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CSMS Recent Headlines

CSMS Signs on to Congressional MU Letter

The Connecticut State Medical Society joined with 49 other state medical societies and 63 national medical associations in signing a letter to House and Senate leadership. The letter expressed strong concerns with the Administration's decision to move ahead with implementation of Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use program, despite the widespread failure of Stage 2.While the overall goal of the HITECH Act, namely to promote widespread adoption of electronic health records by physicians and hospitals, has largely been achieved, the Stage 3 requirements are inconsistent with the goal of promoting better coordinated and high quality patient care. Congressional action to …

CMS Informal Review Deadline Extended to 11/23

CMS has extended the deadline for informal review of 2016 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM) to 11:59 pm on November 23, 2015.If you have reviewed your 2014 AQRUR and think that: you have been incorrectly assessed the 2016 PQRS negative payment adjustment (-2.0% of 2016 Medicare FFS payments) OR there is a perceived error in your 2016 VM calculation (applicable to groups of 10+ Eligible Professionals as identified by Tax ID Number/TIN)you can submit an informal review request for CMS to investigate your incentive eligibility and/or payment adjustment determination.Submit your request through the Quality Reporting …

Webinars, We've Got Webinars

CSMS is hosting a series of convenient webinars on Medicare quality programs: PQRS: An Overview Decoding MYQRUR Understanding the AQRUR Understanding the Value-Based Payment Modifier (VM)Each webinar is less than an hour long, and includes links to CMS resources and information. Each webinar topic is offered live at two different times, and presentations are also archived for on-demand learning.Click here to learn more. 

Henry Jacobs, MD, JD Sworn in as 177th CSMS President

At the 223rd Annual Meeting of the Connecticut State Medical Society, Henry E. Jacobs, MD, JD was sworn in as the Society's 177th President.Dr. Jacobs is a West Hartford Obstetrician-Gynecologist and Senior Attending at Hartford Hospital.Long active in organized medicine, Dr. Jacobs has served in a number of leadership roles at the Connecticut State Medical Society, including Councilor, Chair of the CSMS Judiciary and Ethics Committee, Co-Chair of the CSMS Managed Care Committee, and a member of the CSMS Quality of Care Committee. He is also a Past President of the Hartford County Medical Association, and chaired the HCMA Board …

CSMS Opposes Announced Medicaid Cuts

(NORTH HAVEN) – The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) is deeply concerned by Governor Malloy’s recent announcement of significant rescissions to Medicaid and mental health services, on top of cuts made in April and June of this year.CSMS President Robert Russo, MD has released this statement in response:These unexpected and unprecedented rescissions to the 2016-2017 Medicaid budget will dramatically reduce access to care for the neediest patients across the state, the nearly one in five Connecticut residents who today rely on Medicaid for their health care coverage. It will be more difficult for patients to get preventive care services, which …

CSMS Supports CDC Recommendations for Childhood Immunization

September 18, 2015For Immediate Release (North Haven, CT) – At its founding in 1792, the Connecticut State Medical Society stated its dedication to the “diffusion of science and knowledge of the healing arts.” More than two centuries later, as the wealth of medical knowledge has expanded far beyond anything the CSMS founding physicians could have imagined, CSMS remains a trusted source of information for patients and their families.In the current environment of skepticism about the efficacy and safety of childhood immunizations, CSMS reaffirms its support for the childhood immunization schedule recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.CSMS …

Million Hearts Model Deadline Extension

CMS has extended the deadline for the Million Hearts Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model letter of intent and application to October 8, 2015. The extension will ensure that all interested practices have an opportunity to become part of this important initiative.The Million Hearts Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model (MH Model) supports both the Million Hearts’ goal to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes, and CMS’ objective to identify and spread better models of care delivery and payment. The MH Model employs a randomized-controlled design; CMS is seeking a diverse range of at least of 720 practices, approximately 360 intervention …

PQRS 2016 Informal Review Process

Individual eligible professionals (EPs), Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) practice sites, and group practices participating in GPRO (including ACOs) that did not satisfactorily report PQRS in 2014 will receive a negative payment adjustment in 2016. In addition, those individuals and groups will not receive a 2014 PQRS incentive payment.If you believe that you have been incorrectly assessed the 2016 PQRS negative payment adjustment, you may request an informal CMS review of your incentive eligibility and/or payment adjustment determination.Informal review requests must be submitted between September 9, 2015 and November 9, 2015.Submit your request via the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page (CSP) …

AMA Releases Analyses of Potential Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana Mergers

This morning, the AMA released the following press statement that summarizes the key findings of new special analyses of the impact of the proposed Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana health insurance mergers. These analyses coincide with the release of the 2015 Update to the AMA’s Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of U.S. Markets. Notably, the combined impact of these proposed mergers would exceed federal antitrust guidelines designed to preserve competition in as many as 97 metropolitan areas within 17 states, in the commercial combined health insurance markets.The AMA press statement contains links to the special analyses of these two mergers, …

Congratulations to Smilow/YNHH Team on $11M Oncology Research Grant

CSMS member Roy Herbst, MD recently received some excellent news.Dr. Herbst, chief of medical oncology at YNHH/Smilow, and his team were awarded an $11M grant for their Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) focusing on non-small cell lung cancers.“What this grant is designed to do is to take new therapies and discoveries from the lab to the patients who need them in the clinic and to raise the bar … to develop even better therapies for those who come after,” said Dr. Roy S. Herbst, chief of the medical oncology program at Smilow.He emphasized that “my proudest thing about the …

PECOS Reminder

Please ensure all information is correctly reflected within your Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) account.Information such as National Provider Identifier (NPI), Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), organization name and address may be used by CMS for upcoming communication.You can review and make changes to your Medicare enrollment information by accessing https://pecos.cms.hhs.gov/pecos/login.do#headingLv1.Need contact information or live support for PECOS account issues and system errors? Please visit https://pecos.cms.hhs.gov/pecos/help-main/contact.jsp.For other system questions, please see your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) or CMS.

