Today, PhysiciansPractice sponsored a webinar with CMS’s Robert Anthony on the topic of “Meaningful Use Stage 1.” Robert Anthony is a Health Insurance Specialist in the Office of E-Health Standards and Services (OESS) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), where he focuses on the EHR Incentive Programs. Robert had a very pleasant voice to listen to, and he gets my vote for the best CMS Employee Speaker that I’ve heard!
I was not familiar with the OESS before, so I looked it up and found out what they do: Provide the overall leadership for and coordinate the implementation of Title IV of the HITECH Act. (Title IV = Medicare and Medicaid Health Information Technology)
Robert briefly reviewed what has happened to date with the EHR Incentive Program and the terms of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The three main differences in the two programs are:
The types of providers that are eligible for each program – information here.
The volume of each type of patient needed to participate: no volume needed to participate in the Medicare program and 30% Medicaid patients for all eligible practitioners except pediatricians who only need 20% Medicaid patients.
The tasks in year one in which the certified EHR is adopted. For Medicaid the practice only needs to attest that they have adopted, implemented or upgraded an EHR. In year one for Medicare the practice needs to attest to meaningful use for 90 days, which means data is collected and input into the attestation system.
The majority of the webinar was devoted to FAQs (my favorite part of any CMS-related education session!)
Q: Can entities participate in the Medicare EHR Demonstration Project, and the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive programs too?
A: Yes. The demonstration projects are about to be sunsetted (completed.)
Q: What information must be provided to patients to meet the requirement for a clinical summary at the end of each visit?
A: If system is certified, it will automatically provide the appropriate information for the clinical summary, which includes the patient’s problem list, medication list, medication allergy list, and diagnostic test results.
Robert suggested looking at the answer online at the CMS FAQ which I posted below:
In our final rule, we defined “clinicalsummary” as: an after-visit summary that provides a patient with relevant and actionable information and instructions containing, but not limited to, the patient name, provider’s office contact information, date and location of visit, an updated medication list, updated vitals, reason(s) for visit, procedures and other instructions based on clinical discussions that took place during the office visit, any updates to a problem list, immunizations or medications administered during visit, summary of topics covered/considered during visit, time and location of next appointment/testing if scheduled, or a recommended appointment time if not scheduled, list of other appointments and tests that the patient needs to schedule with contact information, recommended patient decision aids, laboratory and other diagnostic test orders, test/laboratory results (if received before 24 hours after visit), and symptoms.
The EP must include all of the above that can be populated into the clinicalsummary by certified EHR technology. If the EP’s certified EHR technology cannot populate all of the above fields, then at a minimum the EP must provide in a clinicalsummary the data elements for which all EHR technology is certified for the purposes of this program (according to §170.304(h)):
Diagnostic Test Results
Medication Allergy List
Q: How and when are incentive payments made?
A: After the online attestation is made (attestation thresholds must be attained), provider information is verified, then in 6 to 8 weeks a payment is generated. Payments are made in whatever way the entity typically gets CMS payments.
Q: What if patients do not routinely receive prescriptions during an office visit? How can the threshold be met? (Referring to computerized provider order entry (CPOE) for medication orders.)
A: For attestation, practices need to do this for 30% or more of all unique patients with at least one medication in their medication list. Note that patients with no medications in their medication list are excluded, so CMS believes this core initiative is realistic.
Q: For the Medicaid program, do you count the patient visit or the number of services (e.g. patient visit plus two tests equals three patient ticks) during the visit?
A: This question needs follow-up and if you send an email to email@example.com, they will be sent to CMS for the answer. Here is additional information from the CMS FAQ:
When calculating Medicaid patient volume or needy patient volume for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, are eligible professionals (EPs) required to use visits, or unique patients?
There are multiple definitions of encounter in terms of how it applies to the various requirements for patient volume. Generally stated, a patient encounter is any one day where Medicaid paid for all or part of the service or Medicaid paid the co-pays, cost-sharing, or premiums for the service. The requirements differ for EPs and hospitals. In general, the same concept applies to needy individuals. Please contact your State Medicaid agency for more information on which types of encounters qualify as Medicaid/needy individual patient volume.
