Medicare This Week: June 22nd, 2012, Only 8 days Left For 2013 eRx Exemption, National Provider Call on Certified EHR Programs, New CME Modules

  • Only 8 Days Left to Apply for a 2013 ePrescribing Exemption: Will You Face a 1.5% Adjustment? (jump to story)

  • Register Now: CMS National Provider Call on Certified EHR Technology (jump to story)

  • Two New CME Modules on Medscape: Fraud and Abuse  (jump to story)

If You Are Not Currently ePrescribing, and Have Not Applied for a Hardship Exemption, You Have Until July 1st, 2012 to Do So

Reminder from CMS. All Emphasis Mine.

The 2013 eRx payment adjustment only applies to certain individual eligible professionals. CMS will automatically exclude those individual eligible professionals who meet the following criteria:

  • The eligible professional is a successful electronic prescriber during the 2011 eRx 12- month reporting period (January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011).
  • The eligible professional is not an MD, DO, podiatrist, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant by June 30, 2012, based on primary taxonomy code in the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES).
  • The eligible professional does not have at least 100 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) cases containing an encounter code in the measure’s denominator for dates of service from January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012.
  • The eligible professional does not have 10% or more of their MPFS allowable charges (per TIN) for encounter codes in the measure’s denominator for dates of service from January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012.
  • The eligible professional does not have prescribing privileges and reported G8644 on a billable Medicare Part B service at least once on a claim between January 1, 2012 and June 30, 2012.

Avoiding the 2013 eRx Payment Adjustment

Individual eligible professionals and CMS-selected group practices participating in eRx GPRO who were not successful electronic prescribers in 2011 can avoid the 2013 eRx payment adjustment by meeting the specified reporting requirements between January 1 and June 30, 2012.

6-month Reporting Requirements to Avoid the 2013 Payment Adjustment:

  • Individual Eligible Professionals – 10 eRx events via claims
  • Small eRx GPRO – 625 eRx events via claims
  • Large eRx GPRO – 2,500 eRx events via claims

For more information on individual and eRx GPRO reporting requirements, please see the MLN Article SE1206 – 2012 Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program: Future Payment Adjustments.

CMS may exempt individual eligible professionals and group practices participating in eRx GPRO from the 2013 eRx payment adjustment if it is determined that compliance with the requirements for becoming a successful electronic prescriber would result in a significant hardship.

Significant Hardships

The significant hardship categories are as follows:

  • The eligible professional is unable to electronically prescribe due to local, state, or federal law, or regulation
  • The eligible professional has or will prescribe fewer than 100 prescriptions during a 6-month reporting period (January 1 through June 30, 2012)
  • The eligible professional practices in a rural area without sufficient high-speed Internet access (G8642)
  • The eligible professional practices in an area without sufficient available pharmacies for electronic prescribing (G8643)

Submitting a Significant Hardship Code or Request

To request a significant hardship, individual eligible professionals and group practices participating in eRx GPRO must submit their significant hardship exemption requests through the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page (Communication Support Page) on or between March 1 and June 30, 2012. Please remember that CMS will review these requests on a case-by-case basis. All decisions on significant hardship exemption requests will be final.

Significant hardships associated with a G-code may be submitted via the Communication Support Page or on at least one claim during the 2013 eRx payment adjustment reporting period (January 1 through June 30, 2012). If submitting a significant hardship G-code via claims, it is not necessary to request the same hardship through the Communication Support Page.

For more information on how to navigate the Communication Support Page, please reference the following documents:

For additional information and resources, please visit the E-Prescribing Incentive Program web page.

If you have questions regarding the eRx Incentive Program, eRx payment adjustments, or need assistance submitting a hardship exemption request, please contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 866-288-8912 (TTY 877-715-6222) or via qnetsupport@sdps.org. They are available Monday through Friday from 7am to 7pm CST.

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Registration Open for National Provider Call on Certified EHR Technology

If you are feeling “a little lost” about switching from a paper record, Meaningful Use, and choosing an EHR to get you started, this is the national provider call for you!

