Tags Posts tagged with "centers for medicare and medicaid services"

centers for medicare and medicaid services

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule in the September 30, 2019 Federal Register that revises requirements for discharge planning for inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, hospitals (including acute, children’s, long term acute care, and critical access), and home health agencies. Each of these facilities must meet these requirements as a condition to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In addition to this final rule requiring the discharge planning process to focus on the patient’s goals of care and treatment preferences, it also empowers patients to make informed decisions about their care as they are discharged from acute care to post-acute care (PAC).

The final rule includes a new requirement that sends necessary medical information to the receiving facility or appropriate PAC provider after a patient is discharged from the hospital or transferred to another PAC provider. In addition, hospitals must ensure and support patients’ rights to access their medical records in the form and format requested by the patient.

These regulations are effective on November 29, 2019. Contact RCPA Rehabilitation Services Director Melissa Dehoff with questions.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced the availability of a revised inpatient rehabilitation facility prospective payment system (IRF PPS) Medicare Learning Network (MLN) booklet. Topics in the booklet include: IRF PPS Elements (including rates, classification criterion, compliance percentage, and reasonable and necessary criteria); payment updates; IRF quality reporting program (QRP) measures for annual payment update; and many resources.

ODP Announcement 19-102 provides information regarding the amendments submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the Consolidated, Community Living, and P/FDS waivers. It is anticipated that the amendments will become effective October 1, 2019.

CMS has 90 days to review the amendments and changes may occur to the content based upon discussion with CMS during the approval process. Each full waiver application, as well as a side-by-side of substantive changes made as a result of public comment is available online here.

The amendments align with 55 Pa. Code Chapter 6100 regulations when effective, ensure compliance with the Home and Community-Based Settings regulations, and align with the Office of Developmental Programs’ Everyday Lives recommendations.

The amendments include a plan to serve medically complex children in a community home when transitioning from an extended hospital stay if they are unable to return to their family home. Also, the scope of professionals who can diagnose intellectual disability has been expanded.

ODP is adding the expectation that all providers of Community Participation Support services must offer individuals opportunities to participate in community activities that are consistent with the individual’s preferences, choices, and interests. On-call and remote support is proposed in order to support the fading of service and dependence on paid staff. The number of procedure codes and staffing levels has been decreased to more accurately reflect service delivery.

Starting January 1, 2022, CPS services may not be provided in any facility required to hold a 2380 or 2390 license that serves more than 150 individuals at any one time, including individuals funded through any source. All participants receiving prevocational services must have a competitive integrated employment outcome included in their service plan. There must be documentation in the service plan regarding how and when the provision of prevocational services is expected to lead to competitive integrated employment. CPS may not be provided in newly funded (on or after January 1, 2020) licensed 2380 or 2390 locations which serve more than 25 individuals in the facility at any one time.

Residential Habilitation, Life Sharing, and Supported Living Services will be required to utilize the recommendations provided in the Health Risk Screening Tool. SCs will be expected to monitor the implementation of the recommendations and incorporate them into the Individual’s Plan. Also, clarification is provided regarding the location parameters for newly funded sites.

ODP is proposing that respite can be provided by nurses for children with medical needs to assure the appropriate level of care is available.

Qualifications required for Support Service Professionals, Individuals, and Agency Providers have been clarified, including timelines for completion of certification requirements. Additionally, supported employment can be provided to individuals until OVR services are available, particularly when OVR has established a waiting list.

For a side-by-side comparison of substantive changes made as a result of public comment, see this online document. Questions about this communication should be directed to the appropriate ODP Regional Office.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the calendar year (CY) 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule on July 29, 2019, scheduled to be published in the August 14, 2019 Federal Register. Proposed changes to the CY 2020 Physician Fee Schedule are aimed at reducing burden, recognizing clinicians for the time they spend taking care of patients, removing unnecessary measures, and making it easier for clinicians to be on the path towards value-based care.

CMS will be conducting a listening session on Monday, August 12, 2019 from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm to briefly cover three provisions from the proposed rule and address clarifying questions, to assist providers with formulating written comments for formal submission. Registration for the listening session is required. The three provisions include:

  • Increasing value of Evaluation and Management (E/M) payments;
  • Continuing to improve the Quality Payment Program by streamlining the program’s requirements in order to reduce clinician burden; and
  • Creating the new Opioid Treatment Program benefit in response to the opioid epidemic.

Providers are encouraged to review the following materials prior to the call:

CMS has noted that feedback received from providers during this listening session is not a substitute for formal comments on the rule. Contact Melissa Dehoff, RCPA Director of Rehabilitation Services, with questions.

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On July 31, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the fiscal year (FY) 2020 inpatient rehabilitation facility prospective payment system (IRF PPS) final rule. This final rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on August 8, 2019.