Q: We are a new practice and plan on getting an EMR in the next 3 months. Can you walk me through the time lines?
A: If you haven’t chosen an EMR yet, your first year in either program will probably be 2012. In the first year of Medicare participation, you will need to use the EMR meaningfully for 90 days during calendar year 2012, and you have up to 60 days after the close of the calendar year to attest to your use. In the first year of Medicaid participation, you will need to adopt (acquire, install), implement (commence utilization of EHR such as train, data entry), or upgrade (expand) a certified EHR and attest to your activity at any time during the calendar year.
Q: What validation or oversight will CMS provide for the attestation process?
A: Before any payment is made, checks of provider eligibility and information will be done. Keep in mind that attestation is a legal process. Random audits will be put in place in the near future.
Q: Should a practice register if we don’t know which program we are going to use?
A: You can register at any time, and you can change from one program to the other prior to attesting, so you can register for one program and change before you begin the attestation.
Q: If your first year of attestation is in 2012, can you get the full 44K over the course of the program?
Q: Can you verify if Physician Assistants are eligible for one of the programs?
A: Physician Assistants (PAs) are only eligible under the Medicaid program and must be the lead provider for a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) or Rural Health Clinic (RHC) to qualify.
Q: Does a radiology practice have to provide a clinical summary for patients?
A: No practice type is excluded from clinical summary mandate. CMS has not heard of any practice type having a problem with this so far. Remember, to achieve meaningful use, you must provide clinical summaries to patients for more than 50 percent of office visits within three business days. Exclusion: Any EP who has no office visits during the period of EHR reporting.
Q: Is the problem list supposed to be related to the chief compliant of the office visit?
A: Not necessarily. Practices are required to maintain an up-to-date problem list of current and active diagnoses based on ICD-9-CM or SNOMED CT (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms) codes. To comply, at least 80 percent of all unique patients seen by eligible providers must have at least one entry (or an indication of none) recorded as structured data.
Q: What if questions were not able to be answered during the webinar?
A: Please e-mail Physicians Practice and we’ll get your answers from CMS. This could take several days, so please be patient. We will post your answers and all post-webinar questions at http://www.physicianspractice.com and notify you via e-mail as well.
A great list of additional resources were provided by Robert Anthony and Physicians Practice:
First the facts on what has taken place so far in the 2011 EHR Incentive Programs.
As of June 30th, the total of Medicare EHR Incentive Program payments is over $94 million.
As of June 30th, over $166 million has been paid in Medicaid EHR incentives since the program began in January. In May and June, four states launched Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs – Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington, bringing the total states with Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs to 21. More states will launch in July.
There are 68,001 active registrations of eligible professionals and eligible hospitals for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.
If your group hasn’t received a check and hasn’t registered for the Medicare or Medicaid Incentive Program, then this blog post is for you! For anyone who is really just beginning their EHR journey, today’s presentation clarified previous information given by CMS, as well as giving listeners new information about the programs.
Note: See my latest post on registering and attesting for the EHR Incentive Program here.
CMS has announced two national calls for attestation.
Tue May 3, 2-3:30pm ET (for Eligible Hospitals)
Thu May 5, 1:30-3pm ET (for Eligible Professionals)
CMS is holding conference calls for eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program to provide information on the attestation process. Mark your calendars for one of the calls below.
Tuesday, May 3, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET – Register to join this call if you are an eligible hospital or CAH who wants to learn more about the attestation process for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
Thursday, May 5, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. ET– Register to join this call if you are an EP who wants to learn more about the attestation process for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
What the Calls Will Cover
Path to Payment – Highlighting the steps you need to take to receive your incentive payment
Walkthrough of the Attestation Process – Guiding you through CMS’ web-based attestation system
Troubleshooting – Helping you successfully attest through CMS’ system
Helpful Resources – Reviewing CMS’ resources available on the EHR website
Q&A – Answering your questions about the attestation process
Instructions on How to Register for a Call
To register for these calls, take the following steps:
The registration site for the Tuesday, May 3 eligible hospital and CAH call. Registration closes Monday, May 2 , 2:00 p.m. ET.
