Medicare proposes to pay docs for analyzing texted photos

Leslie Hanson
July 15, 2018

Proposed changes to the QPP would reduce clinician burden, focus on outcomes and promote electronic health record interoperability.

"The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology was tasked by Congress in the 21st Century Cures Act to work with CMS to reduce clinician burden associated with health information technology", wrote National Coordinator Dr. Donald Rucker in a blog post.

"We are seeking information from the public regarding barriers preventing providers and suppliers from informing patients of their out-of-pocket costs; what changes are needed to support greater transparency around patient obligations for their out of pocket costs; what can be done to better inform patients of these obligations; and what role providers of health care services and suppliers should play in this initiative", CMS said. "It is the antithesis of value-based healthcare and cheapens the medical care seniors are entitled to under Medicare".

CMS is also proposing to require MIPS-eligible clinicians to use 2015 edition certified EHRs starting with the 2019 reporting period. "At first glance, the rule doesn't meet MGMA's definition of administrative simplification".

In a conference call with reporters Thursday, as well as on the CMS website, CMS officials highlighted parts of the proposed rule created to reduce administrative burdens on physicians, such as decreasing the amount of cutting and pasting physicians would need to do for the electronic medical record.

"I spent part of the previous year traveling the country and visiting clinicians in different care settings", CMS administrator Seema Verma said on the conference call.

In addition to putting patients in control of their own care, these changes should help patients build healthcare partnerships with providers who could no longer face reportedly burdensome reporting requirements, Azar said. We heard too many stories about provider burnout. "So we're going to do something on Stark, very certain about that, we hope".

Trump rolled out a blueprint in May on how his administration planned to lower drug prices.

One of the proposals is likely to trigger push-back: Medicare wants to cut a 6-percent fee doctors get for drugs dispensed in their offices. A group representing community oncologists said a reimbursement change for new drugs could have unintended consequences.

This proposal did not sit well with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). For many telehealth providers, the payment proposal will not go far enough since the new code can only be used for established patients. For instance, the proposed rule would define remote patient monitoring in the Medicare home health benefit and add the cost of remote patient monitoring as an allowable HHA administrative cost.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) struck a more positive tone in a brief statement.

The proposals drew praise from ACT|The App Association, whose executive director said CMS has apparently been listening to strong lobbying from Congress and healthcare organizations to open up the purse strings and embrace mobile health. Instead of the current 5 levels of visits, CMS is proposing a blended rate for levels 2 through 5 with add-on codes, as well as other changes to reduce required documentation.

"CMS is committed to modernizing the Medicare program by leveraging technologies, such as audio/video applications or patient-facing health portals, that will help beneficiaries access high-quality services in a convenient manner", said Administrator Verma.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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