Sepsis National Hospital Inpatient Quality Measure (SEP-1): Multistakeholder Work Group Recommendations for Appropriate Antibiotics for the Treatment of Sepsis
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services adopted the Early Management Bundle, Severe Sepsis/Septic Shock (SEP-1) performance measure to the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program in July 2015 to help address the high mortality and high cost associated with sepsis. The SEP-1 performance measure requires, among other critical interventions, timely administration of antibiotics to patients with sepsis or septic shock. The multistakeholder workgroup recognizes the need for SEP-1 but strongly believes that multiple antibiotics listed in the antibiotic tables for SEP-1 are not appropriate and the use of these antibiot...
Source: Current Awareness Service for Health (CASH) - February 14, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Using lean methodology to optimize time to antibiotic administration in patients with sepsis
Results of a study to apply lean methodology to an inpatient pharmacy workflow to optimize timely administration of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-approved antibiotics for patients with severe sepsis or septic shock are presented. Lean methodology was successfully used to reduce time to antibiotic administration, which led to improved compliance with the newly implemented sepsis CMS core measure. (Source: Current Awareness Service for Health (CASH))
Source: Current Awareness Service for Health (CASH) - February 14, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Medtronic inks 5-year value-based healthcare deal with S.C. hospital
Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) said today that it inked a five-year value-based healthcare partnership deal with the Medical University of South Carolina, looking to improve health outcomes, patient care experiences and reduce costs. Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic said the partnership will initially focus on addressing chronic disease and acute conditions prevalent in the region. An initial program involves standardizing a vascular disease care pathway across the continuum of patient care and implementing a model for identifying, diagnosing, treating and follow-up care for patients with vascular disease. The two groups also pla...
Source: Mass Device - February 14, 2019 Category: Medical Devices Authors: Fink Densford Tags: Business/Financial News Featured Hospital Care Medtronic Source Type: news

National Performance on the Medicare SEP-1 Sepsis Quality Measure
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires hospitals to report compliance with a sepsis treatment bundle as part of its Inpatient Quality Reporting Program. We used recently released data from this program to characterize national performance on the sepsis measure, known as SEP-1. The majority of eligible hospitals reported SEP-1 data, and overall bundle compliance was highly variable. SEP-1 performance was associated with structural hospital characteristics and performance on other measures of hospital quality, providing preliminary support for SEP-1 performance as a marker of timely hospital sepsis care. (So...
Source: Current Awareness Service for Health (CASH) - February 14, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

CMS Advances Interoperability & Patient Access to Health Data through New Proposals
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announces a proposed rule that would improve the ability of patients to use and share their electronic health information. Additionally, CMS, along with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), has released two Requests for Information (RFIs) related to the interoperability and adoption of health information technology in post-acute care settings, and the role of patient matching in interoperability and improved patient care. (Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center - February 8, 2019 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

60+ health care groups urge CMS to maintain coverage for medically necessary cancer testing
(Association for Molecular Pathology) Leading health care companies and organizations representing patients, providers, academic medical centers, laboratories, and diagnostic manufacturers urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to revise its interpretation of the National Coverage Determination (NCD) for Next Generation Sequencing. In a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, 63 organizations expressed serious concerns that the overly broad interpretation will restrict patient access to medically necessary and relevant clinical tests and adversely impact cancer care and outcomes. (Source: EurekAlert! -...
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - February 1, 2019 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Emergency Preparedness: Updates to Appendix Z of the State Operations Manual (SOM)
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Published: 2/2019. This 56-page document provides an update to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Rule (EP Rule); adds emerging infectious diseases to the definition of all-hazards approach; provides new Home Health Agency citations; and lists clarifications under alternate source power and emergency standby systems. In light of events such as the Ebola virus and Zika, CMS believes that facilities should consider preparedness and infection prevention within their all-hazards approach, which covers both natural and man-made d...
Source: Disaster Lit: Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health - February 1, 2019 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

