1

CMS Publishes an Updated Q & A about Attesting with Multiple EHRs

 

First pocket programmable calculator

Question:  For the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs, how should an eligible professional (EP), eligible hospital, or critical access hospital (CAH) that sees patients in multiple practice locations equipped with certified EHR technology calculate numerators and denominators for the meaningful use objectives and measures? 

 

 Answer:  EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs should look at the measure of each meaningful use objective to determine the appropriate calculation method for individual numerators and denominators.  The calculation of the numerator and denominator for each measure is explained in the July 28, 2010 final rule (75 FR 44314).

For objectives that require a simple count of actions (e.g., number of permissible prescriptions written, for the objective of “Generate and transmit permissible prescriptions electronically (eRx)”; number of patient requests for an electronic copy of their health information, for the objective of “Provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information”; etc.), EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs can add the numerators and denominators calculated by each certified EHR system in order to arrive at an accurate total for the numerator and denominator of the measure.

 

For objectives that require an action to be taken on behalf of a percentage of “unique patients” (e.g., the objectives of “Record demographics”, “Record vital signs”, etc.), EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs may also add the numerators and denominators calculated by each certified EHR system in order to arrive at an accurate total for the numerator and denominator of the measure. Previously CMS had advised providers to reconcile information so that they only reported unique patients. However, because it is not possible for providers to increase their overall percentage of actions taken by adding numerators and denominators from multiple systems, we now permit simple addition for all meaningful use objectives.

 

Keep in mind that patients whose records are not maintained in certified EHR technology will need to be added to denominators whenever applicable in order to provide accurate numbers.

 

To report clinical quality measures, EPs who practice in multiple locations that are equipped with certified EHR technology should generate a report from each of those certified EHR systems and then add the numerators, denominators, and exclusions from each generated report in order to arrive at a number that reflects the total data output for patient encounters at those locations. To report clinical quality measures, eligible hospitals and CAHs that have multiple systems should generate a report from each of those certified EHR systems and then add the numerators, denominators, and exclusions from each generated report in order to arrive at a number that reflects the total data output for patient encounters in the relevant departments of the eligible hospital or CAH (e.g., inpatient or emergency department (POS 21 or 23)).

 

Website Update

 

Please also note that the EHR Incentive Programs’ FAQs were reorganized during the CMS.gov website upgrade. The EHR Incentive Programs’ FAQs are now incorporated in the same page as other CMS program FAQs. To navigate the EHR Incentive Program FAQs you must go to the FAQ page, and click “Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs” on the blue navigation pane on the left-hand side. We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.

 

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs? Visit the EHR Incentive Programs website.

Photo credit: Wikipedia




News from Medicare & Other Payers for the Week of January 23, 2012: 5010 National Provider Call This Week; Most Insurances Will Be Required to Cover Birth Control Without Co-Pays

Français : Différents types de pilule contrace...

 

e-RX: Medicare e-prescribing hardship exemptions under review (jump to story)

 

EFT: suppliers and providers who are not currently receiving Medicare EFT payments are required to submit the CMS-588 EFT form (jump to story)

 

SNFs: Allowing Physician Assistants to Perform Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Level of Care Certifications and Recertifications (jump to story)

 

ACA: the final rule on preventive health services will ensure that women with health insurance coverage will have access to the full range of the Institute of Medicine’s recommended preventive services, including all FDA -approved forms of contraception. (jump to story)

 

EHR Incentive Program: what can still be completed in 2012 in order to receive an incentive payment for CY2011 (jump to story)

 

5010: National Provider Call:  Medicare FFS Implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 and D.0 Transactions (jump to story)

 

Claims Crossovers: Greater instances of Medicare correspondence letters that make reference to error N22226 as the basis for patient claims not crossing over(jump to story)

 

ICD-10: What’s Your Plan, Man?(jump to story)

 

MLN: Medicare Learning Network Announcements, Updates and Revisions (jump to story)
——————————

Medicare e-prescribing hardship exemptions under review

Last fall, physicians had the opportunity to seek hardship exemptions and avoid penalties for failing to successfully participate in Medicare’s e-prescribing program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reviewing each hardship exemption request on an individual basis and has not yet completed its analysis. Therefore, it is possible that some physicians will be subjected to a 1 percent Medicare payment penalty inappropriately until the backlog of exemption requests is reviewed. Ultimately, CMS will reprocess the claims.