Wednesday, June 27; 2-3:30pm ET

Join CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) for a National Provider Call providing an overview of the use of certified EHR technology to meet meaningful use.  Learn about the different types of certification and what certification actually tests. As of April 30, over $5 billion has been paid in EHR incentives under both programs. This is the last year Medicare eligible professionals can begin to participate to earn the full Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive payments.

Target Audience:  Eligible Professionals   and Eligible Hospitals as defined by the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Agenda:

  • Overview of Meaningful Use
  • How and Why of Certification
  • Which EHR Products are Certified
  • Resources
  • Q&A with CMS and ONC experts

Registration Information:  In order to receive call-in information, you must register for the call on the CMS Upcoming National Provider Calls web page. 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.

Presentation:  The presentation for this call will be posted prior to the call on the FFS National Provider Calls web page. In addition, a link to the slide presentation will be emailed to all registrants on the day of the call.

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Two New CME Modules Now Available on Medscape on Fraud and Abuse

In early June, Medscape posted two new CME modules entitled, “Reducing Medicare and Medicaid Fraud and Abuse: Protecting Practices and Patients” and  “How CMS Is Fighting Fraud: Major Program Integrity Initiatives.”  These modules highlight efforts by CMS to fight fraud and abuse and how health care professionals can be part of those efforts.

 

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Medicare This Week: June 8th, 2012, 4010 Ends July 1st, ePrescribing Hardship Exemptions, Improvements to PECOS

  • Starting July 1, 2012, Medicare Fee For Service Will Reject 4010 Transactions: Are You Ready? plus How to Avoid Common 5010 Rejections (jump to story)

  • Are You Facing a 1.5% Medicare ePrescribing Payment Adjustment in 2013? Find Out If You Qualify For a Hardship Exemption (jump to story)

  • Major Improvements to Medicare PECOS Online Enrollment System  (jump to story)

  • Register Early for Best Results from the EHR Incentive Program; 2012 Is Your Last Chance to Get Started for Full Benefits (jump to story)

Starting July 1, 2012, Medicare Fee For Service Will Reject 4010 Transactions: Are You Ready?

Effective July 1, 2012 only ASC X12 Version 5010 (Version 5010) or NCPDP Telecom D.0 (NCPDP D.0) formats will be accepted by Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS). Providers that are still conducting one or more of the Version 4010 transactions electronically, such as submitting a claim or checking claim status, or rely on a software vendor, billing service or clearinghouse to do this on their behalf, are affected by this change. Now is the time to contact your software vendor, billing service or clearinghouse, when applicable, if you have not done so already to ensure you are ready. Transactions conducted by Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), fiscal intermediary (FI) or carrier telephone interactive voice response (IVR) systems, Direct Data Entry (DDE) and Internet Portals, for those contractors with Internet Portals, are not impacted.

Claims (837 I and P)

All claims received after normal close of business cutoff times on June 29, 2012 must be sent as ASC X12 version 5010 or NCPDP D.0.  Any Medicare FFS claims received in version 4010 format after normal close of business on June 29 will be rejected back to the submitter. The specific message you receive if a claim is rejected will depend on your MAC.  A detailed list of 4010 rejection error messages by MAC may be found on the Medicare Fee-For-Service 5010 and D.0 Technical Documentation page.

Avoid Common 5010 Beginner’s Mistakes

…A few things to keep in mind for processing your Version 5010 claims, which should help avoid unnecessary rejections:

  1. ZIP Code: You need to include a complete 9-digit ZIP code for the billing provider and service facility location. You should work with your vendor to make sure that your system captures the full 9-digit ZIP.
  2. Billing Provider Address: You need to use a physical address for your Billing Provider Address. Version 5010 does not allow for use of a PO Box address for either professional or institutional claim formats. You can still use a PO Box, however, as your address for payments and correspondence from payers as long as you report this location as a pay-to address.
  3. National Provider Identifier (NPI): You were previously allowed to report an Employer’s Identification Number (Tax ID) or Social Security Number (SSN) as a primary identifier for the billing provider. For Version 5010 claims, however, you are only allowed to report an NPI as a primary identifier.