The registration site for the Thursday, May 5 EP call. Registration closes Wednesday, May 4, 1:30 p.m. ET.
Fill in all required information and click “Register.”
You will be taken to the “Thank you for registering” page and will receive a confirmation email shortly thereafter. Please save this page in case your server blocks the confirmation email. (If you do not receive the confirmation email, check your spam/junk mail filter as it may have been directed there.)
If assistance for hearing impaired services is needed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org later than 3 business days before the call.
Prior to each call, presentation materials will be available in the Upcoming Events section of the Spotlight Page on the CMS EHR website.
Registration closes when all available space has been filled, or 24 hours before each call; no exceptions will be made, so please register early.
How will I attest for the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs?
Medicare eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals will have to demonstrate meaningful use through CMS’ web-based Registration and Attestation System. In the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System, providers will fill in numerators and denominators for the meaningful use objectives and clinical quality measures, indicate if they qualify for exclusions to specific objectives, and legally attest that they have successfully demonstrated meaningful use. A complete EHR system will provide a report of the numerators, denominators and other information. Then you will need to enter that data into our online Attestation System. Providers will qualify for a Medicare EHR incentive payment upon completing a successful online submission through the Attestation System—immediately after you submit your results you will see a summary of your attestation, and whether or not it was successful. The Attestation System for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will open on April 18, 2011.
For the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, providers will follow a similar process using their state’s Attestation System. Check here to see states’ scheduled launch dates for their Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.
Do you have questions about the EHR Incentive Programs? Do you want to find out if you are eligible, how much of an incentive payment you can earn, and learn more details about the program and what you need to do to qualify?
To attest for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in your first year of participation, you will need to have met meaningful use for a consecutive 90-day reporting period. If your initial attestation fails, you can select a different 90-day reporting period that may partially overlap with a previously reported 90-day period. To attest for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in subsequent years, you will need to have met meaningful use for a full year. Please note the reporting period for eligible professionals must fall within the calendar year, while the reporting period for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals must fall during the Federal fiscal year.
April 18, 2011, is the earliest an eligible professional, eligible hospital or critical access hospital can attest that they have demonstrated meaningful use of certified EHR technology under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
Under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, providers can attest that they have adopted, implemented or upgraded certified EHR technology in their first year of participation to receive an incentive payment. Medicaid EHR Incentive Program participants should check with their state to find out when they can begin participation.
What can I do now to prepare for attestation?
Visit the Registration page and get registered for the EHR Incentive Programs right now. If you haven’t previously registered, you can complete the registration and attestation process at the same time.
Also, review the Attestation User Guides, which provide step-by-step instructions for login and completing attestation. You can find separate Attestation User Guides for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals in the Resources section below.
Finally, you can enter your information in our Meaningful Use Attestation Calculator prior to submitting your attestation to see if you would be able to meet all of the necessary measures to successfully demonstrate meaningful use and qualify for an EHR incentive payment.
What will I need to login to the Attestation System?
If you are an eligible professional, you’ll need:
Your Type 1 National Provider Identifier (NPI)
The same user ID and password you used to register
If you are working on behalf of an eligible hospital or critical access hospital, you’ll need:
An active National Provider Identifier (NPI)
The same user ID and password you used to register
If you did not register the facility, you’ll need an Identity and Access Management system (I&A) Web user account (User ID/Password) and be associated to the organization NPI, if you’re a user working on behalf of an eligible hospital or critical access hospital.Create a login in the I&A System if you’re working on behalf of an eligible hospital or Critical Access Hospital and don’t have an I&A web user account.
What is the CMS EHR Certification Number?