Read information regarding remittance advice and information on the impact to physician reimbursement and patient copays. More information on the penalty program can be found here.

Find additional electronic prescribing information and resources on the AMA website.

(Top)

——————————–

The ACA (Affordable Care Act) Mandates Federal Payment to Providers and Suppliers Only by Electronic Means

Existing regulations at 42 CFR 424.510(e)(1)(2) require that at the time of enrollment, enrollment change request, or revalidation, providers and suppliers that expect to receive payment from Medicare for services provided must also agree to receive Medicare payments through electronic funds transfer (EFT).  Section 1104 of the Affordable Care Act further expands Section 1862(a) of the Social Security Act by mandating federal payments to providers and suppliers only by electronic means.  As part of CMS’s revalidation efforts, all suppliers and providers who are not currently receiving EFT payments are required to submit the CMS-588 EFT form with the Provider Enrollment Revalidation application, or at the time any change is being made to the provider enrollment record by the provider or supplier, or delegated official.

For more information about provider enrollment revalidation, review the Medicare Learning Network’s Special Edition Article #SE1126, titled “Further Details on the Revalidation of Provider Enrollment Information.”

(Top)

——————————–

Allowing Physician Assistants to Perform Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Level of Care Certifications and Recertifications

http://www.cms.gov/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/MM7701.pdf

(Top)

——————————–

A Statement by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

In August 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services issued an interim final rule that will require most health insurance plans to cover preventive services for women including recommended contraceptive services without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible.  The rule allows certain non-profit religious employers that offer insurance to their employees the choice of whether or not to cover contraceptive services. Today the department is announcing that the final rule on preventive health services will ensure that women with health insurance coverage will have access to the full range of the Institute of Medicine’s recommended preventive services, including all FDA -approved forms of contraception.  Women will not have to forego these services because of expensive co-pays or deductibles, or because an insurance plan doesn’t include contraceptive services. This rule is consistent with the laws in a majority of states which already require contraception coverage in health plans, and includes the exemption in the interim final rule allowing certain religious organizations not to provide contraception coverage. Beginning August 1, 2012, most new and renewed health plans will be required to cover these services without cost sharing for women across the country.

After evaluating comments, we have decided to add an additional element to the final rule. Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule.  We intend to require employers that do not offer coverage of contraceptive services to provide notice to employees, which will also state that contraceptive services are available at sites such as community health centers, public clinics, and hospitals with income-based support.  We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns.

Scientists have abundant evidence that birth control has significant health benefits for women and their families, it is documented to significantly reduce health costs, and is the most commonly taken drug in America by young and middle-aged women. This rule will provide women with greater access to contraception by requiring coverage and by prohibiting cost sharing.

This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty. I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services. The administration remains fully committed to its partnerships with faith-based organizations, which promote healthy communities and serve the common good.  And this final rule will have no impact on the protections that existing conscience laws and regulations give to health care providers.

(Top)

———————————

Receiving an EHR Incentive Program Payment for CY2011

As 2012 begins, CMS wants to remind eligible professionals (EPs) participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program of important deadlines approaching and what can still be completed in 2012 in order to receive an incentive payment for CY2011.

Important Medicare EHR Incentive Program Dates

On Saturday, December 31, 2011, the reporting year ended for EPs who participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2011.  What does this mean?  For participating EPs, they must have completed their 90-day reporting period by the end of 2011.

However, EPs have until Wednesday, February 29, 2012 to actually register and attest to meeting meaningful use to receive an incentive payment for CY2011 through the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System.

Payment Threshold Information
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 is also the deadline for EPs to submit any pending Medicare Part B claims from CY2011, as CMS allows 60 days after Saturday, December 31, 2011 for all pending claims to be processed.  This means that EPs have 60 days in 2012 to submit claims for allowed charges incurred in 2011.

