Tag Archives: Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Medicare Hospital Inpatient and Long-Term Care Hospital Payment Policies Finalized for FY 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its final rule updating the Medicare inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system (PPS) for fiscal year (FY) 2019.  The following are highlights of the lengthy rule, which is scheduled to be published August 17, 2018. IPPS Payments to Rise … 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

New “MyHealthEData” Initiative Focuses on Putting Patients in Charge of their Medical Records

The Trump Administration has launched a new MyHealthEData initiative intended to make it easier for Medicare beneficiaries and other health consumers to control their medical data and share it with their choice of providers. The government-wide initiative, led by the White House Office of American Innovation, seeks to “break down the barriers that prevent patients … Continue Reading

OIG Estimates CMS Made $730 Million in Improper EHR Incentive Payments, Based on Small Sample of Claims

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) estimates that CMS made $729.4 million in Electronic Health Incentive (EHR) payments to providers who did not meet meaningful use requirements from May 2011 to June 2014 – representing about 12% of the $6 billion in total EHR payments made during this period. This dramatic finding is based … Continue Reading

Medicare, Medicaid Payment Policies, Fraud Authorities Enacted as Part of 21st Century Cures Act

Included in the 21st Century Cures Act are numerous changes to Medicare and Medicaid policies, including provisions with significant reimbursement impacts for certain types of Medicare providers and suppliers, along with changes intended to reduce the regulatory and administrative burdens associated with the use of electronic health records.  Furthermore, the law once again expands the … Continue Reading

GAO Calls on HHS to Strengthen Electronic Health Info Security, Privacy Guidance and Oversight

In light of recent health information data breaches, the Government Accountability Office has issued a report examining whether HHS security and privacy guidance for electronic health records (EHRs) are consistent with federal cybersecurity guidance, and the extent to which HHS oversees compliance with HHS information security and privacy requirements. The GAO identified shortcomings in HHS … Continue Reading

CMS Call: How to Report Across 2016 Medicare Quality Programs (November 1)

CMS is hosting a call on November 1, 2016 to discuss how physicians and other providers can report quality measures during 2016 to maximize participation in Medicare quality programs, including the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, Value-Based Payment Modifier (Value Modifier), and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.… Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes FY 2017 Update to Medicare IPPS, LTCH PPS Rates and Policies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its final rule to update Medicare acute hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system (PPS) payments and policies for fiscal year (FY) 2017.  With regard to the IPPS, CMS projects that the cumulative rate and policy changes in … Continue Reading

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
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