During attestation, CMS requires each eligible professional, eligible hospital and critical access hospital to provide a CMS EHR Certification ID or Number that identifies the certified EHR technology being used to demonstrate meaningful use. This unique CMS EHR Certification ID or Number can be obtained by entering the certified EHR technology product information at the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) on the ONC website here.
NOTE: The ONC CHPL Product Number issued to your vendor for each certified technology is different than the CMS EHR Certification ID. Only a CMS EHR Certification ID obtained through the CHPL will be accepted at attestation.
Eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals can obtain a CMS EHR Certification ID or Number by following these steps:
Select your practice type by selecting the Ambulatory or Inpatient buttons.
Search for EHR Products by browsing all products, searching by product name or searching by criteria met.
Add product(s) to your cart to determine if your product(s) meet 100% of the CMS required criteria.
Request a CMS EHR Certification ID for CMS attestation.NOTE: The “Get CMS EHR Certification ID” button will not be activated until the products in your cart meet 100% of the CMS required criteria. If the EHR product(s) do not meet 100% of the CMS required criteria to demonstrate Meaningful Use, a CMS EHR Certification ID will not be issued.
The CMS EHR Certification ID contains 15 alphanumeric characters.
I’m an Eligible Professional (EP). Can I designate a third party to register and/or attest on my behalf?
In April 2011, CMS implemented functionality that allows an EP to designate a third party to register and attest on his or her behalf. To do so, users working on behalf of an EP must have an Identity and Access Management System (I&A) web user account (User ID/Password), and be associated to the EP’s NPI. If you are working on behalf of an EP(s), and do not have an I&A web user account, please visit I&A Security Check to create one. States will not necessarily offer the same functionality for attestation in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Check with your State to see what functionality will be offered.
When will I get paid?
Incentive payments for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will be made approximately four to six weeks after an eligible professional, eligible hospital or critical access hospital meets the program requirements and successfully attests they have demonstrated meaningful use of certified EHR technology. CMS expects that Medicare incentive payments will begin in May 2011. Payments will be held for eligible professionals until the eligible professional meets the $24,000 threshold in allowed charges.
Eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals attesting in April 2011 could receive their initial payments as early as May 2011. Final payment will be determined at the time of settling the hospital Medicare cost report.
Medicaid incentives will be paid by the states and are expected also to begin in 2011. States are required to issue incentive payments within 45 days of providers successfully attesting to having adopted, implemented or upgraded certified EHR technology during their first year of participation in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Launch date for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program varies by state, so the earliest date attestation can begin also varies by state. Several states have disbursed incentive payments as early as April 2011.
How will I get paid?
Payments to Medicare providers will be made to the taxpayer identification number (TIN) you selected at the time you registered for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
CMS will deposit payment in the first bank account on file. It will appear on your bank statement as “EHR Incentive Payment”
If you receive payments for Medicare services via electronic funds transfer, you will receive Medicare EHR Incentive Program payment the same way. If you currently receive Medicare payments by paper check, you will also receive your first Medicare EHR Incentive Program payment by paper check.
IMPORTANT: Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), carriers and fiscal intermediaries will not be making these payments. CMS has contracted with a Payment File Development Contractor to make these payments.
Have questions about your EHR incentive payment?
DON’T: Call your MAC/carrier/fiscal intermediary with questions
DO: Call the EHR Information Center
1-888-734-6433. TTY users should call 1-888-734-6563
Hours of Operation: 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (Central Time) Monday through Friday, except federal holidays
Why the payment amount may be less than you thought: The Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System contains a Status tab at the top which will contain the amount of the incentive payment, the amount of tax or nontax offsets applied, and the remittance advice reason code containing the reason for any reduction.
For those receiving paper checks, there will be a tear-off pay stub which identifies offsets made to the incentive payment.
Where you can find more information about the offsets: For more information about tax offsets, call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 1-800-829-3903.
For more information about non tax offsets, call the Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service (FMS) at 1-800-304-3107.