Medicare EHR incentive payments to EPs are based on 75% of the Part B allowed charges for covered professional services furnished by the EP during the entire payment year.  If the EP did not meet the $24,000 threshold in Part B allowed charges by the end of CY2011, CMS expects to issue an incentive payment for the EP in April 2012 for 75% of the EP’s Part B charges from 2011.

Note for Medicaid Participants:  Medicaid incentives will be paid by the states, but the timing will vary according to state.  Please contact your State Medicaid Agency for more details about payment.

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?  Visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.

(Top)

——————————–

National Provider Call:  Medicare FFS Implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 and D.0 Transactions – Register Now

Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 2-3:30pm ET

CMS will host a special National Provider Call regarding the Medicare FFS implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 and D.0 transaction standards.

Target Audience:  Vendors, clearinghouses, and providers who need to make Medicare FFS-specific changes in compliance with HIPAA Version 5010 requirements.

Agenda (there will be no slide presentation for this call):

  • HIPAA Version 5010 implementation update
  • Question & answer session

If you would like to submit a question related to this topic in advance of, during, or following the call, please email your inquiry to the 5010 FFS Information resource mailbox at 5010FFSinfo@CMS.hhs.gov.  Note that this resource box will only accept emails the day before, the day of, and the day after this call; your emailed questions will be answered as soon as possible, and may not be answered during the call.

Registration Information:  In order to receive the call-in information, you must register for the call.  Registration will close at 12pm on the day of the call or when available space has been filled; no exceptions will be made, so please register early.  For more details, including instructions on registering for the call, please visit http://www.eventsvc.com/blhtechnologies.

(Top)

———————————

Greater instances of Medicare correspondence letters that make reference to error N22226 as the basis for patient claims not crossing over

On Monday, December 5, 2011, CMS issued a Special Edition MLN Matters Article (SE1137) entitled “Additional Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 837 5010 Transitional Changes and Further Modifications to the Coordination of Benefits Agreement (COBA) National Crossover Process.”  CMS issued this guidance for the benefit of physicians/practitioners, providers, and suppliers to help them understand why they were seeing greater instances of Medicare correspondence letters that made reference to error N22226 as the basis for why their patients’ claims could not be crossed over.

CMS has since learned that concern exists in the provider community concerning whether billing of hardcopy CMS 1500 or UB04 claims or HIPAA version 4010A1 or National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) version 5.1 batch claims will result in Medicare being unable to cross those claims over to COBA supplemental payers that have cut-over to exclusive receipt of crossover claims in the version 5010 837 claim formats or NCPDP D.0 batch claim formats.  This is not true.

During the 90-day Version 5010 non-enforcement period (Sunday, January 1, 2012 through Saturday, March 31, 2012), Medicare will have the systematic capability to perform up- or down-version conversion of incoming claim formats (ie. convert incoming hardcopy formats to HIPAA equivalent claim formats and convert incoming version 4010A1 claim formats to 5010 formats and vice-a-versa), in accordance with external supplemental payer specifications concerning production claims format.  This practice will discontinue, however, at the conclusion of the 90-day non-enforcement period, with the exception below.  (This action is controlled by information that the Common Working File receives concerning individual supplemental payers’ ability to accept HIPAA 5010 or NCPDP D.0 claim formats in “production” mode.)

Note that physicians/practitioners, providers, and suppliers that have authorization under the Administrative Simplification Compliance Act (ASCA) to submit claims using a hardcopy format should know that Medicare has the systematic capability to convert keyed claims into outbound-compliant HIPAA 837 claim formats for crossover claim transmission purposes.  This is true at all times, not just during the 90-day non-enforcement period.

(Top)

———————————-

What’s Your Plan, Man?

Is your organization preparing for a smooth transition to ICD-10 on Tuesday, October 1, 2013?  ICD-10 National Provider Calls, hosted by the CMS Provider Communications Group, can help you prepare for the US healthcare industry’s change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 for diagnosis and inpatient procedure coding.

Video slideshow presentations from the following National Provider Calls are available on the CMS YouTube Channel.  These video slideshows include the call slide presentation and audio with captions; each call includes presentations by CMS subject matter experts, followed by a question and answer session.

The ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 Cooperating Parties – CMS, the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – discuss ICD-10 implementation strategies and planning, and the CMS Provider Billing Group discuss the Medicare FFS claims processing guidance issued in August 2011.

