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House Passes 21st Century Cures Act with Funding Allocation for NIH, FDA

On Dec. 2, the U.S. House of Representatives passed what is being called the biggest health reform bill since the Affordable Care Act. The 21st Century Cures Act passed the House by a vote of 392-26. The bill most notably invests $4.796 in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over 10 years and $500 million to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), although that funding would need to be released by congressional appropriators to be spent.

CMS releases 2017 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) Final Rule

On November 1, 2016 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the 2017 OPPS Final Rule. The OPPS fee schedule increase factor for CY 2017 is 1.65%. 
 

2017 Fee Schedule Released: CMS Finalizes Major Components of AUC Program

November 2, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final 2017 payment policies and payment rates for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS).  Payment rates and policies set forth in these rules are effective Jan. 1, 2017.

CMS Released Final Rule Implementing MACRA

CMS Finalizes New Medicare Physician Payment System with Additional Flexibilities Physicians Allowed to “Pick their Pace” in 2017

This morning, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the much-anticipated final rule implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

CMS Acting Director Pledges Flexibility with New Payment System Roll-Out

On Sept. 8, 2016, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt acknowledged the concerns expressed by the medical community and by lawmakers regarding the implementation timeline for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and pledged that the final regulations will offer more flexibility for physicians.
 
 

Physicians Must Post Non-Discrimination Statements by Oct. 17

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights earlier this year issued final regulations implementing a provision (Section 1557) of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities. The regulations apply to any individual or entity that provides or administers health-related services or insurance coverage and receives "federal financial assistance,” including Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and the EHR Meaningful Use Program. As a result, by Oct. 17, most physicians and other covered entities must take “appropriate initial and continuing steps” to notify patients of the following:

ASNC Continues to Cast Doubt on Medicare AUC Program

On Sept. 6, 2016, ASNC submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its latest round of proposals for implementing the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) Program for advanced diagnostic imaging, including those related to priority clinical areas and requirements for clinical decision support mechanisms (CDSMs) that must be used for consulting AUC. In its comments, ASNC continued to question the need for a stand-alone AUC Program as CMS transitions to a new value-based payment system under which physicians will be assessed on resource use. 

Physicians: Time is Running Out to Review Your Open Payments Data

The 2015 Open Payments data are already public, but you can still review and dispute records in the Open Payments system until December 31, 2016.

ASNC urges physicians to check their data every year—even if you don't think there are data reported on you.

ASNC Comments on Proposal to Expand Role of VHA Nurses

In comments  submitted to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) last month, ASNC stressed the importance of comprehensive, specialized training pursuant to both COCATS and Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements that all clinicians should receive before interpreting images for patient care. 

New Ohio Law Makes Prior Authorization More Transparent for Patients

In June, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) signed the Prior Authorization Reform Act into law. The new law requires insurers to have a web-based system to receive prior authorization requests and disclose all prior authorization rules to providers. It also mandates that patients must be given basic information about drugs and services that require prior authorization.
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