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CSMS Recent Headlines

New Training Requirements Under the Time’s Up Act

The Time’s Up Act, comprised of Public Acts 19-16 and 19-93, went into effect on October 1. The Time’s Up Act strengthens laws protecting employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. In addition to requirements regarding training and education, the new statute changes existing requirements of the posting of information about sexual harassment in the workplace.Click here for more information, provided by the CT Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

CSMS Elects New Officers for 2019/2020

President: Bollepalli (Bo) Subbarao, MD, New BritainPresident-Elect: Gregory Shangold, MD, WillimanticVice-President: Ron Adelman, MD, New HavenSecretary: David Hass, MD, HamdenTreasurer: Jay Ginsberg, MD, New LondonSpeaker of the Annual Meeting: Michael Carius, MD, StratfordVice Speaker of the Annual Meeting: M. Natalie Achong, MD, West HartfordImmediate Past President: Claudia Gruss, MD, Redding

NORTHEASTERN MEDICAL SOCIETIES URGE CONGRESS TO ENACT FAIR SURPRISE BILLING REFORM LEGISLATION

(North Haven, CT) “Our respective associations representing tens of thousands of physicians across the northeastern United States applaud the many members of the US Congress who are seeking to take action to protect patients from “surprise” medical bills. However, what is needed is a balanced, comprehensive solution to this problem, not a one-sided gift to America’s health insurance companies, some of the richest corporations in the United States. That approach will create shortages in our emergency departments and an acceleration of health care consolidation.Proposals that have begun to advance in the US House and Senate appropriately prevent patients from facing …

The Connecticut State Medical Society Announces New President, Bollepalli Subbarao, MD

September 30, 2019 (North Haven, CT) – At the 227th Annual Meeting of the Connecticut State Medical Society Bollepalli Subbarao, MD, of Avon was inducted as the organization’s 181st President. A practicing Psychiatrist, Dr. Subbarao earned his medical degree from Osmania Medical College in India. He completed his residency in Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Health Center, and is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. Dr. Subbarao currently practices at Advanced Behavioral Health in Middletown, a non-profit behavioral health management company.He previously served as the President of the Hartford Medical Association. He remains an active member …

Greenwich residents on Medicare, Medicaid struggle to find health care specialists - Featuring Input from CSMS EVP/CEO Mattew Katz

Tatiana Flowers - September 22, 2019 - Greenwich TimeGREENWICH — Alyssa Williams was shopping at Target in Stamford nearly five years ago when her then-2-month-old daughter's face turned blue. The baby was rushed to Greenwich Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with reactive airway disease.The infant was then transferred to Yale New Haven Children's Hospital for 10 days, where doctors found she was also living with a partially collapsed left lung."I lost like 60 pounds in three months," said Williams, a Greenwich mother of three. "After she turned blue that time, it was really bad. There was no time for me …

The Physicians Foundation Launches Campaign to Help Prevent Physician Suicide

In recognition of National Physician Suicide Awareness Day, The Physicians Foundation, today announced the launch of Vital Signs, a campaign to help raise greater awareness about the physician suicide epidemic and to provide physicians the tools to attend to their own well-being.“One physician commits suicide every day, the highest suicide rate of any profession and more than twice that of the general population,” said Gary Price, M.D., president of The Physicians Foundation. “These are our mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. They are human beings who deal with emotional and physical pain, and neurocognitive …

QPP Roundup: September 2019

Providing monthly updates on PAI's activities and QPP news for you and your practice.QPP Tip of the Month: Consider Virtual Group Participation in 2020The election window to sign up as part of a Virtual Group for performance year (PY) 2020 begins October 1st. If you are part of a small-group practice of 10 or fewer eligible clinicians (EC), or work as an individual practice, you may qualify to participate as part of a Virtual Group under MIPS in PY 2020. Virtual Groups allow smaller practices to band together regardless of geographic location, opening an opportunity for such practices to be …

Kansas Health Information Network and subsidiary KAMMCO Health Solutions announce ability to share data with MinuteClinic providers

(TOPEKA, KANSAS, September 9, 2019) The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) and its subsidiary KAMMCO Health Solutions (KHS) announced today they have completed a secure electronic connection allowing the seamless sharing of data between MinuteClinic, a CVS Health company, and the KHIN/KHS network. The KHIN/KHS network connects over 6,900 health care organizations across the nation with health information exchanges in Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey and South Carolina. The exchanges are supported by the respective state medical societies.Laura McCrary Ed.D, Executive Director of KHIN and President and CEO of KHS noted, “The transfer of patients’ health records between …

CSMS Is Advocating to Combat Anthem Medicare Advantage Termination of CT Physicians

This week, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Connecticut sent letters to Connecticut physician specialists informing them that they are being terminated from the Medicare Advantage Select Plan provider panel. The termination would take effect January 1, 2020. It does not affect the physician participation status with the other Anthem Medicare Advantage plans or commercial insurance products; and it does not impact primary care physicians.CSMS has reached out to Anthem (click here to read the letter/email that was sent) and they have told us that all terminated physicians and providers have appeal rights for the termination, which are outlined in …

QPP Roundup: August 2019

QPP Roundup: August 2019Providing monthly updates on PAI's activities and QPP news for you and your practice.  QPP Tip of the Month: Review Your QP Status for Advanced APM ParticipationThe third snapshot period for determining 2019 Qualified Participant (QP) status will end on August 31st. Physicians part of an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) who achieve QP status (based on number of patients or payments received through an Advanced APM) in 2019 will automatically qualify for a 5% positive payment adjustment in 2021. CMS uses three snapshot periods to determine QP status.You can look up your current QP participation status from …

