the sites do not allow consumers to combine cost and quality information to assess the value of health care services or anticipate costs, and the sites lack clarity in how information is presented to consumers. The GAO also charges that CMS's process for developing and selecting cost and quality measures included in the Compare sites “has been heavily influenced by the concerns of providers rather than consumers.” With regard to the private sites, the GAO notes that the private consumer sites suggest a wide range of provider costs for the same service in the same geographic area, regardless of quality. The GAO recommends that CMS take steps to improve the information in its transparency tools and develop procedures and metrics to ensure that tools address consumers' needs. For instance, the GAO suggests that the CMS Compare websites include, to the extent feasible, estimated out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries for common treatments that can be planned in advance, and allow consumers to customize information presented.  For more information, see the full report, “Health Care Transparency: Actions Needed to Improve Cost and Quality Information for Consumers.”

CMS Call on Changes to Physician Quality Reporting Programs for 2015 (Dec. 2)

On December 2, 2014, CMS is hosting a provider call to discuss changes to the Medicare physician quality reporting programs in the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule. Among other things, the call will cover changes impacting the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Value-based Payment Modifier, Physician Compare, Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative (CPC), and Medicare Shared Savings Program.

CMS Launches "Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative"

CMS has announced its newest innovative delivery reform program, called the “Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative,” which will provide up to $840 million over four years to help clinicians share, adapt, and develop quality improvement strategies. CMS intends to make awards for the following two types of systems:

  • Practice Transformation Networks are peer-based learning networks designed to help clinicians develop core competencies specific to practice transformation. CMS is seeking applicants that have pre-existing relationships with multiple clinician practices that include data sharing capabilities (e.g., health systems; regional extension centers; quality improvement organizations; large group practices; regional/state-based health collaboratives; and hospital systems).
  • Support and Alignment Networks will promote workforce development through organizations that use tools such as continuing medical education, maintenance of certification, and core competency development to help ensure sustainability of these efforts. Applicants could include medical professional associations, specialty societies, and organizations that generate evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, support efforts to reduce unnecessary testing and procedures, and effectively incorporate safety and patient/family engagement.

Applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of intent by November 20, 2014, and applications are due by January 6, 2015. CMS anticipates announcing awards in spring/summer 2015.

CMS Releases Medicare Advantage/Drug Plan Quality Data, Enforcement Statistics

CMS has posted the 2015 Medicare Star Ratings for Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs). According to a CMS fact sheet, there are increases in the number of Medicare beneficiaries in high-performing MA plans and PDPs for 2015, while CMS notes “dramatic improvement” among plans that had received the low performing icon in 2014. CMS also is interested in receiving information from the public regarding potential data differences in MA and Part D quality measurements for dual-eligible versus non-dual-eligible enrollees. Information is due November 3, 2014. Finally, CMS has released the MA and PDP annual audit and enforcement report for 2013. According to the report, CMS imposed 43 CMPs totaling almost $8.4 million on 39 different organizations and 5 cases of immediate suspension of enrollment and marketing activities for issues identified in 2012 and 2013. Most violations cited in enforcement actions related to inappropriate delays or denials of access to health services and medications for enrollees.

CMS Open Door Forum on IRF Quality Reporting Program (Oct. 29)

CMS is hosting a conference call for inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) providers regarding the IRF Quality Reporting Program on October 29, 2014. Specifically, CMS will discuss data collection and submission information for outcome measures related to hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), which IRF providers are required to report to CMS beginning January 1, 2015.

Older Entries

October 8, 2014 — CMS to Revise Five Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes

October 3, 2014 — CMS Call on Hospital Compare/HCAHPS Star Ratings (Oct. 8)

September 5, 2014 — CMS Call: How to Avoid 2016 Negative Payment Adjustments under Medicare Quality Reporting Programs

August 18, 2014 — CMS Finalizes Medicare IPPS/LTCH PPS Update for FY 2015

July 25, 2014 — CMS Issues Proposed CY 2015 Medicare OPPS/ASC Rule

July 25, 2014 — CMS Proposes ESRD PPS Update for CY 2015

July 1, 2014 — CMS Proposes 0.3% Cut in Medicare Home Health PPS Rates for CY 2015

July 1, 2014 — CMS Plans Series of Calls this Month on Medicare Dialysis Quality Programs

June 25, 2014 — CMS Plans Medicare Quality "Star" Ratings for Hospitals, Dialysis Facilities, Home Health

