December 2016
Happy holidays from CMS

This holiday season and all year long the Colorado Medical Society is grateful for the opportunity to serve Colorado physicians and practice staff by bringing you the latest information and resources to make your job a little easier. Thank you for all that you do to improve the health of Coloradans. We wish you a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous 2017, and we look forward to working with you in the coming year.
DEA makes significant changes to registration renewal process; AMA expresses strong concerns

Through a notice on its website, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently announced significant changes to its registration renewal process. Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the DEA is eliminating the informal grace period, which the agency has previously allowed for registrants to renew their registrations. Only one renewal notice will be sent to each registrant's "mail to" address approximately 65 days prior to the expiration date; no other reminders to renew the DEA registration will be provided.

The notice also advises that online capability to renew a DEA registration after the expiration date will no longer be available, and that failure to file a renewal application by midnight EST of the expiration date will result in the "retirement" of the registrant's DEA number. The original DEA registration will not be reinstated. In addition, paper renewal applications will not be accepted the day after the expiration date. If the DEA has not received the paper renewal application by the day of the expiration date, mailed in renewal applications will be returned and the registrant will have to apply for a new DEA registration.

The AMA has expressed strong concerns to the agency about this change in policy and the problems it could create for both patients and their physicians. In letters sent Dec. 9 to Charles Rosenberg, DEA acting administrator, and Louis Milione, assistant administrator for diversion control, the AMA urged the DEA to reverse the change to the renewal process. Stay tuned.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launches online QPP tool

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a tool in November to automatically share electronic data for the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP). It is the first in a series of customizable tools that the agency hopes will reduce burden for clinicians, while also supporting high-quality care for patients.

The new tool, the application program interface (API), makes it easier for other organizations to retrieve and maintain the QPP's measures and enable them to build applications for clinicians and their practices. The API will allow developers to write software using the information described on the Explore Measures section of the Quality Payment Program website. The federal CMS created the Explores Measures tool, which enables clinicians and practice managers to select measures that likely fit their practice, assemble them into a group, and print or save them for reference.

Explore the API tool here. Visit the QPP website here.
Novitas: 2017 Medicare physician fee schedule is now available

The 2017 Medicare Part B physicians' fee schedules have been posted to the Novitas Solutions website. Downloads are available in Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel, and Plain Text formats. The Code Search feature will not have 2017 fees until the first week of January 2017. Visit the Novitas Fee Schedule Tool to download copies.
EHR incentive programs: Information on CY 2017 and Stage 3 program requirements

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System, and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System final rules include provisions that affect the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs in 2017 and beyond. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services updated the EHR Incentive Programs website and resources based on changes to the programs, including:
DOWC: Stakeholder meetings for review of Rules 16 and 18

The Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation has announced their fourth annual series of stakeholder meetings for the review of Rules 16 and 18. Discussion will be open to all aspects of these rules and will also include the following topics:
  • ICD-10
  • National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers
  • Who completes the WC-164
  • By Report and unlisted items
  • Accredited Physician Assistant (PA) reimbursement
  • Z Code reimbursement
  • Compound reimbursement
  • Average Wholesale Price (AWP) alternatives
  • X modifiers
  • Claim Claims
  • Facility fees associated with platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
  • Evaluation & Management (E&M) prolonged services
  • Non-physician provider deposition and testimony reimbursement
  • 8 percent interest on disputed claims
  • Peer-to-peer for prior authorization requests/telephone call reimbursement
  • Comprehensive vs. Composite ambulatory-payment-classifications (APCs)
The schedule for this year's meetings is provided below and will include a teleconference option.

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, 4 - 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, 4 - 6 p.m.
Thursday, March 23, 2017, 4 - 6 p.m.
Thursday, April 27, 2017, 4 - 6 p.m.
Thursday, May 25, 2017, 4 - 6 p.m.

Please contact Debra Northrup if you or a representative of your organization would like attend so we can ensure adequate accommodations are available or provide you with the teleconference number.
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Health insurance exchange information
Latest bulletins
Aetna - December 2016
 


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Denver, CO 80230