We've recently been made aware that many family physicians are not aware of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Physicians who do not participate THIS YEAR will see a 1.5% penalty from CMS in 2015.
TO AVOID A 1.5% Medicare PAYCUT in 2015 -YOU MUST BE IN COMPLIANCE THIS YEAR (2013)
By the time non-compliant physicians are penalized, it will be two years too late to do anything about it.
The ABFM has had a free registry for the last four years; however, fewer than 1000 family physicians participate. ABFM Diplomates are able to participate at no cost in the PQRS registry online from their ABFM physician portfolio. The ABFM Physician Quality Reporting System Diabetes registry is available, as well as a link to the PQRS: MOC incentive bonus. ABFM https://www.theabfm.org/moc/pqrs.aspx
The deadline for data entry in the online activity is January 10, 2014.
If you are not an ABFM Diplomate, The AAFP also offers a PQRS registry & reporting tool with a fee of $219.00. (PQRI Wizard)
Have you completed your Attestation form to receive your increased Medicaid reimbursement?
The Office MaineCare Services (OMS) is implementing Section 1202 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), effective January 1, 2013 which requires Medicaid programs to pay "for primary care services furnished by certain physicians in calendar years (CYs) 2013 and 2014 at rates not less than the Medicare rates in effect in those CYs or, if greater, the payment rates that would be applicable in those CYs using the CY 2009 Medicare physician fee schedule conversion factor."
In order to receive the increased rate, providers must fill out and submit the Self Attestation form. By completing the form, providers attest that s/he meets the criteria established by the ACA - specifically, that:
(a) they are appropriately Board certified;
(b) that 60 percent of their Medicaid claims are for evaluation & management (E&M) and vaccine administration codes as specified in the federal rule.
The Self-Attestation form provides detail on each of the above criteria.
Interested in the the "Direct Primary Care" Movement in Family Medicine?
AAFP NEWS NOW Article: Family Physicians, Patients Embrace Direct Primary Care AAFP Recognizes Benefits, Creates DPC Policy
AAFP's AIM-Hi Program offers FREE resources to members to help combat childhood obesity
Place these free*, 16-page children's books in waiting rooms or exam rooms to teach your young patients about the importance of fitness - physical activity, healthy eating and emotional well being. These educational books contain easy-to-understand language and beautiful illustrations that convey messages about healthy behaviors.
A is for Active explains how everyday play and activities support fitness and how it's important to be active every day.
E is for Eating explains how eating a variety of healthy foods provides fuel for the body.
F is for Feelings includes messaging on how physical health is affected by emotional well-being and how being active and having a positive attitude contribute to overall fitness.
All three books encourage children to talk to their family physicians about better fitness.
- Promote fitness in children
- Easy to read
- Beautiful illustrations
Books can be ordered HERE (free to members)
Maine Legislature Holds "Veto Day" - Adjourns Until January
The legislature returned to Augusta last Tuesday to complete its work on bills and to consider a number of bills vetoed by Governor Paul LePage since they had last met.
In all, the Governor has issued 83 vetoes this session and the legislature considered nearly 30 on Tuesday alone. They failed to find the 2/3 vote necessary to override the vast majority of the Governor's vetoes, including of several bills of interest to the Medical Association. They ultimately upheld the vetoes of:
- LD 1046, An Act To Provide Immunity for Prescribing and Dispensing Intranasal Naloxone Kits
- LD 1181, An Act To Further Strengthen the Protection of Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals and
- LD 1232, An Act To Maintain the Integrity of the Fund for a Healthy Maine
The legislature also finalized work creating a study commission on the Transparency, Costs and Accountability of Health Care System Financing (HP 1123). The Commission will be comprised of 9 legislators and, among other things, make recommendations for changes and modifications to the current data reporting requirements so that hospitals and other health care facilities publicly report charges, negotiated rates for public and private payors, advertising fees, lobbying expenses, administrative costs and other expenses in a transparent manner.
While some bills are still waiting action by the Governor, the Legislature adjourned and are unlikely to meet again until January, except for several meetings of the Appropriations Committee to consider state finances and potentially a day or more to take action on a bond package.
The MMA Legislative Committee is also taking a break until a pre-session meeting in the late fall that will be announced in the Update. MMA staff will continue to include information on summer study committees and bills that will impact medical practice through the MMA Weekly Update and presentations at the Practice Education Seminar and specialty society meetings. There will also be a final legislative summary on the MMA website.
| Do You Do Driver Exams? (bus driver or commercial?) The NEW Federal Rule Affects You!
The MAFP an additional opportunitie for you to fulfill your NRCME Training requirements -
October 26th in Bangor
Complete meeting information HERE
Ready to register - select your date below to register on line with your credit card NOW! (to register with a check - print registration form, complete & mail HERE)
October 26th - Bangor Register On Line Now!
Final Rule Calls for National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
The new federal regulations call for the creation of a training, testing and registration program for health professionals who provide physicals for drivers of commercial vehicles.
Physicians Providing Driver Exams Face New Federal Regulations -
The new rule is intended to improve highway safety and driver health.
The regulation calls for medical examiners to re-certify every 10 years and comply with additional reporting requirements.
| MC-FP Exams Scheduled |
Mark your calendar now for the 2013 MC-FP Examinations scheduled for November 2013.
The online application for the November 2013 Examination will open in the summer of 2013.
Dates for November exams are:
November 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Physicians may contact the ABFM Support Center with any questions: [email protected] or 877-223-7437.
Adjustments in Proposed Medicare Fee Schedule Positive for FPs, Says AAFP President
CMS has released the 2014 proposed Medicare physician fee schedule. According to AAFP President Jeff Cain, M.D., of Denver, the fee schedule adjusts misvalued codes and proposes two new complex management codes for primary care physicians, which could help create a more equitable payment system.
By adjusting misvalued codes, CMS could raise payment rates for evaluation and management services by as much as 3 percent, resulting in an estimated 1 percent overall payment increase for family physicians, said Cain. "Such changes demonstrate CMS' intent to support primary care through policies that promote comprehensive and continuous care."
(READ complete article)
DOUBLE CHECK Your Information on the CMS Physician Compare Site!
a CMS website that allows consumers to search and compare information about physicians and other health care professionals, has been redesigned to make the site easier to use and provide new information for consumers.
The redesign includes new information about physicians, such as:
- Information about specialties offered by doctors and group practices
- Whether a physician is using electronic health records
- Board certification
- Affiliation with hospitals and other health care professionals
is also now connected to the most consistently updated database so that consumers will find more accurate and up-to-date information available. In 2014, quality data will be added to help consumers choose a medical professional based on performance ratings.
Visit the Physician Compare website TODAY at MEDICARE
*Some physicians have reported that their information was outdated or inaccurate. Review your information at the site and then update any inaccuracies following the instructions.
Thinking about transforming YOUR practice site? Check out the FREE resources like Delta Exchange offered by
Quote for the day:
"Some people grumble because roses have thorns; I am thankful that the thorns have roses."
Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, French critic