Will CMS conduct audits?
Any provider attesting to receive an EHR incentive payment for either the Medicare EHR Incentive Program or the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program potentially may be subject to an audit. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you’re prepared:
Overview of the CMS EHR Incentive Programs Audits
All providers attesting to receive an EHR incentive payment for either Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs should retain ALL relevant supporting documentation (in either paper or electronic format used in the completion of the Attestation Module responses). Documentation to support the attestation should be retained for six years post-attestation. Documentation to support payment calculations (such as cost report data) should continue to follow the current documentation retention processes.
CMS, and its contractors, will perform audits on Medicare and dually-eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) providers.
States, and their contractors, will perform audits on Medicaid providers.
CMS and states will also manage appeals processes.
Preparing for an Audit
To ensure you are prepared for a potential audit, save the supporting electronic or paper documentation that support your attestation. Also save the documentation to support your Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs). Hospitals should also maintain documentation to support their payment calculations.
Upon audit, the documentation will be used to validate that the provided accurately attested and submitted CQMs, as well as to verify that the incentive payment was accurate.
Details of the Audits
There are numerous pre-payment edit checks built into the EHR Incentive Programs’ systems to detect inaccuracies in eligibility, reporting and payment.
Post-payment audits will also be completed during the course of the EHR Incentive Programs.
If, based on an audit, a provider is found to not be eligible for an EHR incentive payment, the payment will be recouped.
CMS will be implementing an appeals process for eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals that participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. More information about this process will be posted to the CMS Web site soon.
States will implement appeals processes for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. For more information about these appeals, please contact your State Medicaid Agency.
Where can I find user guides and other resources?
Below are step-by-step Attestation User Guides to help you attest for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. You can also use our Attestation Worksheet, Meaningful Use Attestation Calculator, and educational webinar to help you prepare for and complete the attestation process:
Special Open Door Forum: Presentation and Listening Session on Hospital Wage Index Reform
Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM ET.
Section 3137(b) of the Affordable Care Act requires CMS to submit to Congress, by December 31, 2011, a report that includes a plan to reform the wage index under the Medicare hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS). CMS acquired the services of Acumen, LLC to assist in its study of the wage index. During the first part of this special open door forum, Acumen will present its concept of an alternative methodology for the wage index. The second part will be a listening session, during which CMS would like to hear from you regarding your opinions about Acumen’s concept, as well as any suggestions on alternative methods for computing the wage index. If you wish to participate via conference call, dial 1-800-837-1935Conference ID 50101623. Please see the full participation announcement in the Downloads section here.
Electronic Health Record Incentive Program Attestation Begins This Week
Attestation for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program begins on Monday, April 18, 2011. In order to receive your Medicare EHR incentive payment, you must attest through CMS’s web-based Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs Registration and Attestation System.
You can preview selected screenshots of the Attestation System to help you understand what the attestation process will involve. Please note that these screenshots are only examples – the final appearance and language may incorporate additional changes. CMS will release additional information about the Medicare attestation process soon, including User Guides that provide step-by-step instructions for completing attestation and educational webinars that describe the attestation process in depth.
You need to understand the required meaningful use criteria to successfully attest. Meaningful use requirements for eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program are different:
EP Meaningful Use Criteria –Must report on 15 core measures, 5 of 10 menu measures, and 6 clinical quality measures, consisting of 3 required core measures and 3 additional measures.
You should also make sure that you begin your 90-day reporting period in time to attest and receive a Medicare payment in 2011. The last days to begin 90-day reporting periods for 2011 incentive payments are:
Sunday, July 3, 2011, for eligible hospitals and CAHs; and
Saturday, October 1, 2011, for EPs.
Under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, the date when participants can begin attestation for adopting, implementing, upgrading, or demonstrating meaningful use of certified EHR technology varies by state. Visit the Medicaid State EHR Incentive Program web-tool for more information about your state’s participation in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
The ABCs of Providing the Initial Preventive Physical Examination Quick Reference Chart provides Medicare Fee-For-Service providers a list of the elements of the IPPE, as well as coverage and coding information. View the chart here.
