Start Your FREE Membership NOW
 Discover Proven Ways to Be a Better Medical Office Manager
 Get Our Daily eNewsletter, MOMAlert, and MUCH MORE
 Absolutely NO Risk or Obligation on Your Part -- It's FREE!
EMAIL ADDRESS



Upgrade to Premium Membership NOW for Just $90!
Get 3 Months of Full Premium Membership Access
Includes Our Monthly Newsletter, Office Toolbox, Policy Center, and Archives
Plus, You Get FREE Webinars, and MUCH 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.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Supreme Court to hear challenges to OSHA & CMS vaccination mandates this week

By Mike O’Brien On Dec. 17, 2021, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the stay of OSHA’s vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees in a split 2-1 decision. Wasting no time, OSHA published a compliance update to provide new deadlines. Covered employers have through Jan. 10, 2022, to adopt and publish a vaccination policy, to ascertain and record employee vaccination status, and to implement a masking requirement for all unvaccinated employees. Employers have through Feb. 9, 2022, to begin collection of negative weekly COVID tests from unvaccinated employees. You’ll find that compliance update, and compliance resources, on OSHA’s website. Opponents of the vaccination mandate filed immediate challenges with the United States Supreme Court. On Dec. 22, 2021, the Supreme Court issued an order that it would hear oral arguments… . . . read more.

BILLING

Newly proposed Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule contemplates Making COVID-19 telehealth changes permanent

On July 13, 2021, CMS published its proposed physician fee schedule rule for FY 2022. One of the key items is the proposal to make the temporary change allowing Medicare providers to deliver healthcare services via telehealth a permanent part of Medicare Part B. The Proposed Medicare Changes During the public health emergency (PHE), Congress added the home of the beneficiary as a permissible originating site for telehealth services for the purposes of diagnosis, evaluation or treatment of a mental health disorder. In addition to updating the fee schedule, the proposed CY2022 rule would allow certain services added to the Medicare telehealth list to remain on the list until the end of December 2023. This would allow CMS to continue to evaluate whether the temporary expansion of telehealth services adopted… . . . read more.

CMS

Two new telehealth resources for your practice and your patients

In response to the increased use and expanded coverage of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, From Coverage to Care (C2C) released two new resources to support providers and patients in making the most of virtual care: Telehealth for Providers: What You Need to Know – Providers can learn how and when to use telehealth. Topics include how to set up telehealth services, how to conduct a successful visit, and how to keep up to date on telehealth payment (particularly for Medicare and Medicaid). Telehealth: What to Know for Your Family – Patients can find out the types of care they can receive through telehealth, how to prepare for an appointment, what to expect during a visit, and more. This resource is also available in Spanish. Providers and partners can download graphics to post… . . . read more.

CMS

CMS reopens applications for  COVID-19 MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Policy 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services continues to offer flexibilities to provide relief to clinicians responding to the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. CMS is applying the MIPS automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (EUC) policy to all MIPS eligible clinicians for the 2020 performance period. It is also reopening the MIPS EUC application for individual MIPS eligible clinicians, groups, virtual groups, and Alternative Payment Model (APM) Entities through March 31. Applications received between now and March 31, 2021 won’t override previously submitted data for individuals, groups and virtual groups. This listserv will review what these flexibilities mean for: Individual clinicians, groups, and virtual groups that haven’t submitted data; Individual clinicians, groups, and virtual groups that have submitted data; and APM Entities. Individual clinicians, groups, and virtual groups that haven’t submitted data:… . . . read more.


(-0)