Tag Archives: ESRD

CMS Boosting Medicare ESRD Facility Payments by 0.5% for 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its final Medicare end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) rates and policies for calendar year 2018. CMS projects that the final rule will increase total Medicare payments to all ESRD facilities by 0.5% in 2018 (lower than the 0.8% increase forecast in the … Continue Reading

Final Medicare Provider Payment Rules in the Pipeline

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is reviewing several CMS rules that would finalize CY 2018 Medicare payment policies for various types of providers and suppliers. Specifically, OMB is reviewing final rules to update the hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgical center PPS; the Medicare physician fee schedule and physician Quality Payment Program; the … Continue Reading

With All Eyes on Senate ACA-Repeal Debate, House Passes Bill to Tweak Stark Law and Other Medicare Part B Policies

While the Capitol Hill spotlight is focused on the Senate debate on legislation to repeal or revise the Affordable Care Act, the House of Representatives quietly approved by voice vote HR 3178, the Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017. The bipartisan bill would impact a number of Medicare policies, including the Stark physician self-referral … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Update to Medicare ESRD PPS Payments for 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a proposed rule to update the Medicare end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) for calendar year (CY) 2018. CMS anticipates that the proposed rule would increase total Medicare payments to ESRD facilities by 0.8% in 2018, with hospital-based ESRD facilities having an estimated … Continue Reading

Conflict of Interest Concerns Prompt New CMS Restrictions on Dialysis Facility Payment of Beneficiary Health Plan Premiums; Allows Plans to Reject Third-Party Payments

Citing “differences between providers’ and suppliers’ financial interests and patients’ interests” that “may result in providers and suppliers taking actions that put patients’ lives and wellbeing at risk,” CMS is imposing stringent new requirements on Medicare-certified dialysis facilities that seek to make payments of premiums for individual market health plans. By way of background, earlier … 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

CMS Proposes Updated Fire Safety Standards for Dialysis Facilities

CMS has issued a proposed rule that would require certain dialysis facilities participating in Medicare or Medicaid to meet updated fire safety standards.  The proposed fire safety rule, published November 4, 2016, would apply only to dialysis facilities that do not provide one or more exits to the outside at grade level from the treatment … Continue Reading

Medicare Dialysis Payments to Increase by $80 Million in CY 2017

CMS has published its final rule to update the Medicare end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) rates and policies for CY 2017. CMS expects the rule to increase overall Medicare payments to ESRD facilities by 0.73 percent in 2017 compared with CY 2016 levels, for an aggregate increase of $80 million. This update … Continue Reading

House Approves Medicare ESRD Coverage, Rural Hospital Supervision Bills

On September 21, 2016, the House of Representatives approved HR 5659, the Expanding Seniors Receiving Dialysis Choice Act of 2016, which would allow Medicare beneficiaries with end stage renal disease (ESRD) to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans beginning in 2020. The House also approved HR 5613, to prevent CMS from enforcing a Medicare requirement for … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare/Medicaid Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a long-awaited final rule establishing emergency preparedness requirements for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating providers and suppliers to ensure that they can meet the needs of patients and residents during emergency situations, both natural and man-made. According to CMS, the final requirements “establish a comprehensive, consistent, flexible, … Continue Reading

Congressional Health Policy Hearings, Markups Resume After Summer Break

Congress has returned from recess, and health care policy continues to be on the agenda. The following health-related hearings and markups were held this week: The House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 5942, a bill to establish a demonstration program to provide integrated care for Medicare beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease, and H.R. 954, … Continue Reading

CMS Flags Potential Provider “Steering” of Medicare/Medicaid Beneficiaries to Favorable ACA Marketplace Plans to Obtain Higher Rates

CMS is putting health care providers on notice that it considers it “inappropriate” for providers to offer premium or cost-sharing assistance to Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries in order to “steer” the patient to an individual market plan “for a provider’s financial gain.”  In a request for information to be published on August 23, 2016, CMS … Continue Reading

Committees Approve Rural Hospital Relief, ESRD Benefits, Medical Countermeasures Bills

On July 13, 2016, the Ways and Means Committee approved HR 5659, which would enable Medicare beneficiaries with end stage renal disease (ESRD) to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans. Earlier this month, the Committee approved HR 5613, to prevent CMS from enforcing a Medicare requirement for direct physician supervision of certain outpatient therapeutic services furnished … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Proposed CY 2017 Medicare ESRD PPS Update

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its proposed rule to update the Medicare end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) for calendar year (CY) 2017. CMS anticipates that the proposed rule would increase overall Medicare payments to ESRD facilities by 0.5 percent in 2017 compared with CY 2016 levels (with … Continue Reading

Final ESRD PPS Rule to Boost Overall Medicare Payment by $10 Million in CY 2016

On November 6, 2015, CMS published its final rule to update the Medicare end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) for calendar year (CY) 2016. CMS estimates that the rule will increase overall Medicare payments to ESRD facilities by $10 million (0.2%) compared to CY 2015 payments, although the final CY 2016 ESRD PPS … Continue Reading

CMS Sends Final 2016 Medicare Payment Rules to OMB for Review

This week CMS referred major final calendar year 2016 Medicare payment rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for regulatory clearance. Specifically, OMB is reviewing the final CMS rules to update the Medicare physician fee schedule, the hospital outpatient prospective payment system (PPS) and ambulatory surgical center payment update, the home … 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 Releases CY 2016 ESRD PPS Proposed Rule

On June 26, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule to update the Medicare end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) for calendar year (CY) 2016. CMS anticipates that the proposed rule would increase overall Medicare payments to ESRD facilities by 0.3% ($20 million) compared with CY 2015 payments. … Continue Reading

MedPAC Report to Congress on Medicare Policy

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released its annual recommendations to Congress on Medicare policies, including Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) payment updates and a status report on the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs. The following are highlights of the recommendations for 2016 (many of which were recommended previously):… Continue Reading

GAO Highlights Medicare Program Risks and Recommends Program Integrity Actions

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released its latest update to its “High-Risk Series” reports, which again lists Medicare as a high-risk program, in part because of the program’s substantial size and scope, and its wide-ranging effects on beneficiaries, the health care industry, and the U.S. economy. The latest report highlights five areas of particular … Continue Reading

CMS Schedules Provider Calls on Medicare Payment, Quality, Coding & Program Integrity Topics

CMS has scheduled a series of provider calls in February and March on the following topics: February 3: Special Open Door Forum on the upcoming Prior Authorization of Non-Emergent Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy model to be implemented in March in Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey. February 4: Special Door Forum on the introduction of star ratings on … Continue Reading

President Signs Tax Bill with Medicare Provisions, Ebola Treatment/Vaccine Bill

In December 2014, President Obama signed into a law H.R. 5771, a tax extender bill that includes the “Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014.” As discussed in a previous post, the law, P.L. 113-295, includes three Medicare provisions to finance the ABLE Act: revisions to payment adjustments for Medicare physician fee schedule misvalued … Continue Reading

Congress Approves “ABLE Act” with Medicare Offsets

On December 16, 2014, Congress gave final approval to H.R. 5771, a tax extender bill that includes the “Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014.” The ABLE Act provisions allow individuals with disabilities to establish tax free savings accounts to pay for qualified expenses (e.g. medical, post-secondary education, housing, and transportation expenses). Prior … Continue Reading
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