CMS subject matter experts discuss how physician offices can prepare for the change to ICD-10 for medical diagnosis and inpatient procedure coding and provide updates on national ICD-10 implementation issues affecting all providers.

CMS subject matter experts discuss the ICD-10 conversion process currently taking place within CMS, including a case study from the Coverage and Analysis Group on their transition to ICD-10 for the lab national coverage determinations (NCDs).

Podcasts, complete audio files, and complete written transcripts for these ICD-10 National Provider Calls are also available on the CMS ICD-10 webpage at http://www.CMS.gov/ICD10/Tel10/list.asp.

Available 24/7, YouTube video presentations and podcasts make learning about the ICD-10 transition easy and convenient. Check them out today.

(Top)

——————————–

Medicare Learning Network Announcements, Updates and Revisions

From the MLN:  “Health Professional Shortage Area Bonus Payment Policy Reminders” MLN Matters Article Released – A new MLN Matters® Special Edition Article #SE1202, “Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Bonus Payment Policy Reminders,” has been released in downloadable format.  This article is designed to provide education on the HPSA Bonus Payment Program, and provides information about the program and resources that providers can use to determine whether they are eligible to receive the bonus payment.

From the MLN:  New “Medicare Coverage of Radiology and Other Diagnostic Services” Fact Sheet Released – A new “Medicare Coverage of Radiology and Other Diagnostic Services” fact sheet (ICN 907164) has been released in downloadable format.  This fact sheet is designed to provide education on Medicare coverage and billing information for radiology and other diagnostic services, and includes specific information concerning billing and coding requirements and an overview of coverage guidelines.

From the MLN:  New Fast Fact on MLN Provider Compliance Webpage – A new fast fact is now available on the MLN Provider Compliance webpage.  This page provides the latest educational products designed to help Medicare Fee-For-Service providers understand – and avoid – common billing errors and other improper activities.  Please bookmark this page and check back often as a new fast fact is added each month!

From the MLN:  “Acute Care Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System” Fact Sheet Revised – The “Acute Care Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System” fact sheet (ICN 006815) has been revised and is available in downloadable format.  This fact sheet includes information on payment background, the basis for the Acute Care Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System payment, payment rates, and how payment rates are set.

From the MLN:  “Items and Services That Are Not Covered Under the Medicare Program” Booklet and “Medicare Claim Submission Guidelines” Fact Sheet Now Available in Hardcopy – The “Items and Services That Are Not Covered Under the Medicare Program” booklet (ICN 906765), available now in hardcopy, includes information about the four categories of items and services that are not covered under the Medicare program and applicable exceptions to exclusions and the Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage.

The “Medicare Claim Submission Guidelines” fact sheet (ICN 906764), available now in hardcopy as well, includes information about applying for a National Provider Identifier and enrolling in the Medicare program, filing Medicare claims, and private contracts with Medicare beneficiaries.

From the MLN:  “Medicare Claim Review Programs” Booklet Revised – The revised “Medicare Claim Review Programs: MR, NCCI Edits, MUEs, CERT, and RAC” booklet (ICN 006973) is designed to provide education on the different CMS claim review programs and assist providers in reducing payment errors, including, in particular, coverage and coding errors.  It includes frequently asked questions, resources, and an overview of the various programs, including Medical Review, Recovery Audit Contractor, and the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Program.

From the MLN:  “Substance (Other Than Tobacco) Abuse Structured Assessment and Brief Intervention (SBIRT)” Fact Sheet Revised – This revised “Substance (Other Than Tobacco) Abuse Structured Assessment and Brief Intervention (SBIRT)” fact sheet (ICN 904084) is designed to provide education on SBIRT, an early intervention approach that targets those with nondependent substance use to provide effective strategies for intervention prior to the need for more extensive or specialized treatment.

From the MLN:  “Non-Specific Procedure Code Description Requirement for HIPAA Version 5010 Claims” MLN Matters Article Released – The new “Non-Specific Procedure Code Description Requirement for HIPAA Version 5010 Claims” MLN Matters Special Edition Article (#SE1138) is designed to provide education on the requirements for non-specific procedure codes for HIPAA 5010 claims, as established in Change Request 7392.  It includes guidance to help providers comply with the requirements and submit HIPPA-compliant claims for all non-specific procedure codes.