June 2, 2014 — CMS Finalizes ACA Exchange, Insurance Market Standards for 2015 and Beyond

May 15, 2014 — CMS Proposes FY 2015 Update to Inpatient Psychiatric Facility PPS

May 14, 2014 — CMS Proposes FY 2015 Update to Medicare IRF PPS

May 1, 2014 — CMS Releases Proposed Medicare Inpatient PPS/LTCH Update for FY 2015

April 28, 2014 — CMS Posts First Medicare Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Quality Data

April 28, 2014 — GAO Offers Recommendations for Improvements to CMS Physician Feedback Efforts

April 28, 2014 — CMS Issues Call for PQRS Quality Measures

April 8, 2014 — CMS Announces System to Collect Hospice Care Data Beginning July 1, 2014

February 18, 2014 — FTC Workshop on Health Care Competition (March 20-21)

February 11, 2014 — CMS to Host "Physician Compare Town Hall Meeting" (Feb. 24)

January 6, 2014 — CMS Call: ESRD Quality Incentive Program Payments (Jan. 15)

November 25, 2013 — Medicare Home Health PPS Rates Cut 1.05% Under Final 2014 Rule

November 13, 2013 — CMS Call on IRF Quality Reporting Requirements (Nov. 14)

November 11, 2013 — CMS Special Open Door Forum on LTCH Quality Reporting (Nov. 21)

September 12, 2013 — CMS Call on 2015 Value-Based Payment Modifier (Sept. 24)

August 28, 2013 — CMS Finalizes FY 2014 Medicare IPPS, LTCH Rates

August 28, 2013 — CMS Issues Final FY 2014 Medicare Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) Rule

August 27, 2013 — CMS Finalizes Hospice Policies, Rates for FY 2014

July 5, 2013 — Medicare Home Health PPS Rates to Drop under Proposed CY 2014 Rule

June 11, 2013 — CMS Invites Comments on Proposed PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Measures

May 14, 2013 — CMS Proposes Medicare IPPS and LTCH PPS Rates/Policies for FY 2014

May 13, 2013 — CMS Proposes Hospice Payment Policies for FY 2014

May 13, 2013 — CMS Proposes Updated FY 2014 Medicare Payments and Other Policies for IRFs

May 1, 2013 — CMS Proposed Changes to Medicare LTCH Payment Rates and Policies for FY 2014

April 11, 2013 — Updated House SGR Reform Proposal

March 8, 2013 — CMS Call: ESRD Quality Incentive Program (March 13)

March 8, 2013 — National Provider Call: Hospital Value-Based Purchasing FY 2015 Overview (March 14)

January 30, 2013 — GAO Offers Recommendations for Medicare Physician Value Modifier Program

January 14, 2013 — Hospital Readiness for Electronic Quality Reporting

December 17, 2012 — Interim Rule Revises EHR Certification Criteria, Incentive Program Specifications

November 29, 2012 — CMS Requests Comments on ACA Exchange Health Plan Quality Management

November 29, 2012 — ACA Medicare Data Sharing Provision Implementation Proceeds

November 16, 2012 — CMS Finalizes OPPS, ASC Rates and Policies for 2013

November 16, 2012 — CMS Adopts 2013 ESRD PPS Update, Bad Debt Reimbursement Cuts

November 16, 2012 — CMS Adopts 2013 Medicare Home Health PPS Rates, Update to Hospice Quality Program

October 31, 2012 — CMS Posts Specifications for Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs)

October 15, 2012 — CMS Calls on IRF, LTCH Quality Reporting (Oct. 18)

September 24, 2012 — CMS to Host ASC Quality Reporting Webinar (Sept. 26)

August 20, 2012 — CMS Issues Final Medicare Inpatient Hospital Rates/Policies for FY 2013

August 20, 2012 — CMS Adopts LTCH PPS Payment, Policy Changes for FY 2013

August 16, 2012 — CMS Forum on LTCH Quality Reporting (Aug. 30)

July 27, 2012 — CMS Publishes FY 2013 Medicare Hospice Wage Index/Rate Update Notice, Comorbidity Diagnosis Reminder, Quality Update

July 25, 2012 — CMS Forum: Improving Care for Medicare Beneficiaries with ESRD (July 31)

July 20, 2012 — CMS Schedules Calls on IRF Quality Reporting Program

July 19, 2012 — CMS Issues Proposed OPPS, ASC Policies for 2013

May 14, 2012 — CMS Proposes Medicare Inpatient Hospital Rates/Policies for FY 2013

