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Archive for February, 2014

Medicare Advantage Advanced Notice of Proposed Changes Released

Monday, February 24th, 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an advanced notice  of proposed changes to Medicare Advantage (MA) rates and payment polices for calendar year 2015. The notice includes the preliminary estimates of the national per capita MA growth percentage and Medicare fee-for-service growth percentage, and changes in methodologies governing payment for health plan and prescription drug benefits.

The notice can be viewed at http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2014-Press-releases-items/2014-02-21-02.html.

Quality Data Added to Physician Compare Website

Friday, February 21st, 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that, for the first time, quality measures have been added to Physician Compare, a website that helps consumers search for information about hundreds of thousands of physicians and other health care professionals.   In the first year, 66 group practices and 141 Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) now have quality data publicly reported on Physician Compare.  The data are reported at the group practice and ACO level.

The quality measures being added today include controlling blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes, controlling blood pressure in patients with diabetes, prescribing aspirin to patients with diabetes and heart disease, treating patients with diabetes who do not use tobacco, and prescribing medicine to improve the pumping action of the heart in patients who have both heart disease and certain other conditions.

For more information, go to http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2014-Press-releases-items/2014-02-21.html

Joint Commission Appoints Four New Board Members

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The Joint Commission has appointed four new members to its Board of Commissioners. They are Grant Davies, CEO of North Bay Hospitals and executive vice president of California Pacific Medical Center, Gregg Meyer, M.D., chief clinical officer at Partners Healthcare System, and Jane Englebright, chief nursing officer, patient safety officer and vice president for the Clinical Services Group at Hospital Corporation of America. She will serve as the board’s at-large nursing representative.

For further details, go to http://www.jointcommission.org/four_new_members_appointed_to_joint_commission_board/

Open Payments Registration to Begin

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

On February 7, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice announcing that registration for Open Payments will begin on February 18, 2014. The Physician Payment Sunshine Act and accompanying rules require applicable drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to record payments and other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals. The requirement applies to payments made on or after August 1, 2013. 

For more information about Open Payments, go to http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/National-Physician-payment-Transparency-Program/index.html