CMS: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking comment on the following information collections: 1) Enrollment Opportunity Notice Relating to Lifetime Limits; Required Notice of Rescission of Coverage; and Disclosure Requirements for Patient Protection under the Affordable Care Act; 2) Rate Increase Disclosure and Review Requirements (45 CFR part 154); 3) Medicare Advantage Qualifying Payment Arrangement Incentive (MAQI) Demonstration; 4) The Fiscal Soundness Reporting Requirements; 5) Prepaid Health Plan Cost Report; 6) Testing of Web Survey Design and Administration for CMS Experience of Care Surveys; and 6) M...
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - January 31, 2019 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking comment on the following information collections: 1) Contract Year 2020 Plan Benefit Package (PBP) Software and Formulary Submission; 2) Federal Qualified Health Center Cost Report; 3) Prospective Payments for Hospital Outpatient Services; 4) Medicare EDI Enrollment Form and EDI Registration; 5) Hospitals and Health Care Complex Cost Report; 6) Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs) for Individuals Under Age 21 and Supporting Regulations; 7) 21st Century Cures Act Section 12002 IMD Study; and 8) Medicare Advantage Appl...
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - January 31, 2019 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2019; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; Quality Payment Program; Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program; Quality Payment Program-Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstance Policy for the 2019 MIPS Payment Year; Provisions From the Medicare Shared Savings Program-Accountable Care Organizations Pathways to Success; and Expanding the Use of Telehealth Services for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder Under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention That Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act; Correction
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services correcting technical errors in theNovember 23, 2018 notice of the same title. This notice is effective January 31, 2019 and applicable beginning January 1, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - January 31, 2019 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

New CMS Final Rule Makes Clinical Laboratory Test/Procedure Pricing Listed on Hospital Chargemasters Available to Public
Experts are skeptical of the value of public price lists based on hospital chargemasters due to complexity and poor reflection of actual costs In another big step toward helping consumers view prices of medical procedures when selecting providers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) passed the IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule, which requires hospitals […] (Source: Dark Daily)
Source: Dark Daily - January 30, 2019 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Jude Tags: Coding, Billing, and Collections Compliance, Legal, and Malpractice Laboratory Management and Operations Laboratory News Laboratory Operations Laboratory Pathology Source Type: news

CMS Proposes Medicare Advantage and Part D Payment and Policy Updates to Maximize Competition and Coverage
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. These changes are intended to increase competition, increase plan choices and benefits, and help address the opioid epidemic. (Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center - January 30, 2019 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of a proposed rule related to risk adjustment, user fees, and cost-sharing for state and federal-based exchanges; policies related to prescription drug costs; the Navigator program; and more. Includes meaningful quality reporting measures intended to help improve rural access. Comments are due February 19, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - January 24, 2019 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

ACR responds to CMS Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage proposed rule
(American College of Rheumatology) In comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) expressed its continuing concern with a recent CMS policy allowing Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to utilize step therapy for Part B drugs. In the comment letter, rheumatology leaders urged the agency to establish safeguards to protect beneficiaries from potential harm. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - January 24, 2019 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Are patients being misled as hospitals post medical costs required by federal rule?
Health care experts say new federal rules meant to make medical costs more transparent are instead creating widespread confusion. This month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began requiring hospitals to post all their prices online. Critics say the new information is difficult to understand and the prices themselves are misleading. Anna Werner reports. (Source: Health News: CBSNews.com)
Source: Health News: CBSNews.com - January 22, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

St. Luke's Replaces President, Other Leaders After Series of Care Lapses St. Luke's Replaces President, Other Leaders After Series of Care Lapses
Ouster comes 5 months after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services terminated federal funding for heart transplants at the 65-year-old hospital, citing a failure to make needed changes.ProPublica (Source: Medscape Medical News Headlines)
Source: Medscape Medical News Headlines - January 18, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Cardiology News Source Type: news

CMS Announces New Model to Lower Drug Prices in Medicare Part D and Transformative Updates to Existing Model for Medicare Advantage
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation announced a new payment model for Medicare Part D plans as well as updates to the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) model. These models aim to lower drug prices and to create new ways to meet the healthcare needs of specific populations, prevent disease, and expand the use of telehealth. (Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center - January 18, 2019 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Med-Student Documentation Guidelines Need Careful Implementation Med-Student Documentation Guidelines Need Careful Implementation
New student-documentation guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) require careful implementation to avoid reductions in meaningful teaching physician involvement, according to a new report.Reuters Health Information (Source: Medscape Medical News Headlines)
Source: Medscape Medical News Headlines - January 17, 2019 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Medscape Today News Source Type: news

Public Inspection: CMS: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020
Pre-publication notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of a proposed rule related to risk adjustment, user fees, and cost-sharing for state and federal-based exchanges; policies related to prescription drug costs; the Navigator program; and more. Includes meaningful quality reporting measures intended to help improve rural access. Comments are due February 19, 2019 and this notice is scheduled to be published January 24, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - January 17, 2019 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Tampa General, USF, Caravan Health form new Medicare ACO
Tampa Bay is getting a new health care system partnership that aims to help reduce emergency room visits. Caravan Health, Tampa General Hospital and the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine have formed a Medicare Accountable Care Organization to provide coordinated care, or an ACO. ACOs, which are part of the Affordable Care Act and an initiative of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, brings together groups of health care providers that can help Medicare patients by avoiding costly… (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Biotechnology headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Biotechnology headlines - January 7, 2019 Category: Biotechnology Authors: Veronica Brezina-Smith Source Type: news

