Louisiana Furthers its Commitment to the Development of Health IT-related Strategies

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum have formed the Health Information Technology Advisory Council.  Seventeen members from across the state were chosen to provide expertise to help develop health IT-related strategies in an effort to advance statewide health IT improvements.  For more information go to:  http://theadvocate.com/news/business/12878547-171/business-briefs-for-july-26.

Written by: Traci Thompson


CMS Proposed 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Includes Telehealth Coverage Provisions

On July 8, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its proposed Calendar Year 2016 Physician Fee Schedule (“PFS”) Proposed Rule, which was published in the Federal Register on July 15, 2015. Although the proposed PFS includes a section specific to telehealth, the proposed changes to telehealth coverage policies were not as expansive as some had hoped.  In summary,

  • Medicare proposed to add codes for prolonged inpatient service and ESRD related services, and
  • Proposed to include CRNAs as approved distant site practitioners who may furnish Medicare telehealth services.

The pages specific to the proposed telehealth rules can be found here: 2016-Fee-Schedule and include some helpful information on the requirements and payment opportunities for those codes that are eligible for payment under Medicare.

Written By: Traci Thompson


HHS’ Office of Inspector General Releases New Report

The HHS’ Office of Inspector General released a report this past Monday indicating that a number of states providing services to Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in managed care are not complying with the mandatory quarterly reporting requirements.  In response to this study, the OIG recommended that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services use its authority to begin withholding federal funds from non-compliant states citing that the data is crucial to Medicaid oversight and the prevention of fraud and abuse.  Although states struggle with capturing the level of quality data needed to complete the reporting requirements, CMS continues to make enforcement a priority.  In response to the report, CMS indicated that it has already issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would allow for the withholding of federal funds.  For those states who lack the ability to capture the data whether through lack of technological infrastructure or other reasons, this latest policy does not bode well.  For more information, go to: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20150706/NEWS/150709966/not-all-states-reporting-required-medicaid-data-oig-says.

Written by: Traci S. Thompson