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Archive for May, 2015

CMS Announces Payment Model Seeking to Reduce CV Risks

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

On May 28, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that physician practices can apply through September 4 to participate in a CMS model that will test whether paying practices to identify and manage cardiovascular (CV) risks for Medicare patients reduces heart attacks, strokes, and Medicare costs. Practices will use an American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association calculator to measure cardiovascular risk for eligible patients and work with them to identify the best approach to reduce their risk. The five-year model seeks to enroll 720 practices and 300,000 beneficiaries.

The press release can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2015pres/05/20150528a.html

AHRQ Awards $112 Million to Promote Heart Health

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has awarded $112 million to create seven regional cooperatives to assist up to 300 small primary care practices improve heart health for their patients. The initiative, EvidenceNOW, will help these practices incorporate key evidence-based interventions to reduce cardiovascular risks: aspirin use by high-risk individuals, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation. Services will include onsite coaching, consultation from experts, sharing best practices, and electronic health record support. An eighth awardee will evaluate the impact of the interventions on practice improvement and the delivery of cardiovascular care. The initiative is supported by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund.

For more information, go to http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/primary-care/evidencenow.html

GAO Makes MedPAC Appointments

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), has announced the appointment of a new member to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), as well as the reappointment of five current members and the designation of the Commission’s Chair. The newly appointed member is Susan Thompson, MS, RN, Chief Executive Officer of UnityPoint Health in Fort Dodge, IA. Her term will expire in April 2018.

The reappointed members, whose terms will also expire in April 2018, are Alice Coombs, MD, Critical Care Specialist and Anesthesiologist, South Shore Hospital, Weymouth, MA; Jack Hoadley, PhD, Research Professor, Health Policy Institute, Georgetown University, Washington, DC; David Nerenz, PhD, Director of the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI; Rita Redberg, MD, Professor, Clinical Medicine, University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, CA; and Craig Samitt, MD, Global Provider Practice Leader in Oliver Wyman’s Health & Life Sciences Practice. In addition, Commissioner Francis “Jay” Crosson, MD, has been designated as Chair of the Commission.

For further details, visit http://www.gao.gov/press/medpac_appointments2015may.htm

PQRS to Transition to New Portal

Friday, May 15th, 2015

On July 13, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will transition the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) to its Enterprise Identity Management System (EIDM). Current PQRS users, their data and roles will be moved to a new “PQRS Portal” portion of the CMS Enterprise Portal. Providers should ensure that their Individual Authorized Access to CMS Computer Services (IACS) account is active, current, and accessible to enable a successful transition. New PQRS users will need to register for an EIDM account.

To access to new portal, go to portal.cms.gov. For further assistance regarding IACS or EIDM, contact the QualityNet Help Desk at qnetsupport@hcqis.org.

CMS Issues Videos on ICD-10 Hospital Payment Impact

Friday, May 8th, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a 29-minute video on estimating the impact of the transition to ICD-10 on Medicare inpatient hospital payments. The agency has also released a seven-minute video on Medicare’s testing plan for ICD-10. The Medicare Learning Network videos were recorded during a March 18 meeting of CMS’ ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee.

The videos can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZxilyTjfGI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJeHxPYirjA

New President and CEO of the AHA Announced

Monday, May 4th, 2015

The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Board of Trustees has announced Rick Pollack as the next president and chief executive officer (CEO). A 32-year veteran of the AHA, Pollack will succeed Richard J. Umbdenstock, who announced his retirement in November and will retire at the end of 2015. Pollack holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and communications from the State University of New York’s College at Cortland.  He earned a master’s degree in public administration from the American University in Washington, D.C. 

The press release can be found by going to www.aha.org/presscenter/pressrel/2015/150504-pr-rickpollack.shtml?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NewsNow