Tampa General, USF, Caravan Health form new Medicare ACO
Tampa Bay is getting a new health care system partnership that aims to help reduce emergency room visits. Caravan Health, Tampa General Hospital and the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine have formed a Medicare Accountable Care Organization to provide coordinated care, or an ACO. ACOs, which are part of the Affordable Care Act and an initiative of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, brings together groups of health care providers that can help Medicare patients by avoiding costly… (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Physician Practices headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Physician Practices headlines - January 7, 2019 Category: American Health Authors: Veronica Brezina-Smith Source Type: news

NLM Launches VSAC Intensional Definition Functionality
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Value Set Authority Center (VSAC), with support from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is pleased to announce the launch of (Source: NLM General Announcements)
Source: NLM General Announcements - January 4, 2019 Category: Databases & Libraries Source Type: news

Medicare ’ s bundled ortho payments yield modest savings
This study indicates that with the right financial incentive, hospitals can save money without compromising quality by sending more patients home rather than to a nursing facility.” Bundled payments are an alternative payment strategy that health plans, Medicare, and Medicaid are experimenting with to reduce expenses. Unlike traditional fee-for-service payments, bundled payments provide a single, fixed payment for a procedure and follow-up care rather than individually paying all parties separately. In January 2016, CMS required all hospitals in 67 geographic areas to participate in the five-year “Comprehensive...
Source: Mass Device - January 3, 2019 Category: Medical Devices Authors: Nancy Crotti Tags: Blog Healthcare Reform Hospital Care Medicare News Well Orthopedics Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Harvard Medical School Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health New England Journal of Medicine Source Type: news

Tampa Bay hospitals confront new pricing transparency rules
Starting Jan. 1, hospitals will be required to post a list of standard patient charges online under a new federal requirement. On a national level, the health care industry is known to for not being as transparent with its prices. Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told the Associated Press the new requirement for online prices reflects the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to en courage patients to become better-educated decision makers in their own care. “We… (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Pharmaceuticals headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Pharmaceuticals headlines - December 31, 2018 Category: Pharmaceuticals Authors: Veronica Brezina-Smith Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program: Medicare Shared Savings Program; Accountable Care Organizations Pathways to Success and Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Policies for Performance Year 2017
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the final rules for the Medicare Shared Savings Program participation options to encourage Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to transition to two-sided models. Discusses issues specific to rural throughout, addresses the impact on small rural hospitals starting on PDF page 857, and offers some options for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and hospitals with swing bed agreements. The rules take February 14, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 31, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program: Changes to Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Correction
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services making corrections to technical and typographical errors in theNovember 21, 2018 final rule entitled "Changes to Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs." Corrections are effective on January 1, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 28, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Public Inspection: CMS: Medicare Program: Changes to Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Correction
Pre-publication notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services making corrections to technical and typographical errors in theNovember 21, 2018 final rule entitled "Changes to Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs." Notice will be published in the Federal Register on December 28, 2018 and corrections are effective on January 1, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 26, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare & Medicaid Programs, and Other Program Initiatives, and Priorities; Meeting of the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE), January 16, 2019
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announces a public meeting of the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE) on January 16, 2019. Presentations and written comments much be submitted to themeeting coordinator by January 2, 2019 to be included in the agenda. Current agenda items include a listening session with CMS leadership, a recap of the previous meeting, information on CMS program and priorities, and an opportunity for public comment. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 26, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Obamacare signups dip in Oregon, according to preliminary data
In Oregon, 148,479 people enrolled in Affordable Care Act plans for next year, a 6 percent drop, according to preliminary data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Wednesday. CMS is expected to revise the figures in the coming days. The tally doesn’t include anyone who enrolled between 9 p.m. and midnight, Pacific Standard Time, on the final day of open enrollment, Dec. 15th, said Elizabeth Cronen, spokeswoman for the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. The total a lso… (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Biotechnology headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Biotechnology headlines - December 21, 2018 Category: Biotechnology Authors: Elizabeth Hayes Source Type: news

