January 2016
Colorado Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative Learning and Networking Event - Jan. 29

Join the TCPi Colorado Practice Transformation Network for a free learning and networking event co-hosted by the American Medical Association and the Colorado Medical Society to hear from state and national leaders in health care reform about the impact of the MACRA legislation (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) and how a new federal initiative, TCPi, can help ALL PHYSICIANS -- primary care physicians and specialists -- succeed in value-based payment models.

Practices chosen for the program will receive practice support and redesign tools built on proven change management methodologies to help them adopt a culture of quality and process improvement.

Learn more at the kickoff event on Friday, Jan. 29. Register today through the event webpage. Questions? Contact Barbara.Martin@state.co.us or Chet_Seward@cms.org.
Providers can now get paid for Medicare Advance Care Planning as part of an Annual Wellness Visit

Starting Jan. 4, physicians can now get paid by Medicare for advance care planning (ACP) when provided as an optional element of the annual wellness visit (AWV). In these instances providers are instructed to waive the deductible and coinsurance for ACP as these services furnished on the same day and by the same provider as part of an AWV are considered a preventive service.

Read more from the federal CMS.
Claims payment information from Novitas regarding the holding of 2016 date-of-service claims

On Oct. 30, 2015, the CY 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule was published in the Federal Register. To implement corrections to technical errors discovered after publication of the MPFS rule and process claims correctly, Medicare Administrative Contractors will hold claims containing 2016 services paid under the MPFS for up to 14 calendar days (Jan. 1 through Jan. 14). Novitas says the hold should have minimal impact on provider cash flow as clean electronic claims are not paid sooner than 14 calendar days (29 days for paper claims) after the date of receipt.

Claims for services rendered on or before Dec. 31, 2015 are unaffected by the 2016 claims hold and will be processed and paid under normal procedures and timeframes.
Open enrollment update, plus resources for your patients

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that, since open enrollment started Nov. 1, 8.6 million consumers have signed up for health coverage through the HealthCare.gov platform or had their coverage automatically renewed. Consumers needing assistance can reach out to a call center representative at 1-800-318-2596, or visit HealthCare.gov or CuidadoDeSalud.gov.

Connect for Health Colorado announced that 132,263 people have enrolled in private health care coverage through the state health insurance marketplace in the same period. In addition, 35,269 have enrolled in Medicaid and 2,031 have enrolled in CHP+. Connect for Health Colorado reminds patients that Jan. 15 is the last day to enroll for Feb. 1 coverage and Jan. 31 is the last day to apply for 2016 health insurance to avoid a penalty of at least $695 per person. Go to www.connectforhealthco.com for more information.

Another resource for patients hunting for insurance or seeking to understand their options is www.coveredhq.org, operated by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI). Resources are organized based on when to use them with consumers - when they're uninsured, applying for coverage, shopping for coverage, using coverage, at tax time or renewing coverage.
Bill gives blanket approval for meaningful use exemptions

Prior to adjourning for the holidays, Congress adopted legislation that will allow any physician who applies for a hardship exemption from the 2015 electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use program to be exempted from the penalties that would have been levied in 2017. This blanket exemption will alleviate burdensome administrative issues for both physicians and the agency.

Physicians will have until March 15 to apply for an exemption from the 2015 meaningful use program year. The agency has not yet posted instructions on applying for the hardship exemption. We'll provide information as it is available. Read more on CMS.org.
Webinar: The Roadmap to Reduce Disparities

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently called for health care organizations to focus on disparities in cardiac health, diabetes and immunizations. To help physicians understand how to reduce disparities, Telligen Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) will host a one-hour webinar on Thursday, Jan. 28, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. MST.

They aim to help participants recognize the current state of health disparities in the United States, describe how to plan and implement quality improvement activities to reduce disparities, and describe why payment models need to be reformed to encourage organizations to eliminate health disparities.

Telligen will focus on pragmatic to-do items with an emphasis on payment reform and disparities, and discuss the direction that the federal CMS is headed over the next few years and how these efforts will facilitate focused efforts by organizations to eliminate disparities.

Click here to register. Questions? Email kristen.ives@area-d.hcqis.org or call 720-554-1695.
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Important! What your practice needs to know about switching to EMV: Click here.
 



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ICD-10 Post-Implementation: Coding Basics video
In this MLN Connects video, Sue Bowman from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and Nelly Leon-Chisen from the American Hospital Association (AHA) discuss the unique characteristics and features of the new coding system. Run time: 33 minutes. View it on YouTube.

PQRS web-based measure search tool
The new Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Web-Based Measure Search Tool is available to easily identify claims and registry measures that may be applicable and help find measures that meet satisfactory reporting requirements for the 2016 PQRS program year. Click on a measure to view the individual claims and registry measure specifications, and search measure-related keywords.

For assistance or questions about measures, contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 866-288-8912 or qnetsupport@hcqis.org.

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