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CSMS Recent Headlines

QPP Tip of the Month: Understand the New Requirements for the MIPS Promoting Interoperability Category

The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Promoting Interoperability category (formerly known as the Advancing Care Information category) changed significantly from previous years. Some of the key changes include: Revised to contain a single set of objectives and measures for reporting; Required use of 2015 edition certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT); and A new scoring methodology for the category that eliminates the base, performance, and bonus score components.Notably, the category features hardship exceptions, which allow reweighting to 0 percent and have the 25 percent weight reallocated to the quality category (for a final weight of 70 percent of the final …

Major Legislative Wins for CSMS Members & Patients of Connecticut

HUGE Step Forward on High Deductible Health Plan Fight! We're thrilled that our tireless efforts to get the legislature to address HDHPs paid off. The budget includes the establishment of a task force, as specially requested by our HDHP coalition, to study high deductible health plans. The task force will include members of CSMS, Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians (CCEP) and other physicians, and will be convened by the Healthcare Advocate, reporting its findings before the next session.CSMS, CCEP, and many specialty and county medical associations were involved in this campaign, proving that organized medicine is effective and powerful! Connecticut …

Updates from NGS Listening Session

CSMS EVP/CEO Matthew Katz, recently participated in a National Government Services (NGS) listening session and would like to share some insight, tips, and tools with members. See the list below to learn about the NGS updated website, Medicare identification cards, duplicate claims, annual wellness visits, and updates on revalidation. The NGS website has been updated and it is best for physicians and their staff to register on the site in order to access all of the information available to them. The contact us tab now provides a way to reach key NGS staff specific to Connecticut. Unfortunately, in some places …

Helpful Links from CMS

https://qpp.cms.gov/about/resource-library - Quality Payment Programhttps://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/story-page/patients-over-paperwork.html - Patients Over Paperworkhttps://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-NetworkMLN/MLNGenInfo/Continuing-Education.html - Medicare Learning Network Continuing Educationhttps://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Look-Up-Topics/Medicare/New-Medicare-CardMessage.html - New Medicare Cardhttps://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/medicare-diabetes-prevention-program/ - Medicare Diabetes Prevention Programhttps://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-ServicePayment/DMEPOSCompetitiveBid/index.html - DMEPOS Competitive Biddinghttps://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/PhysicianFeeSched/index.html - Physician Fee Schedule/Care Managementhttps://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-andReports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/OpioidMap.html - Opioidshttps://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-AssessmentInstruments/HospitalQualityInits/HospitalCompare.html - Hospital Compare Star Ratingshttps://www.cms.gov/Regulations-andGuidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/2019ProgramRequirementsMedicare.html - Interoperability of Electronic Health Information

CSMS Is One of 120+ Groups Calling for Congress to Refine & Improve MACRA

CSMS is one of more than 120 physicians’ advocacy organizations that signed a letter that was sent to congressional leaders to urge them to refine and improve the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), including replacing the 2020-2025 physician payment update freeze with positive payment adjustments, extending the Advanced APM bonus payments by six years, and implementing several technical improvements.Click here to read the letter. Click for AMA MACRA Statutory Changes Recommendations Summary

CSMS Comments on Interoperability Proposed Rules to ONC Health IT and CMS

On June 3, CSMS and the Physician’s Advocacy Institute (PAI) submitted comments to Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC Health IT) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the 21st Century Interoperability Proposed Rule.Click here to read the letter sent to CMS.Click here to read the letter sent to ONC.