Public Inspection: CMS: Medicare Program: Medicare Shared Savings Program; Accountable Care Organizations Pathways to Success and Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Policies for Performance Year 2017
Pre-publication notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding final rules for the Medicare Shared Savings Program participation options to encourage Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to transition to two-sided models. Discusses issues specific to rural throughout, addresses the impact on small rural hospitals starting on PDF page 857, and offers some options for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and hospitals with swing bed agreements. The rule takes effect 45 days after the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for December 31, 2018. (Source: Federal Registe...
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 21, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Obamacare signups dip in Oregon, according to preliminary data
In Oregon, 148,479 people enrolled in Affordable Care Act plans for next year, a 6 percent drop, according to preliminary data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Wednesday. CMS is expected to revise the figures in the coming days. The tally doesn’t include anyone who enrolled between 9 p.m. and midnight, Pacific Standard Time, on the final day of open enrollment, Dec. 15th, said Elizabeth Cronen, spokeswoman for the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. The total a lso… (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Physician Practices headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Physician Practices headlines - December 21, 2018 Category: American Health Authors: Elizabeth Hayes Source Type: news

NLM Technical Bulletin, Nov-Dec 2018, NLM VSAC Launches Intensional Definition Functionality
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Value Set Authority Center (VSAC), with support from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is pleased to announce the launch of the Intensional value set definition functionality in the VSAC Authoring Tool. (Source: NLM Technical Bulletin)
Source: NLM Technical Bulletin - December 20, 2018 Category: Databases & Libraries Source Type: news

Updated RRA/RPA guidance addresses outpatient setting
In an updated guideline, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services...Read more on AuntMinnie.comRelated Reading: ARRT creates path for RPAs to get RRA credential Feds look into RPA issues at Okla. hospital Radiologist credits RPAs for improved patient care RTs are already tackling advanced tasks, survey says New radiologist assistant position promises career boost for RTs (Source: AuntMinnie.com Headlines)
Source: AuntMinnie.com Headlines - December 20, 2018 Category: Radiology Source Type: news

ACA enrollment down 4 percent
Almost 8.5 million people signed up for 2019 plans under the Affordable Care Act, a drop of 4 percent from last year, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the program. A surge in signups in the last week of the enrollment period made up for a slow start. More than 4.3 million people signed up for coverage then, up from 4.1 million signups during the final week of open enrollment last year, per Fierce Healthcare. This is the second year that enrollment… (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care News Headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care News Headlines - December 20, 2018 Category: Health Management Authors: Betsey Guzior Source Type: news

ACA enrollment down 4 percent
Almost 8.5 million people signed up for 2019 plans under the Affordable Care Act, a drop of 4 percent from last year, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the program. A surge in signups in the last week of the enrollment period made up for a slow start. More than 4.3 million people signed up for coverage then, up from 4.1 million signups during the final week of open enrollment last year, per Fierce Healthcare. This is the second year that enrollment… (Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Pharmaceuticals headlines)
Source: bizjournals.com Health Care:Pharmaceuticals headlines - December 20, 2018 Category: Pharmaceuticals Authors: Betsey Guzior Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare Program: Accrediting Organizations Conflict of Interest and Consulting Services; Request for Information
Notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services seeking comment on whether or not it is appropriate for a Medicare-approved Accrediting Organization to provide fee-based consultant services for Medicare-participating providers and suppliers, the same providers for which they determine accreditation status. Comments are due February 19, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 20, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Memory and cognition problems affect recovery in rehabilitation facilities
(American Geriatrics Society) Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) added new ways to measure patients' abilities to perform their daily routines in nursing facilities and other after-care settings. Studies have not examined how skilled nursing care residents who have cognitive difficulties perform on the new self-care and mobility measurements. Researchers designed a new study to fill that knowledge gap. The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. (Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health)
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - December 20, 2018 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Public Inspection: CMS: Medicare Program: Accrediting Organizations Conflict of Interest and Consulting Services; Request for Information
Pre-publication notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services seeking comment on whether or not it is appropriate for a Medicare-approved Accrediting Organization to provide fee-based consultant services for Medicare-participating providers and suppliers, the same providers for which they determine accreditation status. Comments are due within 60 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for December 20, 2018. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 19, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Rethinking ALS Intercepts and Mutual Aide Agreements
This article focuses on the EMS standard operating procedure (SOP) known as the advanced life support (ALS) intercept.1 In the seven rural Midwest and Mountain West states in which the authors work it’s common for ambulance services to be staffed by volunteers with basic life support (BLS) training. These dedicated first responders have varied levels of NREMT credentialing including: EMT-Basic, Advanced EMT, and EMT-Intermediate (EMT-B, AEMT and EMT-I, respectively).2 All EMTs complete coursework in human anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, emergency skills and patient assessment. The more advanced the EMT (e.g., a...
Source: JEMS Special Topics - December 19, 2018 Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Ralph Renger, PhD Tags: Exclusive Articles Operations Source Type: news

