Archives: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Regulations

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HHS Exploring Ways to Promote Innovation, Investment in Healthcare Sector

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is considering forming a workgroup aimed at facilitating “constructive, high-level dialogue between HHS leadership and those focused on innovating and investing in the healthcare industry.”  The goal of the initiative is to “spur investment, increase competition, accelerate innovation, and allow capital investment in the healthcare sector to … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes CJR Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Policy

CMS has finalized an “extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy” for the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) payment model.  Under this policy, which was prompted by severe hurricanes and wildfires, CMS will exercise flexibility in the determination of episode spending for CJR participant hospitals located in areas impacted by extreme and uncontrollable circumstances for performance … Continue Reading

CMS Considering Home Health Claims Review Demonstration

CMS is considering implementing a Medicare home health claims review demonstration project intended to help identify, prevent, and prosecute Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse and reduce Medicare appeals. Under this initiative, CMS would offer home health agencies (HHAs) in the demonstration area the choice of demonstrating their compliance with Medicare home health policies through 100% … Continue Reading

CMS Adds 31 Power Mobility Device Codes to Nationwide Prior Authorization Program

CMS is adding 31 power mobility device Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes to the list of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) items that require prior authorization as a condition of Medicare payment. All of the new codes are currently included in the Medicare Prior Authorization for Power Mobility Devices (PMDs) … Continue Reading

IRF PPS Payments Set to Increase by $75 Million in FY 2019 under Proposed CMS Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a proposed rule to update Medicare rates for inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) services for fiscal year (FY) 2019. CMS estimates that IRF prospective payment system (PPS) payments would increase by a total of $75 million under the proposed rule compared to FY 2018 levels. Specifically, CMS … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Payment and Policy Changes Impacting SNFs for FY 2019 – Plus a New “Patient-Driven Payment Model” Case Mix System for FY 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its annual proposed update to Medicare skilled nursing facility (SNF) PPS rates and policies for fiscal year (FY) 2019. In addition to providing a $850 million boost to Medicare payments for FY 2019, CMS proposes a new case mix classification system to replace the existing … Continue Reading

CMS Announces Temporary Fee Schedule Increase for Certain Medical Equipment Furnished in Rural Areas

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published an interim final rule with comment period that will provide a temporary Medicare rate hike for certain durable medical equipment (DME) and enteral nutrition furnished in rural and non-contiguous areas of the country (Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories) that are not included in competitive bidding. By … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes $340 Million Increase in Medicare Hospice Payments for FY 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a proposed rule to establish FY 2019 Medicare hospice reimbursement rates and policies. The proposed rule would increase FY 2019 hospice rates by 1.8% ($340 million), based on the 2.9% inpatient hospital market basket update, which is reduced by both a 0.8 percentage point multifactor productivity … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes FY 2019 Medicare IPPS/LTCH Rates and Policy Changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its proposed rule updating the Medicare acute inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system (PPS) for fiscal year (FY) 2019. The proposed rule also includes a request for information (RFI) on ways CMS can enhance interoperability in the health … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes FY 2019 Medicare Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Rates, Requests Feedback on Future IPF PPS Refinements

CMS has issued a proposed rule to update rates for Medicare services furnished by inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) during FY 2019. CMS estimates that the proposed rule would increase payments by $50 million (0.98%) compared to FY 2018 levels. This projected increase is a result of a 2.8% market basket update, reduced by both a … Continue Reading

2019 Medicare Advantage/Part D Policies Finalized, Including Comprehensive Addition and Recovery Act Drug Management Requirements

CMS has announced final Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plan policies and rates for 2019. The final 2019 rule, published on April 16, 2018, implements a Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) provision that allows Part D plan sponsors to establish drug management programs. Under this policy, plan sponsors may limit at-risk beneficiaries’ access … Continue Reading

CMS Adopts 2019 ACA Health Plan Policies

CMS has released its final rule updating policies applying to qualified health plans (QHPs) offered on Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges for 2019.  In the final rule, CMS stresses its goal of providing states greater flexibility and control over their insurance markets, particularly in the areas of: selection of essential health benefits benchmark plans; the … Continue Reading