Connecticut State Medical Society Joins Coalition to Demand Legislators “Say No” to Recreational Marijuana Legalization

Group comprises 7 State Medical Associations with more than 180,000 physician and student membersNORTH HAVEN, CT -- With pressure mounting on state legislatures across the country to legalize recreational marijuana, a coalition of eight* state Medical Societies is calling for thoughtful and thorough consideration before rushing to legislate.“This is a public health issue, not a tax issue,” said Thomas Madejski, MD, immediate past president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. “It’s ludicrous to prioritize increased state revenue against increased hospital visits. The health of our citizens is at stake here.”Indeed, data from states that have legalized …

Connecticut State Medical Society Backs Bipartisan Surprise Billing Measure

Proposal backed by Congressional Physician-Members Would Protect Patients, Hold Insurers Accountable and Avoid Costly Legal BattlesNORTH HAVEN, CT. -- The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) applauds the announcement of bipartisan legislation authored by physician representatives Raul Ruiz, MD, (D-CA), Phil Roe, MD, (R-TN), Ami Bera, MD (D-CA), Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) and Joseph Morelle (D-NY), Van Taylor (R-TX), Donna Shalala (D-FL), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) to protect patients and end surprise medical bills.Based on the successful law in the state of New York, this important proposal will protect patients from the financial hardship and emotional stress of surprise medical bills …

Regional Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Education Increases Provider Knowledge

The May issue of Connecticut Medicine, the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), “Finding Hope in the Battle Against the Opioid Overdose Crisis,” highlights some of the innovative strategies Connecticut’s medical community is forging to tackle this public health crisis and features dozens of experts from across the state, including: Regional Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Education Increases Provider Knowledge. This informative piece was written by: GINA BURROWS, RN, MSN, APRN, CATHERINE WAGNER, EdD, MARK S. DEFRANCESCO, MD, MBA, JOHN F. GREENE, JR., MD, LISA HONIGFELD, PhD, CHRISTOPHER M. MOROSKY, MD, MS, KATRIONA CASAGRANDE, BA, AND MARY REICH …

Recommendations for Adult Measles Vaccination

Due to the current increase in measles cases in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed the following summary for vaccination of adults against measles with measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. Recommendations for vaccination and assessing immunity in adults have not changed since publication of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for the Prevention of Measles, Rubella, Congenital Rubella syndrome, and Mumps in June 2013. (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6204a1.htm)WHAT ADULT PROVIDERS NEED TO KNOW:• Providers do not need to actively screen adult patients for measles immunity. This is because of high population immunity and low risk …

The Opioid Overdose Crisis in Connecticut - J. CRAIG ALLEN, MD

The May issue of Connecticut Medicine, the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), “Finding Hope in the Battle Against the Opioid Overdose Crisis,” highlights some of the innovative strategies Connecticut’s medical community is forging to tackle this public health crisis and features dozens of experts from across the state.Guest editor, J. Craig Allen, MD, Medical Director of Rushford and Vice President of Addiction Services at Hartford HealthCare’s Behavioral Health Network, wrote an article about the opioid overdose crisis in Connecticut.ABSTRACT – In October of 2017, the impact of the opioid crisis on the nation led the …

The Connecticut State Medical Society Joins Fund to Improve Health Information Exchange

State participates in the largest investment of private funds to assist physicians with sharing health information across medical practicesThe Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) in association with five other state medical societies and The Physicians Foundation, today announced the formation of the first of its kind $500,000 interoperability fund, known as The Physicians Foundation Interoperability Fund, which will assist medical practices in effectively sharing clinical information with other physicians and hospitals through health information exchanges (HIE). Funding is available for physicians in participating states with an electronic health record system (EHR) and will be allocated to practices on a first …

Connecticut Physicians Applaud Attorney General Tong’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against Several Generic Drug Manufacturers

Connecticut Attorney General Tong is leading a 44-state coalition antitrust lawsuit against TEVA Pharmaceuticals, 19 other generic drug manufacturers, 15 individuals in conspiracy to fix prices and allocate markets for more than 100 different generic drugs.Today, the Connecticut State Medical Society joined several legislators and other key health care advocates for a press conference to learn more about this lawsuit, and to applaud the Attorney General’s efforts.According to the President Elect of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), Bollepalli Subbarao, MD, who was at today’s press conference, “CSMS has had significant concern, for many years, regarding the rapid growth in …