For additional help with your Version 5010 upgrade and Medicare claims, you can contact your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). The MACs work closely with clearinghouses, billing vendors, and health care providers who require assistance in submitting and receiving Version 5010 compliant transactions. If you experience difficulty reaching a MAC, you should send a message describing your issue to ProviderFeedback@cms.hhs.gov with “5010 Extension” in the subject line.

The Medicare Fee-For-Service group has created a fact sheet that provides guidance to help providers troubleshoot some of the difficulties they may experience with Version 5010 claims processing and links to each of the MAC websites, including lists of the top 10 edits for Version 5010 claims.

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Are You Facing a 1.5% Medicare ePrescribing Payment Adjustment in 2013? Find Out If You Qualify For a Hardship Exemption

In 2009, CMS implemented the Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program, which is a program that uses incentive payments and payment adjustments to encourage the use of qualified electronic prescribing systems.

From calendar year (CY) 2012 through 2014, a payment adjustment that increases each calendar year will be applied to an eligible professional’s Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) covered professional services for not becoming a successful electronic prescriber. The payment adjustment of 1.0% in 2012, 1.5% in 2013, and 2.0% in 2014 will result in an eligible professional or group practice participating in the eRx Group Practice Reporting Option (eRx GPRO) receiving 99.0%, 98.5%, and 98.0% respectively of their Medicare Part B PFS amount for covered professional services.

Exclusion Criteria

The 2013 eRx payment adjustment only applies to certain individual eligible professionals. CMS will automatically exclude those individual eligible professionals who meet the following criteria:

  • The eligible professional is a successful electronic prescriber during the 2011 eRx 12- month reporting period (January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011).
  • The eligible professional is not an MD, DO, podiatrist, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant by June 30, 2012, based on primary taxonomy code in the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES).
  • The eligible professional does not have at least 100 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) cases containing an encounter code in the measure’s denominator for dates of service from January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012.
  • The eligible professional does not have 10% or more of their MPFS allowable charges (per TIN) for encounter codes in the measure’s denominator for dates of service from January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012.
  • The eligible professional does not have prescribing privileges and reported G8644 on a billable Medicare Part B service at least once on a claim between January 1, 2012 and June 30, 2012.

Avoiding the 2013 eRx Payment Adjustment

Individual eligible professionals and CMS-selected group practices participating in eRx GPRO who were not successful electronic prescribers in 2011 can avoid the 2013 eRx payment adjustment by meeting the specified reporting requirements between January 1 and June 30, 2012.

6-month Reporting Requirements to Avoid the 2013 Payment Adjustment:

  • Individual Eligible Professionals – 10 eRx events via claims
  • Small eRx GPRO – 625 eRx events via claims
  • Large eRx GPRO – 2,500 eRx events via claims

For more information on individual and eRx GPRO reporting requirements, please see the MLN Article SE1206 – 2012 Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program: Future Payment Adjustments.

CMS may exempt individual eligible professionals and group practices participating in eRx GPRO from the 2013 eRx payment adjustment if it is determined that compliance with the requirements for becoming a successful electronic prescriber would result in a significant hardship.

Significant Hardships

The significant hardship categories are as follows:

  • The eligible professional is unable to electronically prescribe due to local, state, or federal law, or regulation
  • The eligible professional has or will prescribe fewer than 100 prescriptions during a 6-month reporting period (January 1 through June 30, 2012)
  • The eligible professional practices in a rural area without sufficient high-speed Internet access (G8642)
  • The eligible professional practices in an area without sufficient available pharmacies for electronic prescribing (G8643)

Submitting a Significant Hardship Code or Request

To request a significant hardship, individual eligible professionals and group practices participating in eRx GPRO must submit their significant hardship exemption requests through the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page (Communication Support Page) on or between March 1 and June 30, 2012. Please remember that CMS will review these requests on a case-by-case basis. All decisions on significant hardship exemption requests will be final.

