March 2018
Survey on burdens of quality reporting; deadline to apply to participate is Friday, March 23

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is conducting a survey to gauge how physicians and practices are affected by reporting quality measures. This is a great opportunity for physicians' voices to be heard and to contribute feedback on how to improve quality reporting programs for the future. Those who are accepted to the study and participate will receive credit for the QPP Improvement Activity performance category. Read more here or go directly to the application to participate here.
AMA releases survey results about burdens of prior authorization

The American Medical Association (AMA) issued the announced the results of a prior authorization (PA) physician survey conducted in December 2017 that shows strong evidence of the significant impact that the burdensome PA process can have on both patients and physician practices.

The survey results, along with a variety of other PA advocacy and educational resources, are available at

Read the press release about the survey results here: Patient Clinical Outcomes Shortchanged by Prior Authorization, Says AMA Physician Survey

New Medicare card: Video for your waiting room

In April, the federal CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards with new numbers. Help inform Medicare patients by playing the "New Medicare Cards are coming!" video in your waiting room. The video tells patients when and how they will receive the new card. This one minute video is available on YouTube and in opened caption and 1080p formats. Visit the Provider webpage for the latest information on the new Medicare card.
Prepare your practice and patients for the New Medicare Card coming in 2018

From April 2018 to April 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will mail new Medicare cards to all active Medicare beneficiaries. The New Medicare Card removes Social Security numbers from Medicare cards due to concerns about identity theft. The new cards have a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) instead of the Social Security Number-based identifier known as the Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN).

Practices must be prepared to use MBIs starting April 1, 2018, as patients new to the Medicare program beginning in April 2018 will only have cards with MBIs. From April 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2019, the federal CMS will accept both HICNs and MBIs on Medicare transactions (including eligibility requests and claims) for beneficiaries in the Medicare program prior to April 1, 2018 (i.e., those who received a HICN). Beginning in January 2020, physicians may only use MBIs. (Exceptions may include appeals and retrospective adjustments.)

Read more here from the AMA about how to prepare your practice and your patients. Read more here from the federal CMS.
COQPP Fast Facts in 5 Minutes - March

1. This is the last month to report for 2017 QPP! Data Submission Deadline: March 31, 2018 to submit 2017 data.
  • CMS Web Interface Users - March 16, 2018
  • Claims - March 1, 2018 *only for claims not yet submitted*
  • Check with registry for specific reporting deadlines
2. Need assistance with reporting? Check out the CMS Data Submission Instructional Videos here:
  1. Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data submission 1/2/2018
  2. Advancing Care Information (ACI) data submission for APMs 1/2/2018
  3. QCDRs and Qualified Registries data submission 1/2/2018
3. Now is your chance for your voice to be heard!
Apply to participate in the 2018 federal CMS study on burdens associated with reporting quality measures to receive improvement activity credit for 2018. Deadline to apply: March 23. Applicants will be notified by email of their status in spring of 2018. Click here to apply.

4. AMA launches podcasts to help physicians navigate the Quality Payment Program in 2018. As physicians begin the second year of quality reporting under the Quality Payment Program (QPP), the American Medical Association is launching a series of podcasts on ReachMD to help physicians successfully navigate the new regulations. Physicians can stay up to date with the latest developments in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' QPP by listening to the new series, "Inside Medicare's New Payment System."  Three new 15-minute podcasts are now available to download and listen on demand:
5. Do you know where to go for support and no-cost technical assistance? Please check out the resources in Colorado on the   Colorado QPP Coalition page; click on "Resources."
AHRQ portal combines opioid prevention, training and treatment resources

AHRQ's Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care now offers an updated online list of resources and tools to integrate behavioral health with primary care. Resources on medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders are available to help patients, providers and community organizations battle the opioid epidemic. The Opioid and Substance Use Resources page offers information from federal sources, health professional societies, academic institutions and researchers. Another feature, the Literature Collection, provides access to the growing inventory of evidence on the integration of behavioral health and primary care. The online Academy Community allows individuals and practices working to implement MAT to collaborate and share insights with peers.
USDA launches webpage highlighting resources to help rural communities address the opioid crisis 

This  webpage features resources to help rural communities respond to the opioid crisis. The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that more than 63,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. More than half of those deaths involved opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin. USDA is playing an important role to help rural communities address this national problem at the local level through program investment, strategic partnerships and best practice implementation. The  Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity includes a recommendation to modernize health care access. The report highlights the importance of telemedicine in enhancing access to primary care and specialty providers. The Task Force also found that improved access to mental and behavioral health care, particularly prevention, treatment and recovery resources, is vital to addressing the opioid crisis and other substance misuse in rural communities.

Telligen webinar series: Practical Strategies to Combat Opioid Harm

Join Telligen on Thursdays in April at 11 a.m. MT to explore resources to combat opioid harm. Topics will include opioid prescribing, treatment, education, tools, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP), risk screening and more.
Telligen QIN-QIO Medication Safety Program Manager Katy Brown, PharmD, will discuss how each topic applies to various clinicians, patients, community members and caregivers and show participants where to access these resources, what they look like, how to use them and offer suggestions for their use. You must register individually for each event. Register here!
April 5, 2018
Part 1: Tools, Education, Resources & Proper Disposal
April 12, 2018
Part 2: Tools, Education, Resources, Naloxone & Good Samaritan Laws
April 19, 2018
Part 3: Prescription Drug Management Programs (PDMPs), Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), Electronic Health Records (EHRs), Urine Drug Testing & Pain Contracts
April 26, 2018
Part 4: Skilled Nursing Facility Readmission Measure (SNFRM), Quality Payment Program (QPP), Medication Management and Opioid Initiative (MMO), Quality Improvement (QI) Tools, Stigma, Harm Reduction & Alternatives, Wrap-Up 
Online training resource for NPs on opioids

A University of Colorado nursing graduate student developed an opioid safety course for nurse practitioners with the help of a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The course covers safe opioid prescribing, prevention/harm reduction, naloxone, basics of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and a little bit of motivational interviewing. Share the training with NPs in your practice. Access it here.
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Delaware Law School and First Healthcare Compliance are co-hosting an educational program on April 12 that will bring professionals from the healthcare and legal communities together for a day of discussion and learning on the campus of Delaware Law School. Thought leaders will provide meaningful insight on time-sensitive topics including elements of a compliance program, HIPAA Privacy and Security, OSHA, and Human Resources for compliance. Join us!

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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Aetna - March 2018

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