June 2017
CO QPP Coalition June webinar - June 27

Do you have questions about the Quality Payment Program (QPP) or how to participate in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and don't know where to start? The Colorado QPP Coalition will host an open forum/office hours June 27 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. MST to help you!  Please join us to discuss the QPP Advancing Care Information Performance Category (ACI). Learn the participation requirements for this category and how to calculate your final ACI score for 2017. The last half-hour will be dedicated to open discussion and answering your questions. Click here to register.
Colorado QPP Coalition June Fast Facts

Have you seen the June Quality Payment Program (QPP) Updates and News Releases for the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) tracks? Be sure to check out the QPP website for new information that is being posted frequently. This month, the following guides, fact sheets and information were released:
New video shows physicians how to avoid Medicare payment penalties
June 26-30 is "Pick Your Pace Week"


The Quality Payment Program (QPP) is the new physician payment system created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (federal CMS). Because the QPP is new this year, the Colorado Medical Society and the AMA want to make sure physicians know what they have to do to participate and the QPP's "pick your pace" options for reporting. This is especially important for those physicians who have not participated in past Medicare reporting and programs, and may be less knowledgeable about the steps they can take to avoid being penalized under the QPP.
 
The AMA and the Federation stressed to CMS the importance of establishing a transition period to QPP and, as a result, physicians only need to report on at least one quality measure for one patient during 2017 to avoid a payment penalty in 2019 under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
 
A new short video developed by the AMA, "One patient, one measure, no penalty: How to avoid a Medicare payment penalty with basic reporting," offers step-by-step instructions on how to report so physicians can avoid a negative 4-percent payment adjustment in 2019. On this website, ama-assn.org/qpp-reporting, there are also links to the federal CMS' quality measure tools and an example of what a completed 1500 billing form looks like.
Quality Payment Program proposed rule highlights

Last fall the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued the final Quality Payment Program (QPP) rule. Since that time, the AMA, with input from the federation, has continued to actively engage various parts of the administration to improve the program. These efforts paid off. Many of the policies in the proposed rule for the 2018 performance year are based on the AMA recommendations. In essence, the agency is providing another transition year. The federal CMS is also proposing a number of policies to help small practices. In sum, the agency estimates that under this proposed rule more than 94 percent of eligible clinicians would earn either a positive or neutral payment adjustment.
 
Because this is a proposed rule, AMA staff will work to preserve favorable provisions in the proposed rule while continuing to press for additional changes in the final rule. The proposed rule is over 1,000 pages long and AMA staff will be immersing themselves in the details in the coming weeks.
 
Click here to view the AMA's highlights from the proposed rule on CMS.org. 
Coming in April 2018: New Medicare card - new number

Medicare is taking steps to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. In April 2018, people with Medicare will begin receiving new Medicare cards, replacing all cards by April 2019. These cards will have a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) number that is randomly generated with "non-intelligent" characters that do not have any hidden or special meaning.
 
The federal CMS is providing assistance with this transition. Stay up-to-date with the latest information by attaching one of these widgets (buttons) to your website.  Clicking on the widget will link you to the cms.gov SSNRI home page. To use one of the widgets, be sure that wherever you're using them accepts rich text format. Then, follow the steps described on the cms.gov/Medicare/SSNRI website.  Having the widget will give you the shortcut to the latest posts on the SSNRI page.
Colorado interChange: New resources

As the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing continues to work through the transition to the state's new interChange system, providers and their claims staff need educational resources; for example, to know how the revalidation process works, understand new formats within Remittance Advice, and learn new terms like "Suspended" rather than "In Process" for claims that need additional information.

To help providers work through these changes, the Department is continuing to develop   Quick Guides and Frequently Asked Questions  aimed at providing step-by-step, visual guidance for common issues and changes that can be confusing. 

Click here to read more on CMS.org. NOTE:  Providers in financial distress can call Health First Colorado Provider Call Center at 1-844-235-2387 and select option 2 to "speak with an agent" and then option 4 to learn about interim payment options.
11 tips to reduce vulnerability with cybercrime

At the recent 2017 American Hospital Association Annual Membership Meeting, the FBI addressed the audience to discuss the seriousness of Cybercrime and what to do about it. All hospitals and healthcare providers are potential targets for Cybercrime and the threat can come from anywhere. Cybercriminals are after more than just patient information - names, addresses, birthdates and even credit card numbers are at risk.

Many providers are familiar with ransomware attacks -- but that is just the beginning. While you can't prevent cyberattacks, you can help deter and reduce vulnerability. Click here for 11 tips from the FBI on how protect yourself.
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Take Credit Cards? Is Your Practice Ready for the Oct. 15 EMV Deadline?

Important! What your practice needs to know about switching to EMV: Click here.
 


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