The ABCs of Providing the Annual Wellness Visit Quick Reference Chart provides Medicare Fee-For-Service providers a list of the elements of the AWV, as well as coverage and coding information. View the chart here.
The Medicare Preventive Services Quick Reference Chart provides Medicare Fee-For-Service providers coverage, coding, and payment information on the variety of preventive services covered by Medicare. View the chart here.
A hardcopy booklet containing all three charts, as well as the Quick Reference Information: Medicare Immunization Billing chart, will be available at a later date.
Latest HCPCS Code Set Changes
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is pleased to announce the scheduled release of modifications to the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code set. These changes have been posted to the HCPCS web page here. Changes are effective on the date indicated on the update.
Revisions to ASP Pricing Files
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted revised October 2010 and January 2011 ASP (average sales price) files, which are available for download here (see left menu for year-specific links).
Physician or NPP Signatures on Lab Requisitions
In the Monday, November 29, 2010, Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized its proposed policy to require a physician’s or qualified non-physician practitioner’s (NPP) signature on requisitions for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests paid under the clinical laboratory fee schedule effective Saturday, January 1, 2011. (A requisition is the actual paperwork, such as a form, which is provided to a clinical diagnostic laboratory that identifies the test or tests to be performed for a patient.)
On Monday, December 20, 2010, CMS informed its contractors of concerns that some physicians, NPPs, and clinical diagnostic laboratories are not aware of or do not understand this policy. As such, CMS indicated that it will focus in the first quarter of 2011 on developing educational and outreach materials to educate those affected by this policy. CMS indicated that once the first quarter educational campaign is fully underway, it will expect requisitions to be signed.
After further input from community, CMS has decided to focus for the remainder of 2011 on changing the regulation that requires signatures on laboratory requisitions because of concerns that physicians, NPPs, and clinical diagnostic laboratories are having difficulty complying with this policy.
Face-to-Face Encounter Requirements for Home Health and Hospice
Effective April 1, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expects home health agencies and hospices have fully established internal processes to comply with the face-to-face encounter requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for purposes of certification of a patient’s eligibility for Medicare home health services and of recertification for Medicare hospice services.
Section 6407 of the ACA established a face-to-face encounter requirement for certification of eligibility for Medicare home health services, by requiring the certifying physician to document that he or she, or a non-physician practitioner working with the physician, has seen the patient. The encounter must occur within the 90 days prior to the start of care, or within the 30 days after the start of care. Documentation of such an encounter must be present on certifications for patients with starts of care on or after January 1, 2011.
Similarly, section 3131(b) of the ACA requires a hospice physician or nurse practitioner to have a face-to-face encounter with a hospice patient prior to the patient’s 180th-day recertification, and each subsequent recertification. The encounter must occur no more than 30 calendar days prior to the start of the hospice patient’s third benefit period. The provision applies to recertifications on and after January 1, 2011.
On December 23, 2010, due to concerns that some providers needed additional time to establish operational protocols necessary to comply with face-to-face encounter requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for purposes of certification of a patient’s eligibility for Medicare home health services and of recertification for Medicare hospice services, CMS announced that it will expect full compliance with the requirements, beginning with the second quarter of CY2011.
Throughout the first quarter of 2011, CMS has continued outreach efforts to educate providers, physicians, and other stakeholders affected by these new requirements. CMS has posted guidance materials including a MLN Matters article, questions and answers documents, training slides, and manual instructions which are available via CMS’ Home Health Agency Center and Hospice webpages. CMS’ Office of External Affairs and Regional Offices contacted state and local associations for physicians and home health agencies and advocacy groups to ensure awareness about the face-to-face encounter laws, and to distribute the educational materials.
CMS will continue to address industry questions concerning the new requirements, and will update information on the Web site here for home health and here for hospice.
