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CSMS Recent Headlines

CMS changes name of the EHR Incentive Program and Advancing Care Information Performance Category

In late April, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced proposed rule changes directly aimed at empowering patients and reducing administrative burden for physicians. These changes are tied to CMS’s ongoing commitment to interoperability, patient data access and system-wide health information exchange (HIE).The meaningful use EHR Incentive Programs will now be known as “Promoting Interoperability”, and the Merit-based Incentive Payment Program (MIPS) Advancing Care Information performance category will be known as the “Promoting Interoperability performance category” to maintain alignment across both programs.The goal is to put patients first so they may access high quality care, benefit from more …

Nationwide Progress in Declining Opioid Prescriptions, Connecticut Near the Top

Twenty-two percent decline in opioid prescriptions over four years announced by IQVIA. Connecticut has seen a 27.3% decline. Connecticut has had one of the most significant reductions in prescribing (27.3%) over the last few years and saw an 11% reduction in the last year alone (2016 to 2017). The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) has made significant efforts in education and outreach to prescribers. Our Opioid Committee is pleased with this verification of these efforts but believe more can be done.In 2014, CSMS launched an Opioid Committee and has worked with the AMA and other state medical societies to address …

Physician-led KaMMCO Admitted to Connecticut Insurance Market

KaMMCO is pleased to announce the company has been admitted to sell medical professional liability insurance and cyber security insurance in the State of Connecticut. KaMMCO enters the Connecticut market with support from the Connecticut State Medical Society.Matthew Katz, executive vice president and chief executive officer of CSMS said, “We are excited to add KaMMCO as a proven insurance option for liability insurance and especially cyber security insurance for our members. KaMMCO is a partner we know we can count on.” Katz added that the cyber security insurance is extremely important to CSMS members following recent identity theft incidents.Read more

QPP Roundup: April 2018

Providing monthly updates on PAI's activities and QPP news for you and your practice. CSMS is a proud partner of PAI, the Physician Advocacy Institute.New Interactive Resource Navigation Tools for 2018 MIPS ParticipationPAI’s QPP Resource Center recently added several new resources to help physicians understand the 2018 participation rules for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) pathways. The resources include overviews of: the various MIPS categories, MIPS scoring and payment adjustment, MIPS reporting mechanisms, Advanced APMs, and Advanced APM participation requirements.Not sure where to start? Check out our NEW Interactive Resource Navigation Tools to …

Dr. Seyed Aleali Seeks Appointment to the AMA's Senior Physician Section Governing Council

Please join us in supporting Dr. Seyed Aleali by casting your vote for him to serve on the AMA's Senior Physician Section Governing Council. Dr. Aleali was a past president of CSMS, served on the Fairfield County Board of Trustees, and is currently an AMA Delegate for CT and Chair of the CSMS AMA Delegation. He has been a leader of Connecticut's efforts for professional liability reform, and for appropriate Medicare reimbursements for cancer care services.All members of the AMA age 65 and above are eligible to vote in the AMA Senior Physicians Section (SPS) Governing Council election to be …

Landmark Ruling for Healthcare Providers in Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation

April 6, 2018Yesterday, Federal District Court Judge R. David Proctor issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting in part Provider Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on the Antitrust Standard of Review in the In re Blue Cross and Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation. Copies of the Memorandum Opinion and Order are available at our website, http://www.whatleykallas.com/.The Court found the market allocation scheme the Blues impose on healthcare providers and subscribers, combined with their so-called “Best Efforts” restrictions on non-Blue branded business, are to be analyzed under the per se standard of review. In reaching this conclusion, the Court noted that …

MIPS 2018 Look Up Tool Is Now Ready

  CMS Releases 2018 MIPS Eligibility Tool Upcoming Webinar: APG Educational Series 2018, MIPS APMs to Advanced APMs: How to Make the Valuable TransitionCMS Releases 2018 MIPS Eligibility ToolYou can now use the updated CMS MIPS Participation Lookup Tool to check on your 2018 eligibility for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).Just enter your National Provider Identifier, or NPI, to find out whether you need to participate during the 2018 performance year.Changes to Low-Volume ThresholdTo reduce the burden on small practices, we’ve changed the eligibility threshold for 2018. Clinicians and groups are now excluded from MIPS if they: Billed $90,000 …

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.