CMS Trims List of DMEPOS Subject to Prior Authorization Due to “Unnecessary Utilization”

CMS is removing the Medicare prior authorization (PA) requirement for several types of medical equipment because the items no longer meet the standard set forth in a 2015 final rule. Under these regulations, CMS requires PA for certain items of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) that the agency characterizes as “frequently subject to unnecessary … Continue Reading

Get Ready for the FY 2019 Medicare Payment Rules

CMS is gearing up for the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Medicare payment system rulemaking cycle. The agency has requested that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review the FY 2019 proposed rules for the following payment systems: The Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System for Acute Care Hospitals and the Long-Term Care Hospital … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Easing Rules for State Medicaid FFS Access Monitoring

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to exempt states with high rates of Medicaid managed care enrollment from current requirements to analyze and monitor access in fee-for-service (FFS) delivery systems. The proposed rule also would loosen current state access analysis requirements when states make what CMS contends are “nominal” reductions in … Continue Reading

CMS Mulling Changes to CLIA Personnel, Proficiency Testing Referral Rules

CMS is requesting information from the public on potential changes to longstanding Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) personnel, histocompatibility, and related policies, which have not been comprehensively updated since 1992. With regard to personnel requirements, CMS seeks information that will enable it to revise the regulations to “better reflect current knowledge, changes in … Continue Reading

CMS Establishes New Rules for Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs Impacted by Extreme/Uncontrollable Circumstances

CMS has just put on display an interim final rule with comment period to establish special policies to assess the performance year 2017 financial and quality performance of Medicare Shared Savings Program accountable care organizations (ACOs) affected by extreme and uncontrollable circumstances, such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires.  CMS is … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Outlines Planned Regulatory — and Deregulatory — Actions for 2018

The Trump Administration has updated its “Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions,” which lists the scope and anticipated timing of pending and future regulations. In releasing the agenda, the Administration highlights its “ongoing progress toward the goals of more effective and less burdensome regulation,” including its plans to finalize three deregulatory actions for every … Continue Reading

CMS Extends Medicare Prior Authorization Program for Repetitive Scheduled Non-Emergent Ambulance Transport

CMS is extending for another year the Medicare prior authorization program for repetitive, scheduled non-emergent ambulance transport services rendered by ambulance providers in selected states. As previously reported, CMS began testing the three-year Medicare prior authorization model in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina on December 1, 2014. The agency extended the model to the … Continue Reading

CMS Scraps Cardiac/Hip Fracture Episode Payment Model, Downsizes CJR Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has officially cancelled a planned program to require certain hospitals to participate in Medicare episode payment models (EPMs) for acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass graft, and surgical hip/femur fracture treatment procedures furnished in designated areas of the country, along with a Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) Incentive Payment … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Changes to Medicare Advantage, Part D Programs for 2019

CMS has issued a proposed rule to update the Medicare Advantage (MA) program and Part D prescription drug benefit rules for contract year 2019.  The proposed rule would, among many other things: Implement a Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) provision that allows Part D plan sponsors to establish drug management programs that limit at-risk … Continue Reading

CMS Modifies Medicare Physician Quality Payment Program Rules for 2018

CMS has issued a final rule with comment period making changes to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) for 2018, the second performance year for the reformed physician payment framework mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). CMS is continuing its “slow ramp-up” of the QPP by building on the transition … Continue Reading

Medicare Home Health Payments to Drop by $80 Million under Final 2018 Rule

The final CMS calendar year (CY) 2018 Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) rule cuts Medicare payments by 0.4% ($80 million) in 2018 compared to 2017 levels, but CMS did not adopt a more sweeping case mix methodology reform proposal that would have reduced 2019 payments by almost $1 billion. Under the final rule, … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Update for 2018

Delays AUC Requirement until 2020, Cuts Off-Campus Hospital Department Payments The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its final Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) rule for CY 2018. In addition to updating rates for 2018, the rule includes important policy changes, including an additional delay in implementation of appropriate use criteria (AUC) … Continue Reading
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