From the MLN:  “Federally Qualified Health Center” Fact Sheet Revised – The revised “Federally Qualified Health Center” fact sheet (ICN 006397) includes the following information: 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.

From the MLN:  Medicare Preventive Services Series: Part 2, Web-Based-Training Course (WBT) Revised – This WBT is designed to provide education on Medicare Preventive Services.  It includes information on Medicare’s coverage for the initial preventive physical exam (IPPE), ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), screening electrocardiogram (EKG), Annual Wellness Visit (AWV), cardiovascular screening blood tests, diabetes-related services, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and smoking and tobacco-use cessation counseling services. To access the WBT, visit the MLN Products page, scroll to the “Related Links Inside CMS,” and select the “Web-Based Training (WBT) Courses.”

From the MLN:  MLN Guided Pathways (Basic, A, and B) Provider-specific Resource Booklets Revised – The revised MLN Guided Pathways curriculum is designed to allow learners to easily identify and select resources by clicking on topics of interest.  The curriculum begins with basic knowledge for all providers and then branches to information for either those enrolling on the 855B, I, and S forms or on the 855A form (or Internet-based PECOS equivalents).  The resource booklets are:

From the MLN:  “MLN Guided Pathways Provider-specific” Resource Booklet Revised – The Revised MLN Guided Pathways to Medicare Resources provider-specific resource booklet provides various specialties of healthcare professionals, (physicians, chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists), nurses (APN, RNCNS, NP, Midwife) PAs, social workers, psychologists, therapists (OT, PT, SLP), dietitians, nutritionists, suppliers (ambulance, ASC, DMEPOS, FQHC, RHC, Labs, mammography, radiation therapy, portable x-ray), and providers (CMHC, CORF, ESRD, HHA, hospice, OPT, pathology and SNF) with resources specific to their specialty including Internet-Only Manuals (IOMs), Medicare Learning Network® publications, CMS webpages, and more.  This version includes the addition of pathways for Anesthesiology Assistant/Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Anesthesiologist, Ophthalmologist, and Optometrist, along with a fully developed pathway for Mass Immunization Roster Biller.

All of the MLN Guided Pathways booklets above are available at http://www.CMS.gov/MLNEdWebGuide/30_Guided_Pathways.asp.

From the MLN: “Preventive Services Educational Resources for Health Care Professionals” MLN Matters® Article Released – The new “Preventive Services Educational Resources for Health Care Professionals” MLN Matters® Special Edition Article (#SE1142) is designed to provide education on available educational resources related to Medicare-covered preventive services.  It includes a list of MLN products that can help Medicare FFS providers understand coverage, coding, reimbursement, and billing requirements related to these services.

From the MLN:  “Advanced Payment Accountable Care Organization Model” Fact Sheet Available – The new “Advanced Payment Accountable Care Organization Model” fact sheet (ICN 907403) is designed to provide education on the advance payment model for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).  It includes a summary of the Advance Payment ACO Model, background, and information on the structure of payments, recoupment of advance payments, eligibility, and the application process.

From the MLN:  “Summary of Final Rule Provisions for Accountable Care Organizations Under the Medicare Shared Savings Program” Fact Sheet Available – The new “Summary of Final Rule Provisions for Accountable Care Organizations Under the Medicare Shared Savings Program” fact sheet (ICN 907404) is designed to provide education on the provisions of the final rule that implements the Medicare Shared Savings Program with ACOs.  It includes background, information on how ACOs impact beneficiaries, eligibility requirements to form an ACO, and information on monitoring and tying payment to improved care at lower costs.

From the MLN:  “Improving Quality of Care for Medicare Patients: Accountable Care Organizations” Fact Sheet Available – The new “Improving Quality of Care for Medicare Patients: Accountable Care Organizations” fact sheet (ICN 907407) is designed to provide education on improving quality of care under ACOs. It includes a table of quality measures under the program.

