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Lawmakers Seek to Expand Medicare Coverage of Telemedicine Again Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Tuesday, 18 April 2017 17:20

Congress is taking another crack at expanding Medicare coverage for services delivered via telemedicine. U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI) recently introduced bipartisan legislation that would require the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to "test the effect of including telehealth services in Medicare health care delivery reform models." CMMI's role is to support the development and testing of innovative health care payment and service delivery models.

Dubbed, the Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act, the bill is designed to expand access to healthcare for rural patients who lack access to healthcare. Currently, Medicare covers limited telehealth services, "setting a poor industry standard, discouraging innovation, and restricting access to specialized services," according to a news release issued by Gardner's office.

In addition to testing, the bill would direct CMMI to have an independent evaluation conducted to assess the telehealth models for cost, effectiveness, and improvement in quality of care without increasing the cost of delivery. If the telehealth model meets these criteria, then the model would be covered through the Medicare program.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 May 2017 17:04
HHS's Price Urges Doctors to Submit Ideas for Medicare Pay Models Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 17 April 2017 16:50

Mindy Yochelson reports via Bloomberg BNA:

Doctors should step up and recommend more payment alternatives to fee-for-service Medicare, the HHS secretary said April 11.

Doctors across the country should offer the committee ideas about what payment model would work better for them, the HHS secretary said. This is especially important for those in rural and underserved areas who think the current system is designed for large integrated groups that have administrative assistance, he said.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Monday, 17 April 2017 16:56
CMS to launch national campaign to promote coordinated-care program Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 20 March 2017 18:35

Virgil Dickson, in a March 14, 2017 Modern Healthcare post, reports:

Doctors may be unknowingly forgoing hundreds of millions in federal funding that would compensate them to better care for the sickest Medicare beneficiaries, and the CMS is launching a national campaign Wednesday to encourage physicians to take advantage of the funds.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Monday, 20 March 2017 18:39
Backlog backlash: HHS says clearing Medicare backlog not possible Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 18:35

Just two months after a federal judge told the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to clear through a huge backlog of Medicare claims appeals comes word from the agency that not only will it not be able to comply, but that the backlog will actually grow by the time it's supposed to have been eliminated.

According to published reports, HHS said in a recent status report to the court that it anticipates its 687,382-claim backlog to exceed more than a million by the end of fiscal year 2021, the timeline that the court had given it to eliminate the backlog.

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Senate Confirms Tom Price for HHS Post Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 13 February 2017 18:25

Ted Barrett, in a CNN post dated Fri., February 10, 2017:

In a middle-of-the-night vote, the Senate confirmed Rep. Tom Price to be the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The 52 to 47 vote was along party lines.

According to the article:

Democrats opposed Price, a Republican from Georgia, because he is a key architect of undoing the Affordable Care Act and has advocated making major changes to Medicare.

Republicans view Price, an orthopedic surgeon, as a champion of free market principles who will guide the repeal and replacement of Obamacare...

See related: 10 Things to Know About Tom Price

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>
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