Tag Archives: Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Ways and Means Committee Approves Bill to Make Reforms to Medicare Hospital and Other Payment Policies

The House Ways and Means Committee has approved an amended version of H.R. 5273, the “Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016.”  While most of the provisions address Medicare payment policies pertaining to hospitals (including long term care hospitals (LTCHs) and hospital outpatient departments), certain other reimbursement policies, including Medicare Advantage and physician payment … Continue Reading

CMS Corrects Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, Electronic Health Record Incentive Program Final Rules

CMS has published corrections to its November 16, 2015 Medicare physician fee schedule final rule with comment period for 2016, applicable beginning January 1, 2016. Among other things, CMS is correcting an omission of language restating the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) requirements that apply to groups of 100 or more eligible … Continue Reading

OIG Identifies Top 25 Unimplemented Recommendations for HHS Cost Savings/Quality Improvements

The OIG has released the 2016 edition of its “Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations,” which identifies what the OIG considers to be its top 25 unimplemented recommendations in terms of HHS program savings and/or quality improvements. About one-third of the priority recommendations involve Medicare Parts A and B policies, including recommendations to adjust payment policies for … Continue Reading

ONC Seeks Input on MACRA EHR Interoperability Requirements

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is seeking comments on how to achieve widespread exchange of health information through interoperable certified electronic health record (EHR) technology nationwide by the end of 2018, as is called for by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).  MACRA also mandates … Continue Reading

ONC Proposes Changes to Health IT Certification Program

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has proposed changes to the ONC Health IT Certification Program that are intended to “further enhance the safety, reliability, transparency, and accountability of certified health IT for users.”  Notably, the proposed rule would: Establish a process for ONC to directly review certified health … Continue Reading

CMS Extends EHR Incentive Program Hardship Application Deadline to July 1, 2016

CMS is allowing eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals to apply for Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program hardship exceptions until July 1, 2016 to avoid adjustments to their Medicare payments in 2017.  The hardship exception application form is posted on the CMS website.    … Continue Reading

Senate HELP Committee Outlines Plans for Action on Biomedical Innovation Bills

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has announced its plans to consider companion legislation to the House-approved “21st Century Cures Act,” which is intended to improve the drug and device development processes and expedite patient access to medical treatments.  The Senate currently plans three sessions to consider components of its biomedical innovation … Continue Reading

CMS Requests Comments on HIT Certification and Quality Measure Reporting to Reduce Provider/HIT Developer Burden

On December 31, 2015, CMS published a request for information (RFI) seeking public comments on certification requirements for health information technology (HIT), including electronic health records (EHR) products used for reporting under certain CMS quality reporting programs. The RFI also invites feedback on how often CMS should require recertification, the number of clinical quality measures … Continue Reading

ONC Corrects EHR Certification Criteria Final Rule

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has published a notice correcting errors and clarifying provisions of its October 16, 2015 rule that finalized the 2015 edition health information technology certification criteria and a new 2015 Edition Base Electronic Health Record (EHR) definition.… Continue Reading

CMS Call: 2016 Medicare Physician Quality Reporting Programs (Dec. 8)

On December 8, 2015, CMS is hosting a call to discuss how the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule impacts Medicare quality reporting programs.  Specifically, the call will address changes to the Physician Quality Reporting System, the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, the Comprehensive Primary Care initiative, the Value-Based Payment Modifier, the Medicare Shared … Continue Reading

CMS Adopts Changes to Medicare & Medicaid EHR Policies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a sweeping final rule with comment period that specifies the requirements that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments and avoid downward payment adjustments under the … Continue Reading

ONC Issues Final Health IT Interoperability Roadmap

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released its final “Roadmap” to promote the secure exchange and use of electronic health information. The document, “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0,” describes policy and technical actions needed to meet ONC’s “vision of … Continue Reading

HHS OIG “Reminder” about Information Blocking & the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a “Policy Reminder” on how “information blocking” — defined by HHS as knowingly and unreasonably interfering with the exchange or use of electronic health information — may affect protection under the regulatory electronic health records (EHR) safe harbor to the federal anti-kickback statute (AKS).… Continue Reading

CMS Schedules Provider Calls on Medicare Quality Programs

CMS is hosting several calls and webcasts in September and October 2015 on various Medicare quality programs, including the following: A September 17 webcast/call will focus on the 2014 Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) that the agency is making available to group practices and solo practitioners nationwide. CMS will hold a separate call … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Final FY 2016 Medicare IPPS/LTCH Rule

On July 31, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a major final rule to update the Medicare acute hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and the long-term care hospital prospective payment system (LTCH PPS) for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The official version of the rule will be published in the Federal … Continue Reading

House Passes Bills to Repeal ACA Medical Device Tax and IPAB, Revise Medicare Advantage Policy

The House of Representatives has taken action on a number of bills to modify certain Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions, revise Medicare Advantage policies, and make other health policy changes. On June 23, 2015, the House voted to approve H.R. 1190, a bill to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), by a vote of 244 to … Continue Reading

OIG Releases FY 2015 Work Plan Mid-Year Update

The HHS OIG has updated its FY 2015 Work Plan to reflect new and/or completed items since release of its Work Plan in October 2014. Of note, the OIG has announced its plans to conduct several new Medicare reviews addressing: intensity-modulated radiation therapy; hospital preparedness and response to high-risk infectious diseases; access to DME in competitive … Continue Reading

Congressional Health Policy Hearings

A number of Congressional panels have held hearings this month on health policy issues, including the following: A House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Affordable Care Act implementation and the FY 2016 HHS budget request; A Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on “Health Information Exchange: A Path Towards Improving the … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

ONC Updated Electronic Health Information Privacy/Security Guidance

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released a revised Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information. The guide is intended to help health care providers – especially those from smaller organizations – address federal health information privacy and security requirements in their practices. The new version updates … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Updates to EHR Meaningful Use Rules

CMS published a proposed rule on April 15, 2015 that would modify the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive program to reduce complexity, simplify reporting requirements, and align Stage 1 and Stage 2 objectives and measures with Stage 3. Notably, CMS proposes to change the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program reporting period … Continue Reading

HHS Publishes Proposed Stage 3 EHR Incentive Program, Health IT Certification Rules

On March 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its proposed rule on Stage 3 meaningful use criteria, which focus on the advanced use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology to promote improved outcomes for patients. The proposed rule would establish the requirements that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access … Continue Reading

OIG Issues 2015 Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations

The OIG has released its March 2015 “Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations,” which highlights the OIG’s top 25 recommendations for cost savings and/or quality improvements in HHS programs, along with other significant unimplemented recommendations. High-priority recommendations address the following areas, among others: Payment Policies and Practices: Expand the DRG window to include additional days prior to the inpatient … Continue Reading
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