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CSMS Recent Headlines

CSMS Supports the Surgeon General's Call for Expanded Availability of Naloxone, an Opioid Overdose-Reversing Drug

Statement attributed to: CSMS President Steven Thornquist, MD and Gregory Shangold, MD, and Mark Kraus, MD, CO Chairs of the CSMS Opioid CommitteeThe Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) strongly supports the Surgeon General’s advisory on naloxone. Surgeon General Adams, Connecticut physicians, first responders, public health professionals and patient advocates all recognize that naloxone can and does save lives and can be an essential tool in our continued fight against the opioid epidemic in Connecticut. We believe that public awareness is critical to help in this battle and we believe that patients, spouses and significant others, family members, friends and even …

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

The data submission period for the 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) closed on April 3, 2018. 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 2017 MIPS data on behalf of clinicians.MIPS Preliminary Feedback Now Available If you submitted data through the Quality Payment Program website, you are now able to review your preliminary performance feedback data. However, please keep in mind, this is not your …

New Medicare Card Project – Important Updates

Message from CMSWe started mailing newly-designed Medicare cards with the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), or Medicare Number. People enrolling in Medicare for the first time will be among the first to get the new cards, no matter where they live. Current Medicare beneficiaries will get their new cards on a rolling basis over the coming months. We'll continue to accept the Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) through the transition period.During our planning, we’ve continuously adjusted and improved our mailing strategy to make sure we’re: Mailing the new cards to accurate addresses. Protecting current Medicare beneficiaries and their personal information …

CMS Extends the MIPS 2017 Data Submission Deadline from March 31 to April 3 at 8 PM EDT

CMS Extends the MIPS 2017 Data Submission Deadline from March 31 to April 3 at 8 PM EDTIf you’re an eligible clinician participating in the Quality Payment Program, you now have until Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 8 PM EDT to submit your 2017 MIPS performance data. You can submit your 2017 performance data using the new feature on the Quality Payment Program website.Note: For groups that missed the March 16 CMS Web Interface data submission deadline, it’s not too late to submit your data through another mechanism.How to Get StartedGo to qpp.cms.gov and click on “sign in” on the …

Action Needed: Call Your Legislator to Push for Restoration of Medicaid Cuts!

Please Call Your Legislator!The Appropriations Committee must take final action by Thursday, April 5.This may be our last opportunity to push for restoration of Medicaid cuts!CSMS is asking the Appropriations Committee to include in a FY '19 budget bill: Funding to continue the Medicare Savings Program at current eligibility levels Restoration of HUSKY A parents' eligibility to 155% FPL Removal of the cap on HUSKY adult dental services Restoration of primary care reimbursement rates to 100% of the 2014 Medicare rates We are also urging additional revenue sources so that these restorations can be made without cutting other essential services. You …

CTHealthLink Provides CT Physicians with Quality Reporting Registry

Physicians and clinicians participating in Connecticut’s health information network, CTHealthLink, have a trusted choice when reporting key components of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) as a part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Quality Payment Program (QPP). CTHealthLink received notification its Doctors Quality Reporting Network Qualified Clinical Data Registry for Quality Reporting (QCDR) application has the stamp of approval from CMS for 2018.Click here to read the full article: CTHealthLink Provides CT Physicians with Quality Reporting Registry

CTHealthLink and Connecticut Department of Social Services Reach Agreement to Share Data to Improve Care for Medicaid Patients

(Hartford, CT, March 12, 2018) Connecticut state officials and CTHealthLink leaders have announced the signing of a data-sharing agreement to facilitate the exchange of health information between Connecticut Medicaid and Connecticut healthcare providers. Through the development of a longitudinal patient record, Connecticut healthcare providers will have a powerful tool to assist in the treatment of Medicaid recipients, as well as a tool to be used to add efficiencies to payment and operations of the state’s Medicaid services. Read the full press release here:CTHealthLink and CT DSS Agreement to Share Data to Improve Care for Medicaid Patients

