Medicare Archive

Almost $90m paid out to providers as MU incentives!

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of E-Health Standards and Services announced yesterday that almost $90 million have been paid out to eligible practices and hospitals under the Meaningful Use EHR incentive program this past September. Robert Anthony, who made the announcement, said that $25 million of the total was paid out to

Affordable Care Act Rules to Prevent Fraud: How Increased Vigilance Will Affect Your Practice

If you are wondering how the new healthcare law – the Affordable Care Act – will affect your practice, you are not alone. Providers across the country are trying to understand the implications that this new law will have on reimbursements and the practice of medicine.  Well, because the public is clamoring for my opinion

Being Dutiful About Compliance

Health care providers now more than ever must be proactive when it comes to addressing compliance and billing issues with Medicare and Medicaid.  Recently, federal and state governments have been devoting increased resources to detecting and combatting fraud in the health care industry.  At the federal level, both the Department of Justice and the United

AMA Asks HHS to Revise the Medicare e-Rx Policy

According to current Medicare regulations, any physician that is not e-prescribing in the first six months of 2011 will be penalized in 2012.  The American Medical Association (AMA), believing this punitive regulation to be a hindrance to proper widespread healthcare IT adoption and implementation, is urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to

Senate Passes One-Month Reprieve for Medicare Pay Cuts

The Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan bill on November 18th that will postpone a 23% cut in Medicare physician pay that was scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2010.  The House is expected to take up the Senate bill after Thanksgiving.  Nonetheless, even if the house follows suit and approves the bills, physicians

Medicare Part D Beneficiaries to Get 50% Discount on Drugs in 2011

Vice President Biden, along with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 that a 50% discount will be given to Medicare Part D beneficiaries on covered brand-name prescription drugs starting in 2011. Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, and VP

Quality 101: A Guide to Quality Reporting by HIMSS

Quality and quality reporting are always referred to as the key elements in EMR incentives for meaningful use. HIMSS therefore has launched an online resource, called “Quality 101”, in order to assist the providers and vendors in better understanding the details behind these imperatives. The Patient Safety & Quality Outcomes Committee of HIMSS developed this

Meaningful Use Incentive Payments Due To Begin In May 2011

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin issuing the first of the “meaningful use” incentive payments available under the HITECH Act in May 2011, according to a senior CMS official. Karen Trudel, Deputy Director for CMS’ Office of E-Health Standards & Services, told Healthcare IT News that registration will open in January 2011. 

Medicare Part D ‘Donut Hole’ To Be Closed By 2020

Under the current Medicare regime, seniors enrolled in the Medicare Part D drug plan for 2010 are not only required to pay a $310 deductible, they must also pay 25% of their drug costs until the total reaches $2,830 for the year.  After that, Medicare recipients are liable for drug costs until their yearly out-of-pocket

Physicians May Legally Waive Coinsurance Relative To 2.2% Medicare Pay Increase

The recently enacted law that temporarily replaces a 21.3% cut in Medicare reimbursement rates with a 2.2% increase also retroactively increases what patients owe in coinsurance.  However, according to the Office of Inspector General (OIG), physicians can legally waive the additional amount owed under the increased rate.  The 2.2% raise came into effect on June