CSMS Leads CMS Prior Authorization Listening Session

In August, Claudia Gruss, MD, CSMS President; Steven Thornquist, MD, CSMS Immediate Past President; Stacy Taylor, MD, CSMS Councilor, also representing the CT Academy of Family Physicians; Mariam Hakim- Zargar, MD, CT Orthopedic Society Immediate Past President and CSMS Councilor; Michael Aronow, MD, CT Orthopedic Society President; Susan Schaffman, CT Orthopedic Society Executive Director; Debbie Osborn, CT Eye, CT Derm, CT ENT and CT Urology Executive Director; and CSMS staff gathered to voice their frustrations and concerns about prior authorization. Richard E. Wild, MD, JD, MBA, ACEP, Chief Medical Officer, Atlanta and Boston Regional Offices, CMS, HHS, and Joseph Stone, …

CSMS, OHA, and OHS Join Forces to Defend the Health Care Rights of the LGBTQ+ Community

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) joined the Office of the Healthcare Advocate and the Office of Heath Strategy to voice our strong opposition to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) proposed rule, “Nondiscrimination in Health and Health Education Programs or Activities,” HHS-OCR-2019-0007 (RIN 0945-AA11). We believe it is critical to oppose this proposed rule for patient access to care.The Department’s proposed rule will institutionalize discrimination in health care, health insurance, and health education. It will hurt Connecticut’s LGBTQ+ and other health insurance consumers by repealing the regulation that today bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity …

CMS Proposes Medicare Physician Fee Schedule & Quality Payment Program Rule for CY 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposed rule updating Medicare policies and providing payments for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) in CY 2020.Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Proposals Payment Changes to Office/Outpatient Evaluation and Management (E/M) Services Reducing coding complexity by consolidating CPT coding from 5 levels to 4 levels for office/outpatient E/M visits for new patients Improving payment for office/outpatient E/M visits, and establish a new add-on code for prolonged service time. Consolidating the Medicare-specific add-on code in primary care and non-procedural care into a single code for ongoing care …

Changes to National Government Services Local Coverage Determination Process

In accordance with Section 4009 of H.R. 34-21st Century Cures Act (Public Law No: 114-255), CMS is updating the “Medicare Program Integrity Manual” with detailed changes to the LCD process. These changes were communicated in CMS Transmittal 863, issued on 2/12/2019.Please be aware of the LCD revisions and transition of all coding to related articles. There has been no change in coverage associated with this update. All coding information, will be removed from the LCDs and placed in a related billing and coding article, including national coverage provisions, and associated information (documentation requirements, utilization guidelines). The article name will begin …

2019 Maloney Award Nominations Now Open

CSMS is now accepting nominations for the 2019 Maloney Distinguished Service Award. All CSMS members are welcome to nominate their colleagues for recognition of outstanding work.The Paul K. Maloney, Jr., MD Distinguished Service Award was established to honor the life and work of Dr. Maloney, an eminent physician known for his exemplary service, active engagement, and dedication to the community. The Maloney Award is the highest honor CSMS can confer upon a member. Each year, CSMS donates $1,000 to the charity of the Maloney Award winner’s choice.The nomination deadline is Friday, August 23, 2019. Your nomination should include your contact …

CSMS Joins AMA and Dozens Medical Societies to Show Unity for Surprise Billing Action

CSMS signed onto an AMA letter, with dozens of specialty and state medical societies throughout the country, to show unity throughout the federation of medicine concerning surprise billing. The letter was directed at the Energy and Commerce Chair, Frank Pallone, Jr. and Ranking Member Greg Walden and the members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce ahead of the Wednesday mark-up.Federation Sign on Letter Surprise Billing 7-16-19.The CSMS, in conjunction with other state medical societies, the AMA, Physicians Advocacy Institute and national medical specialty societies, will continue to reach out to our US Representatives and US Senators throughout the August …

Now Available: 2018 MIPS Performance Feedback and Final Score; MIPS Targeted Review; and 2020 MIPS Self-Nomination Materials

Now Available: 2018 MIPS Performance Feedback and Final Score Now Available: MIPS Targeted Review 2020 MIPS Self-Nomination Materials Now AvailableNow Available: 2018 MIPS Performance Feedback and Final ScoreIf you submitted 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data, you can now view your performance feedback and MIPS final score on the Quality Payment Program website.You can access your 2018 MIPS performance feedback and final score by: Going to cms.gov/login Logging in using your HCQIS Access Roles and Profile (HARP) system credentials; these are the same credentials that allowed you to submit your 2018 MIPS dataIf you don’t have a HARP account, …

CMS QPP Updates

CMS published several new resources: Cost Category and Quality Category User Guides provide additional technical details on how to participate in each of these categories. MIPS Eligibility Decision Tree helps physicians determine if they are eligible or exempt from MIPS participation. 2019 QP Methodology Fact Sheet provides an overview of how CMS makes QP and PQ determinations for Advanced APM participation.PAI’s QPP Resource Center and the CMS QPP Resource Library has additional resources on MIPS and Advanced APMs.

PAI Comments on CMS and ONC Proposed Rules on Interoperability and Increasing Patient Access to their Health Information

PAI Comments on CMS and ONC Proposed Rules on Interoperability and Increasing Patient Access to their Health InformationEarlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) released two proposed rules on interoperability, information blocking, and patient access to their health information: CMS Proposed Rule – Interoperability and Patient Access for Medicare Advantage Organization and Medicaid Managed Care Plans, State Medicaid Agencies, CHIP Agencies and CHIP Managed Care Entities, Issuers of Qualified Health Plans in the Federally-Facilitated Exchanges and Health Care Providers ONC Proposed Rule – 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, …