From the MLN:  “Medicare Shared Savings Program and Rural Providers” Fact Sheet Available – The new “Medicare Shared Savings Program and Rural Providers” fact sheet (ICN 907408) is designed to provide education on how the Medicare Shared Savings Program impacts rural providers.  It includes information on federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, critical access hospitals, and how this program impacts them.

(Top)

Enhanced by Zemanta



ePrescribing Survivial Guide: Getting Your Ten Electronic Prescriptions Done in the Next 30 Days

Medicine drugs

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

This is a busy time for most practices. Managers are preparing for the annual juggling act of getting staff and physicians coordinated for summer vacations. Practices are ramping up for new doctors joining their practice at the traditional end of residency programs in the summer. Many practices are in the midst of shopping for, negotiating for or implementing EMRs. And most everyone without an existing EMR is struggling with the e-prescribing deadline looming in 30 days. Read my first post on this topic here.

As a reminder:

  • Eligible professionals who are not successful e-prescribers, based on claims submitted between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2011, may be subject to a “payment adjustment” (read payment cut) in their Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for covered professional services in 2012.
  • Those that do not e-prescribe as a part of 10 Medicare patient encounters by June 30, 2011 will only receive 99% of their Medicare payment for all encounters in 2012.
  • Those that do not e-prescribe as a part of 25 encounters by December 31, 2011, will only receive 98.5% of their Medicare payments for all encounters in 2013 and only 98% of their Medicare payments for encounters during 2014 and going forward.

Here are the problems practices have encountered trying to get their ten:

  • Physicians seeing patients in facilities and using the codes that are eligible for eRx, but not having the ability to e-prescribe during the visit
  • Physicians in specialties not prescribing many medications
  • Physicians in specialties prescribing predominantly controlled drugs, which are not currently eligible for electronic prescribing

Today, the AMA released this announcement

May 31, 2011

On May 26 the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) responded to AMA concerns about the e-prescribing penalty program and issued a proposed rule that makes significant changes to it by adding more exemption categories. These changes will assure that physicians are not unfairly penalized for failing to meet the requirements under the 2012 e-prescribing penalty program.

Physicians are still required to e-prescribe using a qualifying e-prescribing system and report the G8553 code on at least 10 Medicare Part B claims from Jan. 1, 2011, through June 30, 2011, to avoid the 2012 e-prescribing penalty.

However, to avoid the 2012 e-prescribing penalty, physicians now will have an opportunity to attest through an on-line web portal that they are eligible for one of the following penalty exemptions:

  • Physician’s practice is located in a rural area without high speed internet access
  • Physician’s practice is located in an area without sufficient available pharmacies for electronic prescribing
  • Physician is registered to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and has adopted certified EHR technology (New)
  • Physician is unable to electronically prescribe due to local, State, or Federal law or Regulation (e.g., prescribes controlled substances) (New)
  • Physician infrequently prescribes (e.g., prescribe fewer than 10 prescriptions between January 1, 2011 –June 30, 2011) (New)
  • There are insufficient opportunities to report the e-prescribing measure due to program limitations (e.g., surgeons) (New)

Physicians will have to apply for an exemption from the 2012 e-prescribing penalty via the web-portal tool by Oct. 1.

What if you don’t fall into one of these new categories?

It’s time to tap into one of the free electronic prescribing packages available. Here are two choices:

  1. The National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative (NEPSI) – Free, Allscripts Software
  2. Practice Fusion – Free, probably will have advertising and your data will be mined (all 10 prescriptions!) but you may be able to get it up and running very quickly

 

Some other thoughts on getting your ten done

  1. Prescribe over-the-counter drugs including stool softeners and anti-emetics.
  2. Prescribe Tylenol3 or another non-controlled pain reliever – patients do not need to pick these prescriptions up or pay for them.
  3. Ask your Medicare patients if they have any prescriptions they would like you to refill while they are in the office. Over-the-phone refills do not count as there is no associated face-to-face service.
Enhanced by Zemanta



E-prescribing: Use it 10 times for Medicare Patients Between Now and June 30, 2011 or Lose Money in 2012

Should I consider ePrescribing in 2011 if I’m not ready to install an EMR? 

Physicians prescriptions carefully prepared. J...

