Health Information Management

The week in Medicare updates

APCs Insider, November 14, 2014

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CMS makes policy and payment changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2015
On October 31, CMS issued a final rule that updates payment policies and payment rates for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule on or after January 1, 2015. Medicare primarily pays physicians and other practitioners for care management services as part of face-to-face visits. CMS also posted a fact sheet regarding the changes to these quality reporting programs and other programs included in this rule, as well as a fact sheet regarding the policies for implementing the value modifier. 
View the final rule
View CMS’ physician fee schedule website.
View the policy and payment fact sheet
View the quality programs fact sheet
View the Value Modifier implementation fact sheet.
 
CMS releases OPPS and ASC final rules
On October 31, CMS posted a final rule with comment period revising the Medicare hospital OPPS and the Medicare ASC payment system for 2015 to implement applicable statutory requirements and changes. In this final rule with comment period, CMS describes the changes to the amounts and factors used to determine the payment rates for Medicare services paid under the OPPS and those paid under the ASC payment system. In addition, this final rule with comment period updates and refines the requirements for the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program and the ASC Quality Reporting Program.
View the final rule with comment period
View the notice on CMS’ outpatient hospital website
View the fact sheet regarding hospital outpatient and ASC payment changes
View the fact sheet regarding hospital outpatient and ASC quality reporting changes
Leave a comment.
CMS reconsidering coverage for speech-generating devices 
On November 6, CMS opened a benefit category determination National Coverage Determination (NCD) process and 30-day public comment period regarding speech-generating devices. Since the implementation of rules regarding these devices, the technology of devices that generate speech and the ways in which the devices are used by patients to meet their medical needs has changed significantly. Therefore, CMS is internally generating a reconsideration of this NCD to address coverage of devices that generate speech as well as other forms of communication. 
View the notice.
 
CMS proposes rule to amend waived laboratory tests
On November 7, CMS posted a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would amend the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments regulations to clarify that the waived test categorization applies only to nonautomated fecal occult blood tests. In addition, the proposed rule would remove the hemoglobin by copper sulfate method from the list of waived tests if commenters confirm that the method is no longer used. Comments are due by January 6, 2015. 
View the proposed rule in the Federal Register
Leave a comment.



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