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COVID-19

Jan. 3 deadline for MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances application

The deadline to submit a MIPS EUC Exception application for the 2022 performance year is 8 p.m. ET on Jan. 3, 2023. If you believe you’ve been affected by an extreme and uncontrollable circumstance (such as the public health emergency triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic), you can apply whether reporting traditional MIPS or the APM Performance Pathway (APP). MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups may submit an application to reweight any or all MIPS performance categories if they’ve been affected by extreme and uncontrollable circumstances that impact these performance categories. Alternative Payment Model (APM) Entities may submit an application but are required to request reweighting for all performance categories. Beginning in the 2023 performance year, clinicians will also have the option to report via the MIPS Value Pathway (MVP)s framework instead of traditional MIPS. Learn more: CMS’s Current Emergencies Medicare IFC: Revisions in Response… . . . read more.

CMS

2022 APM incentive payment public notice deadline Tuesday

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) previously published 2022 Alternative Payment Model (APM) Incentive Payment details on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website. To access this information, clinicians and surrogates can now log in to the QPP website using their HARP credentials. Eligible clinicians who were Qualifying APM Participants (QPs) based on their 2020 performance should have begun receiving their 2022 5% APM Incentive Payments earlier this summer. CMS has posted the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) Incentive Payments for 2022 for more details.  More information is also available on the Federal Register. If you have not received your payment, you should check for your name on the 2022 QP Notice for APM Incentive Payment Zip File, which indicates that you will need to verify your Medicare billing information. If you do not verify your Medicare billing information by… . . . read more.

COMPLIANCE

4-step plan to return overpayments

Do you have to return plan overpayments? The short answer is, yes. Of course, you must return money that isn’t yours. In fact, to be compliant with Medicare and most commercial payers, once you discover an overpayment, you’ve got to refund it within 60 days. That’s the word from Michael J. Sacopulos, JD, founder and CEO of the Medical Risk Institute. “Sadly, I still speak with physicians who believe it’s okay to keep the money in the bank until the payer requests a refund. One large practice I work with told me they hadn’t run the credit balance report in nearly a year. When I suggested they do so, the Medicare credit balances alone totaled more than $300,000.” This is not the time to invoke “finders keepers, losers weepers,” he… . . . read more.

CMS

Reminder: 2023 MIPS self-nomination closes Sept. 1

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would like to remind you that the end of the 2023 MIPS Self-Nomination for Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs) and Qualified Registries is Sept. 1, 2022, at 8 p.m. ET. The Self-Nomination form on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website will lock at the deadline, and users won’t be able to make additional edits. You need to ensure that your 2023 MIPS Self-Nomination form is complete and then click the Submit for Review button on the QPP website before the deadline. You can only submit the Self-Nomination form for review after all required fields are complete on each tab. Each tab has a vertical progress indicator on the left side of the form that shows your progress. A green checkmark shows you’ve completed the tab,… . . . read more.

MIPS

CMS accepts applications for hardship exceptions

The MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception and MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category Hardship Exception applications are now open for the 2022 performance year. Applications can be submitted until Dec. 31. MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception Application Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians, groups, and virtual groups may apply to reweight any or all MIPS performance categories if they’ve been affected by extreme and uncontrollable circumstances. Extreme and uncontrollable circumstances are defined as rare events entirely outside of your control and the control of the facility in which you practice. These circumstances must: Cause you to be unable to collect information necessary to submit for a MIPS performance category; Cause you to be unable to submit information that would be used to score a MIPS performance category for an… . . . read more.

MIPS

Submit your Promoting Interoperability measures and improvement activities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reminds you to submit Promoting Interoperability measures and improvement activities for consideration for future years of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). The MIPS Annual Call for Measures and Activities process allows clinicians, professional associations and medical societies that represent clinicians, researchers, consumer groups, and others to identify and submit measures and activities. Currently, CMS is accepting submissions for: Measures for the Promoting Interoperability performance category Activities for the improvement activities performance category What CMS is looking for For Promoting Interoperability: CMS is looking for specific measures that build on the advanced use of certified EHR technology (CEHRT) using 2015 Edition Certification Standards and Criteria; promote interoperability and health information exchange; improve program efficiency, effectiveness, and flexibility; provide patients access to their health information; reduce clinician… . . . read more.

PATIENT ACCESS

AMA asks Congress to fix Medicare physician payment system

The American Medical Association (AMA) has warned congressional leaders that the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) report sent to Congress in mid-March contains flawed analyses that would imperil patient access to high-quality care. The MedPAC report recommended a continuation of the freeze in Medicare physician fee payments but ignores a host of trailing indicators, none more obvious than the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physician practices. In 2020, there was a $13.9 billion decrease in Medicare physician fee schedule spending as patients delayed treatments. Burnout, stress, workload, and fear of COVID infection are leading one in five physicians to consider leaving their current practice within two years. The letter to Congress includes a chart—based on an analysis of data from the Medicare Trustees—that shows Medicare physician payment has been… . . . read more.

MOM WEBINAR

Learn about changes and updates to telehealth

There’s a lot you need to know about telehealth. That’s why Medical Office Manager is offering a webinar, Telehealth—What Managers Need to Know, on April 6. It’s free to Medical Office Manager members. Presenter Jen Bell of Karen Zupko and Associates will give you the tools and knowledge you need to comply with new telehealth regulations. Meanwhile here is Jen’s update on telehealth changes to early 2022. POS 10 Telehealth Provided in Patient’s Home Patient is located in their home (which is a location other than a hospital or other facility where the patient receives care in a private residence) when receiving health services or health related services through telecommunication technology. Home may be defined to include temporary lodging (hotels, homeless shelters) and patient travels of short distance from the exact… . . . read more.

EMPLOYMENT LAW

Where we are on vaccines and masks in the workplace

Vaccine roundup The Biden Administration, through Executive Orders and various agencies, has adopted four separate vaccine mandates for (1) employers with 100+ employees (the OSHA ETS), (2) federal contractors, (3) federal employees and onsite contractors, and (4) healthcare employers who receive Medicaid or Medicare reimbursements (the CMS mandate).  Except for the CMS mandate, all these various vaccination mandates have either been rejected or stayed by the courts. On Jan. 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the CMS mandate. OSHA mask guidance On Aug. 23, 2021, OSHA updated its workplace safety guidelines to recommend that employers require all employees–regardless of vaccination status–to wear masks when indoors and not physically distanced. That guidance has not changed since it was added in August 2021.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Supreme court blocks OSHA vaccine mandate, dissolves stay on CMS mandate for healthcare industry

By Mike O’Brien In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued its opinion blocking OSHA’s vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees. The majority ruled on Jan. 13 that OSHA had exceeded its authority when it issued the vaccine mandate, concluding that OSHA has authority only “to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.” The court found that COVID presents a “universal risk” not limited to the workplace that is “no different from day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases. Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life—simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock—would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.” Note: This decision addresses only the stay decisions… . . . read more.


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