  • In 2012 eligible professionals who are not successful eprescribers, based on claims submitted between January 1, 2011 ”“ June 30, 2011, may be subject to a “payment adjustment” (read payment cut) in their Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for covered professional services.
  • Those that don’t eprescribe as a part of 10 Medicare patient encounters by June 30, 2011 will only receive 99% of their Medicare payment for all encounters in 2012.
  • Those that don’t ePrescribe as a part of 25 encounters by December 31, 2011, will only receive 98.5% of their Medicare payments for all encounters in 2013 and only 98% of their Medicare payments for encounters during 2014 and going forward.
  • The payment adjustment does not apply if <10% of an eligible professional’s (or group practice’s) allowed charges for the January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011 reporting period are comprised of codes in the denominator of the 2011 eRx measure.

The DENOMINATOR is the visit code that is eligible for an eprescribing code (see list below.)

Patient visit during the reporting period (CPT or HCPCS): 90801, 90802, 90804, 90805, 90806, 90807, 90808, 90809, 90862, 92002, 92004, 92012, 92014, 96150, 96151, 96152, 99201, 99202, 99203, 99204, 99205, 99211, 99212, 99213, 99214, 99215, 99304, 99305, 99306, 99307, 99308, 99309, 99310, 99315, 99316, 99324, 99325, 99326, 99327, 99328, 99334, 99335, 99336, 99337, 99341, 99342, 99343, 99344, 99345, 99347, 99348, 99349, 99350, G0101, G0108, G0109

The NUMERATOR is a prescription generated and transmitted via a qualified eRx system and reported using a quality data code.

G8553: At least one prescription created during the encounter was generated and transmitted electronically using a qualified eRx system (reported via claims, a registry, or an EHR.)

Please 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 Payment Adjustment

An eligible professional can avoid losing 1% in 2012 if (s)he:

  • Is not a physician (MD, DO, or podiatrist), nurse practitioner, or physician assistant as of June 30, 2011 based on primary taxonomy code in NPPES,
  • Does not have prescribing privileges. (S)he must report (G8644) at least one time on an eligible claim prior to 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.

Exemptions from the Medicare Payment Adjustment in 2012

  • An (EP) eligible professional or selected group practice may request an exemption from the eRx Incentive Program and from the payment adjustment based upon a significant hardship.
  • The qualifying circumstances are based upon two “hardship codes” that need reported on at least one claim prior to June 30, 2011 should one of the following situations apply:

G8642 – The eligible professional practices in a rural area without sufficient high speed internet access and requests a hardship exemption from the application of the payment adjustment under section 1848(a)(5)(A) of the Social Security Act.

G8643 – The eligible professional practices in an area without sufficient available pharmacies for electronic prescribing and requests a hardship exemption from the application of the payment adjustment under
section 1848(a)(5)(A) of the Social Security Act

To Recap:

  1. Each Physician or practice that does not currently ePrescribe should consider whether or not ePrescribing is worthwhile. (Note:  For group practices 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 75-2,500 unique eRx events for patients in the denominator of the measure. Check out the Group Practice Reporting Option here.)
  2. In estimating the value of ePrescribing, the practice manager must consider on one hand the expense (which there is, even for free standalone eRx systems) surrounding the implementation of ePrescribing, and the potential income from the ePrescribing Incentive.
  3. The practice must also determine if an EMR is in their future, and if so, if the installation will take place soon enough to report the 10 encounters with Medicare patients.
  4. Individual eligible professionals (EPs) may choose to participate in either the PQRI, eRx, or both. PQRI and eRx are separate incentive programs.
  5. If an eligible professional (EP) earns an incentive under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, he or she cannot receive an incentive payment under the eRx Incentive Program in the same program year, and vice versa. However, if an EP earns an incentive under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, he or she can receive an incentive payment under the eRx Incentive Program in the same program year.
  6. Eligible professionals must have adopted a “qualified” eRx system. There are two types of systems: a system for eRx only (stand-alone) or an electronic health record (EHR system) with eRx functionality. Regardless of the type of system used, to be considered “qualified” it must be based on ALL of the following capabilities:
    • Generating a complete active medication list incorporating electronic data received from applicable pharmacies and benefit managers (PBMs) if available.
    • Providing information related to lower cost, therapeutically appropriate alternatives (if any). Selecting medications, printing prescriptions, electronically transmitting prescriptions, and conducting all alerts.
    • Providing information on formulary or tiered formulary medications, patient eligibility, and authorization requirements received electronically from the patient’s drug plan, if available.