CSMS Members and Staff Provide Testimony on More Than a Dozen Bills

Despite this week's seasonal weather, CSMS member Gregory Shangold, MD, CSMS EVP/CEO Matthew Katz and Senior VP of Legislative Affairs Ken Ferrucci testified on more than a dozen health care bills before the legislature. Topics included:SB 384 AN ACT CONCERNING MENTAL HEALTH PARITYSB 383 Alternative Treatment CoverageSB 380 AA REQUIRING COVERAGE OF A DRUG DURING ADVERSE DETERMINATION REVIEWS AND EXT REVIEW PROCESSESSB 378 High Deductible TestimonySB 377 AA Authorizing Agency Captive Insurance CompaniesSB 219 Indoor Tanning under 18RB 379 AN ACT LIMITING CHANGES TO HEALTH INSURERS' PRESCRIPTION DRUG FORMULARIES_HB5384 AAC Prescription Drug CostsHB5383 AAC DISPUTES BETWEEN HEALTH CARRIERS AND PARTICIPATING …

PAI Shares Concerns about Health Care Marketplace Consolidation

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) submitted a letter last week to the House E&C Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations that discusses concerns about the rapid, system-wide trend of consolidation in the health care marketplace.In the letter, PAI expressed concern about a health care system increasingly dominated by large, powerful entities as the fast pace of horizontal and vertical consolidation continues. The letter also shared highlights of PAI's research with Avalere, including the pace of hospital-driven acquisitions of physician practices and concerns about the decline of physicians' ability to maintain independent practices in the country.PAI's letter calls for repeal of laws …

CSMS Leaders Meet with Senators and Representatives in Washington, DC

Ever Advocates for Connecticut Physicians and their Patients, Connecticut State Medical Society leaders descended upon Washington, D.C., this week for two packed days of meetings with Connecticut’s elected federal Representatives and Senators.The CSMS leadership brought a long list of physicians’ complaints to be addressed by Congress.While, as noted in a news item in the February 15 edition of CSMS E-News, significant progress was made in last week’s federal budget agreement, Connecticut physicians still have many concerns, particularly with respect to physician Medicare payment cuts, regulatory relief from the more onerous components of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), …

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Signed

To access a 6-page summary of health-related provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, click here.To view the 25-page Senate Section by Section summary, click here.

The Physicians Foundation's 6th Biennial Physician Survey

TAKE THE SURVEY – LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARDYour input would be of great value. The survey's purpose is to examine the morale, career plans, and practice metrics of today's physicians - and to give physicians a voice! Click the link to take the survey, and to register for one of five $500 or one $5000 Amazon Gift Cards.https://amnhealthcare.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6nkaYL4Qul3mdgN

Dr. Gordon Speaks with WTIC about CTHealthLink and NIH Suicide Prevention Grant

Jeffrey Gordon, MD, CSMS Immediate Past President and Chair of the CSMS HIE, CTHealthLink, speaks with WTIC’s Joe D’Ambrosio about how the CTHealthLink Infrastructure will be used to support an NIH suicide prevention grant.To hear the interview, click below.[video mp4="https://csms.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Dr.-Gordon-WTIC-Interview-Suicide-Prevention-2-8-18-1.mp4"][/video].

Update – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018

The extension of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018, was posted February 6 on the House Rules Committee website.The continuing resolution (CR) would extend government funding through March 23, 2018.Click to view:Press ReleaseFull Text

AAPM Table Published

On February 5, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a table displaying the Alternative Payment Models (APMs) that CMS operates. In the table CMS identifies which of those APMs CMS has determined to be MIPS APMs or Advanced APMs. This list will be modified based on changes in the designs of APMs or the announcement of new APMs.See the table here: https://csms.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Comprehensive-List-of-APMs.pdf

Health Care Leaders Collaborate to Streamline Prior Authorization and Improve Timely Access to Treatment

On January 17, the American Hospital Association (AHA), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), American Medical Association (AMA), American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) announced a Consensus Statement outlining their shared commitment to industry-wide improvements to prior authorization processes and patient-centered care.To read the press release and consensus statement, click here.