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CSMS Recent Headlines

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 …

Reminder: Nomination Period Open for MACRA Episode-Based Cost Measures Clinical Subcommittees

CMS has contracted with Acumen, LLC to develop care episode and patient condition groups for use in cost measures to meet the requirements of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). As part of the development and maintenance processes, Acumen is seeking nominations from clinicians to participate in Clinical Subcommittees that will provide input on the development of chronic, procedural, and acute inpatient medical condition episode-based cost measures for potential use in the Quality Payment Program (QPP).Wave 3 of the Clinical Subcommittees includes the following clinical areas: (1) Chronic Condition and Disease Management; (2) Dermatologic Disease Management; …

MIPS 2018 Data Submission Period Has Closed; Preliminary Performance Feedback Data for MIPS Now Available

The data submission period for the 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) closed on April 2, 2019. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is currently in the process of reviewing all the data submitted. We would like to thank all of the clinicians who submitted their data, as well as the qualified clinical data registries, qualified registries, EHR vendors, and other organizations that submitted 2018 MIPS data on behalf of clinicians.Preliminary Feedback on 2018 MIPS Data Submission Now Available If you submitted data through the Quality Payment Program website, you are now able to review your preliminary performance …

Four State Medical Society Presidents: No, No, No, No to Recreational Marijuana

We, the undersigned, as presidents of our state medical societies, have joined together to express our mutual opposition regarding our states’ approval of any policies that legalize recreational marijuana.We have serious concerns about the lack of scientific evidence that supports recreational marijuana use by adults and young adults.Most importantly, not enough research has been done to prove marijuana is safe. We must look at the potential effect legalization will have on overall use and significant harms, including impaired driving and accidents, creation and worsening of severe mental health issues, and negative impacts on developing minds. We also must look at …

Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Website Retires in March 2019

The PQRS program ended on December 31, 2018, and CMS is retiring the website on March 29, 2019. All of the posted resources currently on the website will no longer be available after March 29, 2019. Please download or read any educational materials on the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) website before it retires.There are also a few changes coming to the contacts available to answer PQRS-related questions. See below for more information.Who to Contact: For PQRS assistance or questions through March 29, 2019, please contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 866-288-8912 (TTY 877-715-6222) or qnetsupport@hcqis.org from 7:00 a.m. to …

Statement on Proposed Aid in Dying Legislation HB 5898: AN ACT CONCERNING AID IN DYING FOR TERMINALLY ILL PATIENTS.

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) members have discussed and debated the issue of aid in dying for many years. CSMS does not take this issue or policy lightly, nor do we wish to impugn those who have opposing views on this important matter. We believe that our position reflects our strong commitment to the Hippocratic Oath, while adjusting to changing times and individual physician’s beliefs.The adopted policy of “engaged neutrality” supports each physician to act in accordance with her/her personally-held ethical principles. CSMS acknowledges that principled and ethical physicians hold a broad range of positions and opinions on this …

April 2: Submission Deadline for MIPS Year 2 (2018) Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has opened the data submission period for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians who participated in Year 2 (2018) of the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Data can be submitted and updated any time until 8:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.CMS Web Interface users need to report Quality performance category data by 8:00 p.m. ET on March 22, 2019. Clinicians who reported Quality measures via Medicare Part B claims can sign in to qpp.cms.gov to view current performance based on claims that have been processed by a Medicare Administrative Contractor.If …

The Deadline to Submit MIPS Year 2 (2018) Data is Less Than 1 Month Away

You Have Less than 1 Month to Submit MIPS Year 2 (2018) Data for the Quality Payment ProgramThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has officially opened the data submission period for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians who participated in Year 2 (2018) of the Quality Payment Program. Data can be submitted and updated any time until 8:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.CMS Web Interface users need to report their Quality performance category data by 8:00 p.m. EST on March 22, 2019. Clinicians who reported Quality measures via Medicare Part B claims can sign in …