Federally Qualified Health Center Fact Sheet Revised
The revised publication titled Federally Qualified Health Center (revised March 2011) is now available in downloadable format from the Medicare Learning Network® here. This fact sheet is designed to provide education about Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), including background; FQHC designation; covered FQHC services; FQHC preventive primary services that are not covered; FQHC Prospective Payment System; FQHC payments; and Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 provisions that impact FQHCs.
Avoiding the Adjustment 2012 Medicare Payment Adjustment for Not ePrescribing in 2011
In November 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that, beginning in calendar year 2012, eligible professionals who are not successful electronic prescribers based on claims submitted between Sat Jan 1 and Thu June 30, 2011, may be subject to a payment adjustment on their Medicare Part-B Physician Fee Schedule-covered professional services. Section 132 of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) authorizes CMS to apply this payment adjustment whether or not the eligible professional is planning to participate in the eRx Incentive Program.
From 2012 through 2014, the payment adjustment will increase each calendar year. In 2012, the payment adjustment for not being a successful electronic prescriber will result in an eligible professional or group practice receiving 99% of their Medicare Part-B PFS amount that would otherwise apply to such services. In 2013, an eligible professional or group practice will receive 98.5% of their Medicare Part-B PFS-covered professional services for not being a successful electronic prescriber in 2011 or as defined in a future regulation. In 2014, the payment adjustment for not being a successful electronic prescriber is 2%, resulting in an eligible professional or group practice receiving 98% of their Medicare Part-B PFS-covered professional services. (The payment adjustment does not apply if less than 10% of an eligible professional’s or group practice’s allowed charges for the Sat Jan 1, 2011 through Thu June 30, 2011, reporting period are comprised of codes in the denominator of the 2011 eRx measure.) Also note that earning an eRx incentive for 2011 will NOT necessarily exempt an eligible professional or group practice from the payment adjustment in 2012.
How to Avoid the 2012 eRx Payment Adjustment:
Eligible professionals – An eligible professional can avoid the 2012 eRx Payment adjustment if (s)he:
Is not a physician (MD, DO, or podiatrist), nurse practitioner, or physician assistant as of Thu June 30, 2011, based on primary taxonomy code in NPPES;
Does not have prescribing privileges. Note that (s)he must report G8644 at least one time on an eligible claim prior to Thu June 30, 2011;
Does not have at least 100 cases containing an encounter code in the measure denominator;
Becomes a successful e-prescriber; and reports the eRx measure for at least 10 unique eRx events for patients in the denominator of the measure.
NOTE: Group Practices – For group practices that are participating in eRx GPRO-I or GPRO-II during 2011, the group practice MUST become a successful e-prescriber. Depending on the group’s size, the group practice must report the eRx measure for 75-2500 unique eRx events for patients in the denominator of the measure. For additional information, please visit the “Getting Started” webpage here or download the “Medicare’s Practical Guide to the Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program”under “Educational Resources” on the same website.
Implementation of Errata for Version 5010 of HIPAA Transactions
BTW, errata is a list or lists of errors and their corrections. Errata is plural and the singular is erratum.
CMS does not have a version 4010A1 direct data entry and a separate version 5010 direct data entry. The Priority (Type) of Admission or Visit code is now required on all version 4010A1 institutional claims submitted or corrected via direct data entry, as well as on version 5010 institutional claims, regardless of how they are submitted. Providers that are unsure which code to use are to use code 9 (Information not Available). Additional Priority (Type) of Admission or Visit code values and descriptions are available from the National Uniform Billing Committee or from your servicing MAC. The Priority (Type) of Admission or Visit code is not required on 4010A1 institutional claims submitted or corrected via an 837. More information on Version 5010 here.
A new publication titled “Mental Health Services” is now available in downloadable format from the Medicare Learning Network®here. This booklet is designed to provide education on mental health services, including covered mental health services, mental health services that are not covered, mental health professionals, outpatient psychiatric hospital services, and inpatient psychiatric hospital services.
