CMS Year End Update

CMS Recent Announcements

Keeping up with CMS these days is almost a full time job. Here are some matters you might want to know.

The final rule for the 2012 Physician Fee Schedule was published on November 28th and the effective date is January 1st. The rule addresses changes to the fee schedule and other payment policies along with certain statutory provisions including provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It discusses payments for Part B drugs, Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule, signature requisition, PQRS, eRx incentive program, and other Part B related issues. Among these is the revisions to telehealth consultation charges.

Earlier this month, HHS announced their intention to delay the start of Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive programs for one year for those first attesting to meaningful use in 2011. The decision comes after significant input from many stakeholders, expert testimony, review, and analysis. Look for a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the subject in February 2012.

CMS issued a statement of updated information on Clinical Quality Measure NQF #0084. The additional set of measures has three related to Heart Failure. CMS is suggesting EPs participating in the EHR Incentive program not to select “Warfarin Therapy Patients with Atrial Fibrillation”. This comes from the availability of other FDA approved anticoagulant medications. Eligible Professionals that have already attested with this measure are not expected to make changes.

And lastly, have you been on the CMS web site lately? They have finally moved out of the 90s web design to this century. Check out the EHR Incentive Program pages at the same address but new look and feel.