Late last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) with broad bipartisan support. MACRA would permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) for Medicare physician reimbursement and extend federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for two additional years. The legislation also includes three telehealth provisions.
Continue Reading House Bill Repealing the Medicare SGR Includes Telehealth Provisions

Earlier this month, the National Law Journal published its annual Special Report on Health Care Law. Included in this Special Report is an article written by CovingtonEHealth contributors Caroline Brown, Anna Kraus, and Phil Peisch, entitled, The Cyber Future of Long-Term Care: Applying Health Care Laws to Aging in Place Technologies

Yesterday, CMS extended the meaningful use attestation deadline for the 2014 reporting year for eligible professionals in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program from February 28 to March 20.  In an email, CMS stated that it “extended the deadline to allow providers extra time to submit their meaningful use data.”  Medicare eligible professionals must attest to

At the ONC’s HIT Committee meeting on February 10, 2015, CMS presented data about the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program.  The presentation included CMS’s estimate that over two hundred and fifty thousand professionals participating in Medicare will receive a downward payment adjustment for failing to meet meaningful use standards in 2015, which is the EHR Incentive Program’s first penalty year.
Continue Reading CMS Estimates that Medicare EHR Incentive Program Will Penalize Hundreds of Thousands of Eligible Professionals

At the end of last year, the American Journal of Managed Care published a study — co-authored by researchers at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) — analyzing the use of electronic prescriptions for controlled substances.  This is the first study on this subject since the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) revised its regulations in 2010 to allow e-prescribing of controlled substances.  The authors also published a blog post about the study on the ONC’s website.
Continue Reading Study Identifies Progress and Challenges in E-Prescribing Controlled Substances

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the proposed rulemaking for Stage 3 meaningful use, which is the next stage of compliance for eligible professionals and hospitals in the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program.  Stage 3 is scheduled to begin in 2017.

The

On November 24, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would extend the deadline for hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) to attest to meaningful use for the 2014 reporting year in the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program.  The deadline was extended for a month, from November 30, 2014 to December 31, 2014.
Continue Reading CMS Extends Attestation Deadline for Hospitals in Medicare EHR Incentive Program

As part of the October 31, 2014 final rule updating payment polices under the Medicare physician fee schedule, CMS continued its policy of allowing payment for non-face-to-face chronic care management services and also expanded the list of Medicare-covered telehealth services.  However, CMS declined to provide coverage for other proposed telehealth services, and the agency noted the limits of its authority to expand Medicare support for telehealth under current law.
Continue Reading CMS Expands Medicare Telehealth Coverage and Continues Support for Chronic Care Management Coverage; Notes Limitations of Current Law