CSMS Scientific Journal Focuses on Opioid Crisis: “Finding Hope”

The May issue of Connecticut Medicine, the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), “Finding Hope in the Battle Against the Opioid Overdose Crisis,” highlights some of the innovative strategies Connecticut’s medical community is forging to tackle this public health crisis and features dozens of experts from across the state.Since 2013, the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50 in Connecticut has been opioid overdose. Across the US, the medical community has been identified as a driver of the crisis through overprescribing of opioid analgesics.While opioids can be effective tools for the treatment …

The Connecticut Physicians Respond to Department of Public Health Immunization Report

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) and the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (CT-AAP) are alarmed by the startling Department of Public Health (DPH) School Immunization Report that was released today.CSMS President Claudia Gruss, MD voiced concern over this newly released information: “the facts don’t lie, we know that immunizations are proven to be safe and effective, they are one of our best lines of defense to protect the public’s health.”CSMS and CT-AAP are glad DPH is sharing this data to better inform communities and healthcare providers and help target our efforts. Jody Terranova, MD of CT-AAP …

CSMS and State Specialty Societies Continue to Push Back on Ambulatory Surgery Centers Tax

This week CSMS joined forces with other state specialty societies (Connecticut Society of Plastic Surgeons, Connecticut Society of Eye Physicians, Connecticut Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery Society, Connecticut ENT Society, Connecticut Urology Society and the Fairfield County Medical Association) to encourage the Finance Committee to pass SB 1131 AN ACT CONCERNING THE AMBULATORY SURGICAL CENTERS TAX. Read our testimony here.We urge the legislature to support changes to the tax that will preserve the continued role of surgery centers in containing health care costs while providing high-quality health care to Connecticut residents.The current ASC tax cripples centers by removing $15 million in …

REMS-compliant Accredited Continuing Education Now Available

The Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) that is required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for opioid analgesic drug products used in the outpatient setting, and to provide two helpful resources that are a part of the Opioid Analgesic REMS. We ask you to consider the development and/or distribution of training materials for your practitioners and encourage them to utilize these resources and to successfully complete REMS-compliant training to improve their ability to prescribe these medications more safely.Under the conditions of the REMS, healthcare providers (HCPs) are strongly encouraged to: complete a REMS-compliant education program, …

Reefer Madness

MICHAEL M. KRINSKY, MD, AND MYRON GENEL, MDFrom the Editors' Desk, April 2019, Connecticut Medicine There is a notion that marijuana is innocuous, and being relatively harmless, it should be legal for recreational use – that it is not really any more dangerous than, say, hula hoops. This idea is rampant, embraced by many physicians, lawyers, teachers, judges, policemen, clergy, butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. And many of the political class. Especially certain politicians. In the case of the latter, legalizing it and taxing it offers an easy way to expunge years of governmental mismanagement which has lead to financial …

QPP Roundup: April 2019

Providing monthly updates on PAI's activities and QPP news for you and your practice.QPP Tip of the Month: Check Your Eligibility for 2019With the close of the reporting period for submission of your 2018 MIPS performance data, physicians and groups should check their eligibility for the 2019 MIPS participation year using the QPP Participation Status tool. You will need to know your National Provider Identification to view your participation status.As a reminder, physicians are exempt from participation in MIPS if they: 1) are newly enrolled in Medicare for the first time during the performance year; 2) are participating in an …

Register for April 10 Webinar on the MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category in 2019

Join CMS on April 10 for the 2019 MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category WebinarCMS is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, April 10 at 1:00 PM ET to provide information about the Promoting Interoperability (PI) performance category of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in Year 3 (2019) of the Quality Payment Program.During the webinar, CMS subject matter experts will: Provide a brief overview of MIPS participation, eligibility, and requirements for Year 3 Explain the 2019 PI performance category Objectives and Measures Discuss how to submit data in 2019 and how the performance category is scored Provide an overview of helpful …