August 8, 2019

Reg Season is in Full Swing!

Reg Season has officially begun! Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued numerous proposed and final regs that impact emergency medicine. I will be working with ACEP staff and members over the next several weeks to review them in further detail, provide additional analysis on what the changes could mean for emergency physicians, and prepare ACEP’s official responses to the proposed regs.

In the meantime, here are the major, recently-released regs we’re looking into:

  • 2020 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Reg: As described in my breaking news post last week, this 1700-page reg has the largest impact on you of any other CMS reg, as it updates Medicare reimbursement policies and payment rates for physician The PFS reg also includes updates to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), the main quality reporting program for physicians in Medicare.

  • 2020 Outpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Reg: This proposed reg, which updates Medicare reimbursement rates for hospital outpatient services, includes a major proposal aimed at increasing price transparency. In line with a recent Executive Order (described in more detail in a previous post), CMS is proposing to require hospitals to disclose insurer-specific negotiated charges for about 300 services that consumers are likely to shop for before obtaining care, such as X-rays, outpatient visits, lab tests or childbirth.

  • 2020 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Final Reg: Although this reg mainly affects Medicare payments for hospitals, there are some policies that will impact you and your patients. Therefore, ACEP had responded to the IPPS proposed reg when it was released in the spring. Our comments mainly focused on quality-related issues, including measures that CMS is considering adding to Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program. We also directly respond to some requests for information around the use of electronic health records (EHRs).

In the next couple of days, I will also respond to CMS' request for additional ideas to further reduce provider burden. As you may recall, I had asked for your ideas about how to streamline documentation and reporting requirements in Medicare and Medicaid. Thank you to those who sent me feedback—I have incorporated your suggestions into ACEP’s formal response!

As we dig into these regs, we will be continuing to provide information and updates on ACEP’s Medicare and MIPS resource pages. 

Until next week, this is Jeffrey saying, enjoy reading regs with your eggs!

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