Monday Morning Rounds with CMS

ICYMI, here is recent communication from CMS.

Biden to pick Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to run Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, sources say
President Joe Biden is expected to nominate Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, two sources familiar with the decision told CNN. Brooks-LaSure, whose nomination to be CMS administrator would need Senate confirmation, was a top official at the agency during the Obama administration and worked to implement the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Prior to joining the Obama administration, she was part of the Democratic staff for the House Ways and Means Committee, where she also worked on the landmark health reform law.

Changing of the Guard: You can find all the current leadership for HHS on

2022 Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) Measure Preview Calls – CMS will conduct QCDR measure concept preview calls for the 2022 performance period between February 22, 2021 and June 4, 2021. The last day to request a call is May 21, 2021.

CMS Releases 2021 Final Rule for the Quality Payment Program – CMS published the final policies for the 2021 performance year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) via the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Final Rule.

Reminder: Upcoming MIPS Important Dates and Deadlines
CMS would like to remind clinicians of important upcoming Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) dates and deadlines:

  • March 1, 2021 – Deadline for CMS to receive 2020 claims for the Quality performance category. Claims must be received by CMS within 60 days of the end of the performance period. Deadline dates vary to submit claims to the MACs. Check with the MACs for more specific instructions.
  • March 31, 2021 – 2020 MIPS performance year data submission window closes.

All Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program participants, the deadline to submit 2020 data is March 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET. Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program participants are required to register and attest through the QualityNet Secure Portal.


2021 CMS Quality Conference
When: March 2-3, 2021
Hashtag: #CMSQualCon21
Register for this event.

The 2021 CMS Quality Conference, brought to you by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, convenes leaders across the health care spectrum, to explore how patients, advocates, providers, researchers, and champions in health care quality improvement can develop and spread solutions to address America’s most pervasive health system challenges.

The 2021 CMS Quality Conference, Healthcare Innovation During a Time of Disruption, is scheduled for March 2-3, 2021, as a virtual meeting. The CMS Quality Conference aims to advance the Administration’s rapidly evolving quality agenda.

Claims, Pricers & Codes

  • ICD-10 Code Files for FY 2021 – In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, new ICD-10 codes are effective January 1: 21 procedure codes (ICD-10-PCS): CMS will implement new codes to describe the introduction or infusion of therapeutics, including monoclonal antibodies and vaccines for COVID-19 treatment; 6 diagnosis codes (ICD-10-CM): CDC National Center for Health Statistics.
  • COVID-19: PC-ACE Software Vaccine Roster Billing Issue – Part B providers: When you select a roster bill for a COVID-19 vaccine in PC-ACE 4.8.100 software, it inappropriately auto-populates HCPCS code G0008 on the claim for the administration. This code is valid for traditional roster billing vaccines like pneumococcal and flu but not for administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Your Medicare Administrative Contractor will provide updated PC-ACE 4.9 software. Download the update to ensure proper billing of roster-billed COVID-19 vaccines.

CMS COVID Provider ToolkitCMS released a set of toolkits for providers, states and insurers to help the health care system prepare to swiftly administer the vaccine. These resources are designed to increase the number of providers that can administer the vaccine and ensure adequate reimbursement for administering the vaccine in Medicare, while making it clear to private insurers and Medicaid programs their responsibility to cover the vaccine at no charge to beneficiaries. In addition, CMS is taking action to increase reimbursement for any new COVID treatments that are approved by the FDA.

CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Toolkit – Medical centers, clinics, and clinicians can use or adapt these ready-made materials to build confidence about COVID-19 vaccination among your healthcare teams and other staff.

MLN Matters Articles

From CMS Innovation Center

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center, also known as “CMMI,” develops and tests new healthcare payment and service delivery models.

Announced: Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model
Through the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model, CMS is testing a broad array of complementary Medicare Advantage (MA) health plan innovations designed to reduce Medicare program expenditures, enhance the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries, including those with low incomes such as dual-eligibles, and improve the coordination and efficiency of health care service delivery. Overall, the VBID Model contributes to the modernization of MA and tests whether these model components improve health outcomes and lower expenditures for MA enrollees.

Announced: Part D Payment Modernization Model
In January 2020, the CMS Innovation Center began the Part D Payment Modernization Model to test the impact of a revised Part D program design and incentive alignment on overall Part D prescription drug spending and beneficiary out-of-pocket costs. The Model aims to reduce Medicare expenditures while preserving or enhancing quality of care for beneficiaries. The Model is open to eligible standalone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage-Prescription Drug Plans (MA-PDs) that are approved to participate.

Announced: Oncology Care Model
The Oncology Care Model aims to provide higher quality, more highly coordinated oncology care at the same or lower cost to Medicare. Under the Oncology Care Model (OCM), physician practices have entered into payment arrangements that include financial and performance accountability for episodes of care surrounding chemotherapy administration to cancer patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is also partnering with commercial payers in the model. The practices participating in OCM have committed to providing enhanced services to Medicare beneficiaries such as care coordination, navigation, and national treatment guidelines for care.