Key provisions contained in the final rule include:

  • Motor Score Provisions: Based on feedback received with the proposed rule, CMS is adopting an unweighted motor score to assign patients to case-mix groups (CMGs), rather than the use of a weighted motor score as originally proposed. CMS also finalized as proposed the removal of GG0170A1 (roll left and right) from the motor score (leaving 18 unweighted data items).
  • CMGs, Relative Weights, & Average Length of Stay: The final rule includes three additional CMGs than were included in the proposed rule:
    • Stroke RIC (01) will have 6 CMGs, compared to 7 in the proposed rule
    • Non-traumatic spinal cord injury RIC (05) will have 5 CMGs, compared to 4 in the proposed rule
    • Replacement of lower extremity joint RIC (08) will have 5 CMGs, compared to 4 in the proposed rule
    • Rheumatoid other arthritis CMG RIC (13) will have 5 CMGs, compared to 4 in the proposed rule
    • Major multiple trauma without brain or spinal cord injury RIC (15) will have 5 CMGs, compared to 4 in the proposed rule
  • Rebasing and Revising IRF Market Basket: CMS is rebasing and revising the IRF market basket to reflect a 2016 base year and is forecasted to be 2.9 percent.
  • Clarification of “Rehabilitation Physician”: CMS is amending the regulations to clarify that the determination as to whether a physician qualifies as a rehabilitation physician (that is, a licensed physician with specialized training and experience in inpatient rehabilitation) is to be determined by the IRF, as the provider is in the best position to make that determination.
  • Ensuring Quality: CMS finalized two new quality measures to implement the final requirements of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Transformation (IMPACT) Act. Those two measures are: 1) Transfer of Health Information (TOH) from IRF to another Provider, and 2) Transfer of Health Information (TOH) from IRF to the Patient.
  • IRF Quality Reporting Program (QRP): CMS is adopting two new quality measures that satisfy the IMPACT Act domain pertaining to the transfer of health information when a patient is transferred or discharged from the IRF to another PAC provider or the home of the individual. Specifically, both of these measures would assess whether the IRF provides a reconciled medication list at the time of transfer or discharge. They also support the CMS Meaningful Measures initiative of promoting effective communication and coordination of care, specifically the meaningful measure area of the transfer of health information and interoperability. In addition, CMS is adopting a number of standardized patient assessment data elements

(SPADEs). These SPADEs assess key domain areas including functional status, cognitive function and mental status, special services, treatments and interventions, medical conditions and comorbidities, impairments, and social determinants of health (SDOH). The addition of these SPADEs to the IRF-Patient Assessment Instrument (IRF-PAI) will improve coordination of care and enable communication between PAC providers and other members of the health care community, aligning with CMS’ strategic initiative to improve interoperability. CMS is also updating the specifications for the Discharge to Community PAC IRF QRP measure to exclude baseline nursing home residents. CMS is also finalizing their policy to no longer publish a list of compliant IRFs on the IRF QRP website. CMS proposed to collect standardized patient assessment data and other data required to calculate quality measures using the IRF PAI on all patients, regardless of the patient’s payer; however, in response to stakeholder feedback, they have decided not to finalize this proposal.

The payment provisions contained in the final rule become effective for discharges on or after October 1, 2019 and the new quality reporting requirements go into effect on October 1, 2020. Contact RCPA Director of Rehabilitation Services Melissa Dehoff with questions.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) filed the unpublished and proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) rule for calendar year 2020 on July 29, 2019. The proposed rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2019. Payment is made under the PFS for services furnished by physicians and other practitioners in all sites of service, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical therapists, etc.

Some of the key provisions in this proposed rule include:

  • Medicare Telehealth Services: Proposing to add HCPCS codes GYYY1, GYYY2, and GYYY3 to the list of telehealth services, which describe a bundled episode of care for treatment of opioid use disorders.
  • Payment for Evaluation & Management (E/M) Services: Proposing to align the E/M coding changes with changes presented by the CPT Editorial Panel for office/outpatient E/M visits. The CPT coding changes retain 5 levels of coding for established patients, reduce the number of levels to 4 for office/outpatient E/M visits for new patients, and revise the code definitions. The CPT changes also revise the times and medical decision-making process for all of the codes and requires performance of history and exam only as medically appropriate. The CPT code changes also allow clinicians to choose the E/M visit level based on either medical decision making or time.
  • Physician Supervision Requirements for Physician Assistants (PAs): CMS is proposing to modify their regulation on physician supervision of PAs to give them greater flexibility to practice more broadly in the current health care system in accordance with state laws and scope of practice.
  • Therapy Services: In the CY 2019 PFS final rule, in accordance with amendments to the Medicare law, CMS established modifiers to identify therapy services that are furnished in whole or in part by physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) assistants, and set a de minimis 10 percent standard for when these modifiers will apply to specific services. CMS also established that the statutory reduced payment rate for therapy assistant services, effective beginning for services furnished in CY 2022, does not apply to services furnished by critical access hospitals because they are not paid for therapy services at PFS rates. Beginning January 1, 2020, these modifiers are required by statute to be reported on claims. CMS is proposing a policy to implement the modifiers as required by statute, and apply the 10 percent de minimis standard, while imposing the minimum amount of burden for those who bill for therapy services while meeting the requirements of the statute.
  • Review and Verification of Medical Record Documentation: CMS has received feedback from clinicians in response to their Patients Over Paperwork initiative request for information (RFI). Stakeholders have shared how undue burden is created when physicians and other practitioners, including those serving as clinical preceptors for students, must re-document notes entered into the medical record by other members of the medical team. To reduce burden, CMS is proposing broad modifications to the documentation policy so that physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse-midwives could review and verify (sign and date), rather than re-documenting, notes made in the medical record by other physicians, residents, nurses, students, or other members of the medical team.
  • Care Management Services: CMS is proposing to increase payment for Transitional Care Management (TCM), a care management service provided to beneficiaries after discharge from an inpatient stay or certain outpatient stays. CMS is also proposing a set of Medicare-developed HCPCS G-codes for certain Chronic Care Management (CCM) services.
  • Bundled Payments Under the PFS for Substance Use Disorders: CMS is proposing to create new coding and payment for a bundled episode of care for management and counseling for opioid use disorders (OUD).

