On Wednesday, July 6, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposal to change the length of the Meaningful Use reporting period for 2016 from a full calendar year to only 90 days. "These changes include a proposal for clinicians, hospitals and critical access hospitals to use a 90-day EHR reporting period in 2016—down from a full calendar year for returning participants,” CMS stated in its announcement. “This increases flexibility and lowers the reporting burden for hospital providers.”
The public comment period for the newly proposed MACRA rule ended this past Monday. As expected, the new program, put forth by CMS, created a lot of controversy in the medical industry. While not all of the 3,700 comments from healthcare providers and professionals were negative, the proposed rule was far from perfect in the eyes of many.
Compliance never sleeps, especially if you're a specialty physician and important dates are upcoming that you need to be aware of in your practice. Whether you're a dermatologist, ophthalmologist or a plastic surgeon, ensure that your practice addresses these compliance items in the coming days and weeks.
All 50 states may not be on board the telemedicine train as of now, but don't count the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs among the detractors. According to a report from Politico, the VA's Chief Officer for the Office of Connected Care, Neil Evans, announced at an American Telemedicine Association event that the VA performed approximately 750,000 medical visits via telemedicine in 2015.
The ICD-10 transition last October brought much stress to the healthcare community. With more than 144,000 codes and so much to learn, providers wondered how it would impact their practices, financially and administratively.
While the current ICD-10 “grace period” offers physicians at least some protection against gratuitous rejections as everyone adjusts to the new system, this concession will end on October 1 2016. This means that, in a matter of months, all physicians in the U.S. will be expected to code in ICD-10 with a high level of proficiency and specificity. Those who cannot will likely experience a sudden uptick in rejected claims, as well as open themselves up to the possibility of non-compliance fines from Health and Human Services (HHS).
ICD-10 may be only six months old in the United States, but new codes have already been proposed for October 1, 2016. Previously, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had placed a five-year code freeze on ICD-10 to help ease the healthcare industry into the new code set. Well, that ended in late March. The CDC announced proposed, new ICD-10-CM codes, while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced proposed, new ICD-10-PCS codes. In total, approximately 1,943 new ICD-10-CM codes were announced along with 3,651 new ICD-10-PCS codes.
Settled into ICD-10 yet? The infamous transition to the new coding system last October was met with a significant amount of controversy, but now almost six months out, it appears it wasn't as rocky as many believed, despite the 155,000 total ICD-10 codes.