OIG: Medicare contractors overpaid for radiation therapies
Medicare contractors may have significantly overpaid for intensity-modulated radiation therapy services, according to a new report from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General. In its report, the OIG said that it reviewed claims paid to hospitals from National Government Services, Inc., that contained specific IMRT services at risk for noncompliance with Medicare requirements. The office identified 25,9000 claims paid by NGS that contained “potentially unallowable IMRT services totaling $80.1 million.” The federal watchdog estimates that Centers for Medicare and Medica...
Source: Mass Device - December 18, 2018 Category: Medical Devices Authors: Fink Densford Tags: Business/Financial News Featured Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) Source Type: news

CMS Seeks Public Comment on Accrediting Organizations and Conflicts of Interest
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issues a Request for Information (RFI) seeking comment on the financial relationship between CMS-approved Accrediting Organizations (AOs) and the healthcare facilities they review and monitor. This RFI is specifically looking for public input on whether AOs providing consulting services to the facilities they monitor and charging fees for those services creates conflicts of interest. Comments accepted through February 18, 2018. (Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center - December 18, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Medicare and Medicaid Programs, and Other Program Initiatives, and Priorities; Request for Nominations to the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE)
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking nominations to serve on the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Education (APOE). The APOE is charged with advising the Department of Health and Human Services and CMS on the development and implementation of education programs for individuals eligible for insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Nominations are due by January 16, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 17, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

CMS: Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is seeking comment on the following information collections: 1) Methods for Assuring Access to Covered Medicaid Services Under 42 CFR 447.203 and 447.204; 2) Medicaid Program; Eligibility Changes under the Affordable Care Act of 2010; and 3) Bid Pricing Tool (BPT) for Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans and Prescription Drug Plans (PDP). Comments are due by January 14, 2019. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 14, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Comments from Richard Besser, MD, on Guidance Relating to Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act
The following comments were submitted by Richard Besser, MD, in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services request for comments relating to Section 1332 of the ACA. (Source: RWJF - News Releases)
Source: RWJF - News Releases - December 14, 2018 Category: Health Management Authors: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Tags: Health Care Coverage and Access Source Type: news

Hospice and Emergency Preparedness: Experiences from the Field
Source: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] (HHS ASPR). Published: 11/2018. This four-page document from TRACIE (Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange) provides an interview conducted with a registered nurse to learn more about the changing role of homecare and hospice agencies in community resilience. It discusses lessons learned from a drill about infection control and personal protective equipment, sheltering during a tornado and tropical storm, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services emergency preparedness ...
Source: Disaster Lit: Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health - December 13, 2018 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

Hospice and Emergency Preparedness
Source: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] (HHS ASPR). Published: 11/2018. This four-page document from TRACIE (Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange) provides an interview conducted with a registered nurse to learn more about the changing role of homecare and hospice agencies in community resilience. It discusses lessons learned from a drill about infection control and personal protective equipment, sheltering during a tornado and tropical storm, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services emergency preparedness ...
Source: Disaster Lit: Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health - December 13, 2018 Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news

CMS, HHS: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Adoption of the Methodology for the HHS-Operated Permanent Risk Adjustment Program for the 2018 Benefit Year Final Rule
Notice of final rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to adopt the risk adjustment methodology that HHS previously established for the 2018 benefit year. This action is a result of the February 2018 district court ruling that vacated the use of statewide average premium as a basis for the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology for the 2014-2018 benefit years. (Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: Federal Register updates via the Rural Assistance Center - December 10, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news

Report: US healthcare spending growth slows to 3.9%
National healthcare spending grew 3.9% last year to approximately $3.5 trillion, or $10,739 per person, according to a report from The Hill using data recently released by the Trump administration. The growth is the slowest increase in healthcare spending since 2013, before many parts of the ACA took effect, according to the report. Growth rates for 2016 and 2015 were 4.8% and 5.8%. Hospital care spending accounted for $1.1 trillion last year, or 33% of overall healthcare spending, while physicians and clinical services increased 4.2% to $694.3 million. Spending on prescription drugs accounted for 10% of overall health spe...
Source: Mass Device - December 7, 2018 Category: Medical Devices Authors: Fink Densford Tags: Business/Financial News Featured Source Type: news

CMS Finalizes Rule on the Risk Adjustment Program for the 2018 Benefit Year
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a finale rule entitled "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Methodology for the HHS-Operated Permanent Risk Adjustment Program for 2018." This rule reissues, with further explanation, the HHS-operated risk adjustment methodology established for the 2018 benefit year. (Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center)
Source: News stories via the Rural Assistance Center - December 7, 2018 Category: Rural Health Source Type: news