For a list of qualified registries and qualified EHR vendors and products, click here.

An excellent article, Choosing the Right E-prescribing Application: Should you buy a standalone app or an EHR-integrated module? was published in January 2011 by Physicians Practice here.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Enhanced by Zemanta



New HITECH Resource for Eligible Providers and Hospitals at the Virtual Extension Center

Note: I get great pleasure in finding resources for my readers, and today I have a showstopper! Carol Flagg is co-owner of HITECH Answers and is visiting Manage My Practice to announce a free resource for eligible providers and hospitals.

*******************************************************************************************

For the past two years HITECH Answers has been a vendor neutral resource for education on details of the HITECH Act.  In that time, we’ve amassed a significant library of recorded webinars for viewing, along with a body of exclusive white papers and research.

But the time for analyzing the HITECH Act has ended.  Similar to the purpose served by the 62 Regional Extension Centers (RECs) , our goal is to support as much as we can the process of adoption of a certified EHR system that meets meaningful use criteria.  Given the sheer number of health care providers needing significant help and guidance through this process, we have transitioned our existing web-based subscription model to function as a Virtual Extension Center.

This Virtual Extension Center, or VEC, supports health care providers and hospitals looking for education and analysis throughout the HITECH life cycle in a 100% virtual environment. In a nutshell, our VEC widens the education circle and opportunity for all Eligible Professionals and Eligible Hospitals. We’ve also made membership to our VEC completely free for EPs and EHs for the entire life cycle of the HITECH Act.

So what, exactly, is the VEC? And how does it function?

First and foremost, this newly created VEC houses all of the existing recorded training material and research accumulated over the past two years.  This information is readily accessible upon members logging on to HITECH Answers.  Here’s what has been added to round out VEC membership:

  • Meaningful Use for EPs and EHs ”“ Live webinar events hosted twice a month that focus specifically on the details for achieving Stage 1 meaningful use for EPs and EHs.
  • Upcoming live web casts on tax implications for incentives for EPs and EHs, workflow, ICD-10 migration, HIPAA security assessment, the pros and cons of SaaS, EHR contract negotiation and more.
  • Live web cast for our VEC members who are vendors and HIT consultants that address pressing topics and needs in conducting business in this industry.
  • Attendance to live webcast interviews and presentations from leading national experts.
  • Access to exclusive white papers and research found only in our VEC.
  • Direct access to independent experts to help answers your specific questions.

An obvious large part of the VEC will be our live events. We debut our event offerings with these two important topics ”“ Meaningful Use for Specialists and EHR Contract Negotiations.

Meaningful Use for Specialists ”“ Qualifying for CMS EHR Incentives

January 18, 2011, 7 pm EST

Event summary: A first glance at the Stage 1 Core and Menu Set objectives makes sense for primary care, but what about specialists? How can Psychiatrists, Oncologists, Radiologists, Urologists, and other specialists meet the requirements and objectives outlined in CMS EHR Incentive Program? EPs that are specialists can still achieve the CMS incentives based on the flexibility that is incorporated into two primary areas: Menu Exclusions and Quality Measures.

EHR Contract Negotiations: Q & A with William O’Toole, O’Toole Law Group

January 25, 2011, 7 pm EST

Event summary: The HITECH Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is driving new technology acquisitions unlike anything seen in the healthcare information technology (HIT) sector since Y2K. Specific terms and warranties in Electronic Health Record (EHR) agreements are absolutely essential for the protection of provider customers. Competent and experienced legal advice is extremely important. Get your questions answered in this special Q & A session.

You can visit our Events Page to learn more about these sessions.

And you can learn more about qualifying for a free membership at Become A Member or you can contact me at: carol@hitechanswers.com.

************************************************************

Disclosure from Mary Pat: HITECH Answers sells my book on their site, and I am a Consulting Expert to HITECH Answers.