With Apologies to Mark Twain, Reports of the Death of Organized Medicine Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

CSMS President Robert Russo, MD and CSMS EVP/CEO Matthew Katz recently wrote this op-ed for the Hartford Business Journal on the importance of organized medicine:With apologies to Mark Twain, reports of the death of organized medicine have been greatly exaggerated.In a recent HBJ article ("Healthcare consolidation means waning influence for medical societies") two Hartford-area physicians shared their opinions and perspectives about organized medicine and the role of the medical society in today's practice environment.Connecticut is not the only state facing membership challenges in a rapidly-evolving healthcare environment. Medical societies across the country — states, counties, locals, specialties — are all …

ICD-10: Coming Soon to a Claim Near You

With the October 1 implementation date for ICD-10 just weeks away, physicians recently got some good news: the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released additional guidance that allows some flexibility in the claims auditing and quality reporting process during the ICD-10 transition. The Connecticut State Medical Society had signed onto the AMA's national letter supporting these changes.The AMA and CMS will help physicians and other health care providers learn about the updated codes and prepare for the transition through webinars, on-site training, educational articles and national provider calls. AMA President Steven Stack, MD …

Biondino Classic Raises $30K for CSMS Charitable Trust

A few am sprinkles didn't dampen the fun at the 2015 Biondino Golf Classic, and by the 12:15 shotgun start 24 eager foursomes were ready to roll through the course at Wallingford Country Club.There was plenty of competition (scroll down to view the list of winners), but the real winner was the CSMS Charitable Trust. 100% of the Biondino Classic proceeds benefit the Trust, which supports organizations providing food, shelter and services to Connecticut residents in need.Click the image below to see more from this year's Biondino Golf Classic And now, on to the 2015 winners:Low Gross Winners OBGYN & …

Reporting as a Group Practice: 2015 EHR-Based Reporting for PQRS

Join CMS experts for an eHealth webinar on participating in the 2015 PQRS program via the group practice reporting option (GPRO) using an EHR-based reporting mechanism.The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, July 23, 2015 from 11 am - noon. Click here to register.The following items will be discussed during this webinar: Background of the PQRS GPRO Electronic Reporting Overview Information for EHR Vendors Information for PQRS Group Practices Resources and Where to Call for Help Q&AFor more informationThis webinar presentation and recording will be available on the Events page of the CMS eHealth website.

CSMS, Rep. DeLauro Host Press Conference

In recognition of National UV Safety Month, the Connecticut State Medical Society and US Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) hosted a press conference today supporting Rep. DeLauro's call for a nationwide ban on the use of tanning beds by minors.CSMS President Robert Russo, MD welcomed Rep. DeLauro, and noted the importance of her support on this and other public health issues. CT Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery President Donna Aiudi, MD spoke about the rising incidence of melanoma and other skin cancers, particularly in younger people. Dr. Aiudi, a CSMS member, discussed the use of UV-A radiation in tanning booths, …

Decoding MYQRUR (CSMS webinars)

CMS creates Mid-Year Quality and Resource Use Reports (MYQRUR) to provide physicians and practitioners with cost and quality measure data for Medicare patients.Join the Connecticut State Medical Society to learn how MYQRUR data can help you evaluate the quality of care you provide.Webinar topics will include: MYQRUR in Context Obtaining Your MYQRUR Decoding MYQRUR What to Do With Your Data MYQRUR and the Value Modifier (VM) Q&A7/16/15 @ 12:15 - registration link7/22/15 @ 4:15 - registration link

June 30/July 1Deadlines: GPRO, EHR Hardship Exception

June 30 is the last day to register for the Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) for 2015 PQRS reporting.To register for GPRO, your group must have an approved Individuals Authorized Access to the CMS Computer Services (IACS) account. You will also need to indicate your reporting mechanism for the 12-month period. The GPRO Registration Quick Reference Guide is a good resource.July 1 is the last day to apply for a 2016 EHR Hardship Exception. The Hardship Exception is for those who did not successfully participate in the 2014 Medicare EHR Incentive Program and want to avoid the 2016 payment adjustment.Overview …

CSMS Applauds Governor’s Signature on Telehealth Bill

(North Haven, CT) – On behalf of the more than 6,000 physicians and physicians in training of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), we thank Governor Dannell Malloy for signing into law PA 15-88 (Senate Bill 467), An Act Concerning the Facilitation of Telehealth.The Governor’s signature on PA 15-88 establishes several important requirements for the appropriate use of telehealth and ensures that such services will be integrated into the patient’s medical records. PA 15-88 supports an important initiative for the future of health care in Connecticut, and allows patients to have another option to access quality health care without having …

CSMS to Host PQRS Webinars

Join CSMS for an overview of the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).Webinar topics will include: How to participate in PQRS Individual and group reporting options Measure selection Key reporting dates Calculating payment adjustments Q&ACSMS will offer the webinar on two dates: Wednesday, June 17 and Thursday, June 25. Both webinars will run from 12:15 - 1 pm. Click here to register for the June 17 webinar. Click here to register for the June 25 webinar.