April 2, 2012 — GAO Examines CMS Nursing Home Quality Rating System

February 22, 2012 — Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier Program: Experience from Private Sector Physician Pay-for-Performance Programs (Feb. 29)

February 10, 2012 — CMS Call on Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program Performance Reports (Feb. 28)

January 5, 2012 — Final Medicaid Core Quality Measures

December 13, 2011 — CMS Seeks Early Input on Future Quality & Efficiency Measures

December 12, 2011 — CMS Call: Payment Standardization and Risk Adjustment for the Medicare Physician Feedback & Value Modifier Programs (Dec. 21)

November 22, 2011 — Hospital Value Based Purchasing National Provider Call

November 21, 2011 — CMS Call on IRF Quality Reporting (Nov. 29)

November 14, 2011 — CMS Issues Final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule for 2012

November 14, 2011 — CMS Finalizes CY 2012 OPPS/ASC Rates, Policy Changes

November 14, 2011 — CMS Adopts Home Health PPS Rate Cut for 2012

November 14, 2011 — CMS Updates End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) PPS for 2012

October 28, 2011 — GAO Report Examines CMS Oversight of Long-Term Care Hospitals

September 29, 2011 — CMS Accepting Comments on LTCH Quality Measures

September 29, 2011 — CMS Seeks Comments on Hospice Quality Reporting Forms

September 20, 2011 — CMS Accepting Suggestions for Future PQRS Measures (Due Oct. 7)

September 19, 2011 — CMS Call on Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Quality Reporting Program (Sept. 21)

September 8, 2011 — CMS Call on Changes to Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program (Sept. 13)

August 16, 2011 — CMS Issues Final Medicare Inpatient Hospital PPS Rule for FY 2012

August 16, 2011 — CMS Issues Final FY 2012 Medicare Long Term Acute Care Hospital PPS Rule

August 16, 2011 — GAO Assesses Challenges with CMS Physician Feedback Program

August 16, 2011 — GAO Examines Information for Policymakers on Health Care Quality/Value

August 1, 2011 — CMS Releases Final FY 2012 Hospice Wage Index Rule

August 1, 2011 — CMS Finalizes FY 2012 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) PPS Policies

July 27, 2011 — ESRD Quality Incentive Program Special Open Door Forum (Aug. 4)

July 19, 2011 — CMS Issues Proposed CY 2012 Physician Fee Schedule Rule

July 18, 2011 — CMS Proposes CY 2012 OPPS/ASC Rates, Policy Changes

July 18, 2011 — CMS Proposes CY 2012 Changes to End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) PPS

July 15, 2011 — CMS Special Open Door Forum on FY 2013 Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program (July 27)

July 13, 2011 — CMS call on Physician Quality Reporting System/E-Prescribing Incentive Program (July 26)

June 14, 2011 — CMS Proposes ACA Medicare Claims Data Sharing Rule

June 8, 2011 — CMS Physician Quality Reporting System & E-Prescribing Incentive Program Provider Teleconference (June 21)

May 31, 2011 — Federal Agencies Outline Regulatory Review Plans

May 11, 2011 — CMS Call on Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs: Understanding Meaningful Use (May 19)

May 11, 2011 — CMS Forum on 2011 Physician Quality Reporting System and Electronic Prescribing Incentive Programs: ICD-10 Conversion (May 26)

May 11, 2011 — 2011 Physician Quality Reporting System & Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program National Provider Call (May 17)

April 29, 2011 — CMS Proposes Medicare Inpatient Hospital/LTCH Payment Policies for FY 2012

April 29, 2011 — CMS Finalizes ACA Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program

April 29, 2011 — CMS Issues Proposed FY 2012 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) PPS Rule

April 29, 2011 — CMS Releases FY 2012 Hospice Wage Index Proposed Rule, Notice of Ruling on Hospice Cap Challenges

April 29, 2011 — CMS Releases 2009 Quality Reporting Data

March 19, 2011 — CMS call on Physician Quality Reporting/E-Prescribing for Beginners (March 22)

March 19, 2011 — CMS Forum on Hospital Quality Reporting/HAC Measures (March 21)

March 2, 2011 — 2011 Physician Quality Reporting System/E- Prescribing Incentive Call (March 8)

February 24, 2011 — CMS to Hold Call on Medicaid Quality Measures (Feb. 28, 2011)