Significant hardships associated with a G-code may be submitted via the Communication Support Page or on at least one claim during the 2013 eRx payment adjustment reporting period (January 1 through June 30, 2012). If submitting a significant hardship G-code via claims, it is not necessary to request the same hardship through the Communication Support Page.

For additional information and resources, please visit the E-Prescribing Incentive Program webpage.

If you have questions regarding the eRx Incentive Program, eRx payment adjustments, or need assistance submitting a hardship exemption request, please contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 866-288-8912 (TTY 877-715-6222) or via qnetsupport@sdps.org. They are available Monday through Friday from 7am to 7pm CST.

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Major Improvements to Medicare PECOS Online Enrollment System

CMS listened to your feedback about the Medicare online enrollment system – Internet-based PECOS. CMS has made improvements to the electronic signature process to allow an Authorized Official (AO) or Delegated Official (DO) of an organization to e-sign your application within an authenticated Internet-based PECOS session.

The AO or DO of an organization that is listed in the Individual Control section of an enrollment will be permitted to e-sign the applicable certification and/or authorization statements and CMS 588  (Electronic Funds Transfer) within Internet-based PECOS instead of being directed to a separate PECOS E-signature Application. However, if the AO or DO is not the individual completing the application or if they do not currently have access to PECOS, they will continue to receive an email directing them to the separate PECOS E-signature Application. To see a sample of the email the AO or DO will receive and get helpful tips, see “Complete Signing Your Medicare Enrollment Application Electronically” in the April 25 edition of the e-News.

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Register Early for Maximum Benefits from the EHR Incentive Program

CMS recommends that all eligible professionals (EPs) register as early as possible for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs.

By registering early you can verify that your information is up to date in all of the CMS systems and resolve any issues so that you can participate in the EHR Incentive Programs. If you do not resolve registration problems in time, you will not be able to attest and could potentially miss out on a payment year. Registering does not mean you are required to participate — so register today.

Register Today to Receive Maximum Incentives

This is the last year for Medicare EPs to start participating in the EHR Incentive Programs in order to receive their full Medicare incentive payments. For more information on registration in the EHR Incentive Programs, visit the Registration page of the EHR website.

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How to Apply Online for the CMS Hardship Exemption from the 2012 eRx Medicare Payment Reduction

UPDATE: CMS has announced a second window for applying for the 2013 hardship exemption from 11/1/2012 through 1/31/2013. Click Here for more info.

UPDATE: CMS has released information for applying for the 2013 hardship exemption. Check out our “Medicare This Week” post from 6/8/2012 for more info.

UPDATE: The submission period for applying for a 2012 hardship exemption for failing to e-prescribe in 2011 is over. 

CMS has just announced the process for applying for a hardship exemption from the 2012 1% Medicare payment adjustment (i.e. reduction.)

If you are participating as an individual Eligible Professional…

…use the new CMS provider webpage, called the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page, to enter the request and supporting rationale. Your request must be submitted by November 1, 2011.  A Quality Communications Support Page User Manualis available to answer questions eligible professionals may have.

If you are participating using the Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO)…

Group practices selected for and participating in the 2011 GPRO I or II reporting option wishing to submit a 2012 exemption request should submit a letter to: Significant Hardship Exemptions, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of Clinical Standards and Quality, Quality Measurement and Health Assessment Group, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mail Stop S3-02-01, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850. This letter must be postmarked no later than November 1, 2011.

To help eligible professionals and group practices understand the key provisions and impact of the 2011 Medicare Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program Final Rule, A Quick Reference Guide has been posted to the eRx Incentive Program website on the “Educational Resources” page.  Frequently asked questions (FAQs) addressing the 2011 eRx Final Rule, as well as other information and resources about the eRx Incentive Program can be found at the eRx Incentive Program website here.