Ambulance Fee Schedule Fact Sheet Revised
The revised publication titled “Ambulance Fee Schedule” (revised March 2011) is now available in downloadable format from the Medicare Learning Network® here. This fact sheet is designed to provide education about the Ambulance Fee Schedule including background, ambulance providers and suppliers, ambulance services payments, and how payment rates are set.
Health Professional Shortage Area Fact Sheet Revised
The revised publication titled “Health Professional Shortage Area” (revised March 2011) is now available in downloadable format from the Medicare Learning Network®here. This fact sheet is designed to provide education on the Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) payment system and includes an overview of the program and general requirements.
The revised publication titled “Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospital” (revised March 2011) is now available in downloadable format here. This fact sheet is designed to provide education on Medicare Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH) including background; methods to qualify for the Medicare DSH adjustment; Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 and Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 provisions that impact Medicare DSHs; number of beds in hospital determination; and Medicare DSH hospital payment adjustment formulas.
G0431QW is Deleted and G0434QW is Added to CLIA Waived Test Schedule
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is updating the status of two codes on the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS).
Effective April 1, 2011, code G0431QW is deleted from the CLFS. Code G0431 describes a high complexity test, and should not be reported with a QW modifier; the QW modifier indicates a CLIA waived test.
Effective April 1, 2011, code G0434QW is added to the CLFS. Code G0434 can describe a CLIA waived test. The use of the QW modifier to indicate a CLIA waived test is necessary for accurate claims processing.
Codes G0431 and G0434 will remain on the CLFS.
CMS Launches a Dedicated Web Page for the Medicare Shared Savings Program/Requirements for ACOs
On March 31, 2011, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published in the Federal Register proposed rule CMS-1345-P, Medicare Program; Medicare Shared Savings Program: Accountable Care Organizations that implements the Medicare Shared Savings Program (Shared Savings Program) and establishes the requirements for Accountable Care Organizations. CMS has launched a dedicated web page here for Medicare FFS providers and other providers of services and suppliers. Bookmark the web page and check back often, as CMS continues to add information on the program.
Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER) for CAHs
Beginning in April 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will make available free hospital-specific comparative data reports for critical access hospitals (CAHs) nationwide. The Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER) provides hospital-specific data statistics for Medicare discharges at risk for improper payments. Hospitals can use the data to support internal auditing and monitoring activities. PEPPER is the only free report comparing a CAH’s Medicare billing practices with other CAHs by state, Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) or Fiscal Intermediary (FI) jurisdiction and the nation. CMS has contracted with TMF Health Quality Institute to develop and distribute the reports.
PEPPER will be distributed electronically to CAH QualityNet Administrators and those who have basic user accounts with the PEPPER Recipient role on or about Monday, April 25, via a My QualityNet secure file exchange. In preparation for receiving and downloading PEPPER from My QualityNet, these individuals should verify that their computer systems are equipped with the software and configuration required to use My QualityNet by following the steps at www.qualitynet.org (see “Getting Started With QualityNet” and “Test Your System.”) Additional information about downloading PEPPER from My QualityNet can be found here (includes System Setup and Test Guide, Troubleshooting Tips and a guide for Configuration Changes for Compatibility with QualityNet).
CAHs may work with their Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) to obtain a QualityNet administrator account by visiting www.qualitynet.org and clicking on the Hospitals – Inpatient link. Obtaining a My QualityNet account may take several weeks; CAHs should plan accordingly.
TMF will conduct a web-based training session for CAH staff providing information on PEPPER and how to use it on Thursday, April 28, at 1 p.m. central time. To register for the training, CAH staff should visit https://tmfevents.webex.com. The training will be recorded and posted on http://www.pepperresources.org.
For more information, including the PEPPER distribution schedule, a sample PEPPER for CAHs and information about QualityNet accounts, visit the PEPPER website. CAH staff are encouraged to join the e-mail list on this website to receive important notifications about upcoming PEPPER distribution and training opportunities.