Contact RCPA Director of Rehabilitation Services Melissa Dehoff with questions.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced an upcoming in person inpatient rehabilitation facility quality reporting program (IRF QRP) training. This two-day “train-the-trainer” event for providers is scheduled for August 15–16, 2019 at the Four Seasons Hotel, 200 International Drive, Baltimore, MD 21202.

The primary focus of this training, which is open to all IRF providers, associations, and organizations,  will be to provide those responsible for training staff at IRFs with information about IRF QRP changes and updates to the IRF Patient Assessment Instrument (PAI) v.3.0, which will become effective on October 1, 2019. Topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • An overview of the changes between the IRF-PAI v.2.0 and v.3.0;
  • Updated training materials for Section GG, which will include videos of patient scenarios; and
  • An interactive session on the use of reports to identify opportunities for process improvement and utilize information contained in reports available via the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER) system, which will be used to develop quality improvement plans.

A full agenda is available for both days of the training. Registration is limited to 100 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Questions or additional information requests should be sent to the PAC Training mailbox.

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Today, the following important notice was issued by the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA) regarding a historic appeal settlement that they, along with the FAIR Fund and the Federation of American Hospitals, reached with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that will allow inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) to settle their pending Medicare appeals.

Today CMS, AMRPA, the FAIR Fund, and the Federation of American Hospitals announced that an agreement has been reached with CMS which will allow IRFs to settle their pending Medicare appeals. For most pending claims, providers will be able to settle their pending appeals for 69% of the net payable amount of the claim. This is the highest percentage global settlement CMS has ever agreed to. In addition, some claims, such as those denied for failing to justify the use of group therapy, can be settled at 100% of the net payable amount. Here are some of the key things AMRPA members should know:

  • The settlement is voluntary. Providers can choose whether to settle their claims or continue to exercise their appeal rights.
  • Providers choosing to settle claims will receive 69% of the net payable amount (Medicare approved amount, less any applicable deductible or co-insurance).
  • Claims denied solely on the basis of threshold of therapy time not being met (3-hour or 15-hour rule), where the claim did not undergo further review for medical necessity, will be paid at 100% of the net payable amount. Claims denied solely because justification for group therapy was not documented will also be paid at 100% of the net payable amount.
  • If participating in the settlement, providers must settle all currently pending appeals. Providers cannot choose only select claims to settle.
  • To be eligible for settlement, the claim must have been denied in full, and the denial must have been appealed on or before August 31, 2018. The appeal must also still currently be pending at any level of appeal, and appeal rights must not have been exhausted at time of settlement.

Providers should read the entire template agreement for additional important details. CMS has provided instructions for how providers can participate in the settlement on its website.

This settlement was reached due to the diligent efforts of AMRPA’s sister organization, the FAIR Fund, in collaboration with AMRPA and the Federation of American Hospitals. AMRPA would especially like to thank longtime counsel to AMRPA and the FAIR Fund, Peter Thomas and Ron Connelly of Powers Law Firm, whose dedication to the rehabilitation field led to this historic settlement.

Contact Melissa Dehoff, RCPA Rehabilitation Services Director, with questions.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a new “Outpatient Rehabilitation Therapy Services: Complying with Medicare Billing Requirements” booklet. Outpatient rehabilitation therapy services include physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech-language pathology (SLP) services.

The booklet describes common outpatient rehabilitation therapy services Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) program errors, how CMS calculates improper payment rates, the necessary documentation to support billed Medicare Part B claims; and managing potential overpayments. Contact Melissa Dehoff, RCPA Rehabilitation Services Director, with questions.