The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently unveiled plans to toughen its hospital price transparency enforcement. According to this InsideHealthPolicy article, these proposals include earlier and automatic civil penalties, eliminating warning notices for hospitals that have not attempted to comply with price transparency requirements and giving hospitals no more than 45 days to implement a corrective action plan.
CMS Issues Broad-Ranging Medicare Advantage and Part D Proposed Rule
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a proposed rule regarding Contract Year 2024 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs. This proposed rule includes a range of proposals addressing popular topics, including marketing and prior authorization, along with other significant changes to utilization management, Quality Star Ratings and the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
CY 2023 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule
On July 7, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the CY 2023 Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Medicare Part B Proposed Rule, which was published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2022.
The proposed rule includes proposals related to Medicare physician payment and the Quality Payment Program. Physicians face proposed cuts of more than 4% under the proposed fee schedule, along with significant proposed changes to accountable care organizations. The proposed rule also includes the following proposals:
- Launch the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Value Pathways as a voluntary option to the MIPS in 2023.
- Permanently maintain certain services added to the telehealth list during the PHE; maintain certain services added as covered telehealth services but not given permanent or Category 3 status until 151 days post-PHE and add several codes as Category 3 telehealth codes, which are slated to remain covered until the end of CY 2023.
- Delay the in-person requirements for telehealth services furnished for purposes of diagnosis, evaluation or treatment of a mental health disorder until the 152nd day after the PHE ends.
- Expand access to, and address shortages of, behavioral services and health providers by allowing licensed professional counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists to bill Medicare under general supervision, and create a new billing code for general behavioral health integration services for clinical psychologists and clinical social workers when they are the focal point of integration; and
- Implement initiatives promoting health equity.
For additional analysis of the CY 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, see McDermott+Consulting’s article.
OIG Reports More than $731 Million in Inappropriate Medicare Meaningful Use Payments
Amanda Enyeart and Lisa Schmitz Mazur wrote this bylined article explaining how the HHS Office of Inspector General used a survey by the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program run by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to conclude that CMS made $729 million in inappropriate EHR incentive payments to physicians out of some $6 billion in such payments during the review period.
Trump Administration Takes First Steps to Support Exchanges, but Key Questions Remain
In an effort to stabilize the Exchanges and encourage issuer participation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently extended the federal Exchange application and rate filing deadlines and published a proposed rule affecting the individual health insurance market and the Exchanges. While issuers will likely see these actions as encouraging signs of the Trump administration’s willingness to support the Exchanges, these actions do not resolve the political uncertainty regarding the Affordable Care Act’s fate or whether cost-sharing reductions will be funded for 2018. These outstanding questions will likely be a key factor in Exchange stability going forward.