September 30, 2019

GAO Indicates Medicare quality measures need improvement

Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services quality measures might not measure or capture the actual care patients receive, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. The GAO studied how the agency decides what quality measures to develop and use. It also evaluated how CMS monitors its funding for quality measurement activities. The GAO report stated that CMS doesn’t have processes to ensure that the indicators actually measure what the agency says it cares about in its strategic objectives. The GAO also found that the CMS carries over large sums of unused funds each year for activities related to quality measurement and that the CMS fails to keep track of all its quality-measurement funding. The report recommends that CMS should create standard […]
September 30, 2019

CMS Receives Input on Prior Authorization Regulations

CMS Administrator Seema Verma has tasked her Patients Over Paperwork team with exploring what CMS can do to improve Prior Authorization (PA) burdens as part of the eighth topic addressed under the initiative. In addition, stakeholders like ISASS and other medical specialty societies have submitted input in writing on the issue. ISASS has been a signatory to an AMA taskforce report on Prior Authorization impacts and continues to work closely with the AMA and other medical specialties. These stakeholders submitted a letter to Administrator Verma on September 19. ISASS and other signatories are concerned that the CMS initiatives are too heavily focused on automation and technology and are not addressing other areas of importance as outlined in the Prior Authorization […]
August 29, 2019

Proposed Rule Comment Period Opportunity for 27279, Minimally Invasive SI Joint Fusion

In the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule, released by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on July 29, CMS proposed a recommended work Relative Value Unit (RVU) of 9.03 of CPT code 27279, Arthrodesis, sacroiliac joint, percutaneous or minimally invasive (indirect visualization), with image guidance, includes obtaining bone graft when performed and placement of transfixing device. In the proposed rule, CMS indicated they were seeking comment on whether to adopt a work RVU of 20.00, which is the work RVU for CPT code 27280, Arthrodesis, open, sacroiliac joint, including obtaining bone graft, including instrumentation, when performed to achieve site-of-service parity and eliminate incentives for facilities to use a higher-valued procedure. CPT 27279 for MIS SIJ Fusion was […]
August 28, 2019

CMS Issues Final Rule on Inpatient Prospective Payment System

On Aug. 2, CMS finalized policy changes to spur competition and innovation that will help deliver improved care and outcomes at a better value to patients. The final rule updates Medicare payment policies for hospitals under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for fiscal year 2020 and advances two key CMS priorities—“Rethinking Rural Health” and “Unleashing Innovation” by making historic changes to how Medicare pays hospitals. This final rule: Increases the wage index for certain low-wage index hospitals, including many rural hospitals Increases Medicare add-on payments for high-cost eligible new technologies from 50% to 65% Clarifies policies on “substantial clinical improvement” to qualify for new technology add-on payments Provides an […]