CSMS Joins AMA and Others in Calling for More Targeted PA Requirements

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) was one of nearly 100 state and national physicians’ advocacy organizations that signed a letter that the American Medical Association (AMA) sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to urge it to “provide guidance to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans on prior authorization (PA) processes through its 2020 Call Letter.”The letter states that, “CMS’ guidance should direct plans to target PA requirements where they are needed most. Specifically, CMS should require MA plans to selectively apply PA requirements and provide examples of criteria to be used for such programs, including, for example, …

CSMS Forcefully Defends Pain Management Practices

CSMS sent a letter addressing key concerns and recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health regarding Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Draft Report. The letter highlighted CSMS pain medicine specialists’ evaluation of the draft report and reflected the letter provided by the Connecticut Pain Society. Read the submitted letter here.

QPP Tip of the Month: Physicians Have Until March 31, 2019 to Submit 2018 MIPS Performance Data to Avoid a -5 Percent Payment Adjustment in 2020

Physicians may submit their 2018 MIPS performance data by using the CMS QPP submission portal through March 31 to avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2020. With the 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting deadline fast approaching, you may be unsure of or need additional information on the steps needed to submit your 2018 MIPS participation data. PAI has gathered the most helpful CMS resources that provide you with step-by-step instructions on submitting your 2018 MIPS data: 2018 QPP Data Submission User Guide – This resource serves as a user guide on reporting 2018 MIPS performance data for individual …

CSMS Joins AMA to Speak Out on Surprise Billing to Congress

CSMS, medical and specialty societies throughout the county, collaborated with the AMA to voice concern to the House Ways and Means Committee about the impact that unanticipated medical bills are having on patient out-of-pocket costs and the patient-physician relationship. The problem of unanticipated out-of-network bills is complex, and requires a balanced approach to resolve.As Congress develops potential legislation to provide relief to patients from health care costs that their insurance will not cover, we urge Congress to consider the following policies: Insurer accountability. Limits on patient responsibility. Transparency. Universality. Alternative dispute resolution. Keep patients out of the middle.Read the full …

Register for February 27 Webinar: Eligible Clinician eCQMs with Substantive Changes for the 2019 Performance Year

Webinar DetailsTitle: Eligible Clinician eCQMs with Substantive Changes for the 2019 Performance YearDate: Wednesday, February 27, 2019Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ESTRegistration Link: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/1894265/5BD0F208DD1DEB33D1A4775AE47FBE69This one-hour session will provide an in-depth review of the following electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) with substantive changes for the 2019 performance year: Preventive Care and Screening: Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening and Follow-Up Plan (CMS69), Depression Remission at Twelve Months (CMS159), and Depression Utilization of the PHQ-9 Tool (CMS160). CMS has transitioned the logic used in eCQMs from the previous quality data model (QDM) logic expression language to Clinical Quality Language (CQL) for the …

Check Your Preliminary 2019 MIPS Eligibility on the QPP Website

You can now check the Quality Payment Program (QPP) Participation Status Tool to view your eligibility status for the 2019 performance period under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).Enter your National Provider Identifier (NPI), to find out if you need to participate in MIPS during the 2019 performance year.How CMS Determines Your 2019 MIPS Eligibility StatusWe review both PECOS data and Medicare Part B claims for services provided during two 12-month segments called the MIPS determination period. First segment: October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. Includes a 30-day claims run out period. Second segment: October 1, 2018 through September …

CSMS' Top Priority Bill on High Deductible Health Plans Featured in Thursday's Insurance Committee Hearing!

CSMS has been heavily advocating for the legislature to address the issue of High Deductible Health Plans and the impact they have on physicians and their patients. This Thursday, February 7 we're thrilled to be providing testimony at the public hearing of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee in SUPPORT of Proposed S.B. No. 28 AN ACT CONCERNING REIMBURSEMENTS UNDER CERTAIN HIGH DEDUCTIBLE HEALTH PLANS. The proposed bill, introduced by Senate President Martin Looney, would require health carriers that issue certain high deductible plans to directly reimburse participating providers for the cost of covered benefits.CLICK HERE FOR PUBLIC HEARING INFORMATION …