PODCAST: How Extensive is Healthcare Prior Authorization?

A New Study

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

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PODCAST: Traditional Medicare Part A for Hospital Coverage and Part B for Physician and Outpatient Services

UNDERSTAND AND KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

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PODCAST: The Future of Healthcare Looks to Medicare’s Past?

See the Future of Healthcare By Looking to Medicare’s Past

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Texas CEO Magazine 2016 Economic Forecast: Dallas - Texas ...

BY DR. ERIC BRICKER MD

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Desire for a Healthcare ‘Safety Net’ Goes Back Almost 100 years to President F.D.R. and His “New Deal

FDR Was Able to Pass Social Security, but He Also Wanted a Healthcare Safety Net Too.

Presidents Truman and Kennedy Also Wanted a Federally-Funded Healthcare Safety Net.

LBJ Carried the Torch of the Healthcare Safety Net. He Was Able to Have Medicare Legislation Passed in 1965 by Combining 3 Separate Proposals and Acts:

1) Hospital Insurance

2) Doctor Insurance That Was Voluntary

3) the State-Administered Kerr-Mills Act 

Hospital Insurance Became Medicare Part A. Doctor Insurance Became Medicare Part B. The Kerr-Mills Act Became Medicaid.

Presidents Carter and Clinton Also Wanted to Expand the Healthcare Safety Net. President Obama Expanded the Healthcare Safety Net with Passage of Obamacare. President Biden is Seeking to Expand the Healthcare Safety Net Too.

The Arc of Government-Funded Healthcare Stretches Back Almost 100 Years and Will Inevitably Result in the Full Government Payment for Healthcare in America.

It’s Not a Question of If, But When.

Implication: United Health Group is Making Many Acquisitions to Become a Vertically Integrated Healthcare Company to Position Itself as a Major Government Contractor for the Eventual Federal Takeover.

PODCAST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAh7Rl7w1wM

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Part B Reimbursement for Drugs to Change in Physician Offices

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Part B Reimbursement for Drugs to Change in Physician Offices

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By Susan Theuns, PA-C, CPC, CHC

CMS has proposed a new Part B drug payment model that may adversely affect your bottom line.

How?

Beginning in August, 2016, CMS may be applying a new methodology geared toward reducing profits on expensive drugs.  The current model is average sales price (ASP) plus 4% — it is advertised as ASP plus 6% but then a 2% sequestration is applied so it is net 4%. On drugs that cost more than $480, the percentage will be reduced more since the percentage may be the same but the actual dollar amount increases above their comfort threshold. So, the reimbursement proposal will be for less than the ASP + 6%.

Bad news

Part of the study will be at the current methodology and the second arm will be at ASP plus 2.5% plus a daily fee of $16.80. Of course, these will be subject to the 2% sequestration as well. This is a cost saving study for CMS that narrows the margin of profitability for the providers. Unlike relative value unit methodologies, there is no overhead built into pass-through drug reimbursement so it becomes critical that providing Part B reimburseable drugs  is not a loss leader for providers.  This makes where you purchase your drugs one of the most important parts of the process. Be sure to get pricing from distributors or manufacturers direct at or below ASP, also figuring into the equation the shipping costs when ordering.

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Good news

The good news is that exclusions for the new methodology are flu, pneumonia, and hepatitis B vaccines as well as drugs in short supply, those used for end stage renal disease, and drug infused durable medical items. Bundled drugs are also excluded but are currently included in the visit/procedure so no real change there.  It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this trial methodology reaps.

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ABOUT:

Susan Theuns, PA-C, CPC, CHC, is the administrative director of physician practices at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to her certifications, she holds degrees in Allied Health, Business Management and Leadership & Education. Theuns serves as a national advisor and is a contributing author for The Business of Medical Practice, 3rd edition. She is a member of the Baltimore, Maryland, local chapter.

Conclusion

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How Much Did Your Doctor Receive From Medicare?

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From Medicare Part B in 2012

By http://www.nytimes.com

Use the form below to find a doctor or other medical professional among the more than 800,000 health care providers that received payments in 2012 from Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits, tests and other treatments.

You will need to know the medical providers’ name, specialty and/or zip code.

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David MD MBA

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LINK:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/09/health/medicare-doctor-database.html?_r=0

Source: The information presented here is from a database released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The database excluded, for privacy reasons, any procedures that a doctor performed on 11 or fewer patients. The total reimbursements for each doctor does not include those procedures either. Results shown above include only the individuals like doctors, nurses or technicians but not organizations like Walgreens. While some providers could have multiple offices, the address shown is the main address indicated in the database. Descriptions of the procedures are from the American Medical Association.

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Implementation of the Healthcare Deficit Reduction Act

Signed by President Bush in 2006

By Gregory O. Ginn; PhD, MBA, CPA, MEd

By Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CMP™

The Deficit Reduction Act (DRA), S. 1932, was signed by President Bush on February 8, 2006, and became Public Law No. 109-171.  Implementation of the act includes these provisions:

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Subtitle A – Provisions Relating to Medicare Part A

  • hospital quality improvement (section 5001);
  • improvements to Medicare-dependent hospital (MDH) programs (section 5003);
  • reduction in payments to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs; section 5004);
  • phase-in of inpatient rehabilitation facility classification criteria (section 5005);
  • development of a strategic plan regarding investment in specialty hospitals (section 5006);
  • demonstration projects to permit gain-sharing arrangements (section 5007); and
  • post-acute care payment reform demonstration programs (section 5008).

Subtitle B  Provisions Relating to Medicare Part B

  • title transfer of certain durable medical equipment (DME) to patients after 13-month rental (section 5101);
  • adjustments in payment for imaging services (section 5102);
  • limitations on payments for procedures in ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs; section 5103);
  • minimum updates for physician services (section 5104);
  • three-year extension of hold-harmless provisions for small rural hospitals and sole community hospitals (section 5105);
  • updates on composite rate components of basic care-mix adjusted prospective payment systems (PPS) for dialysis services (section 5106);
  • accelerated implementation of income-related reductions in Part B premium subsidy (section 5111);
  • Medicare coverage of ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms; National Educational And Information Campaign (section 5112);
  • improvements to patient access and utilization of colorectal cancer screening under Medicare (section 5113);
  • delivery of services at federally qualified health centers (FQHC) (section 5114); and
  • waiver of Part B Late Enrollment Penalty for certain international volunteers (section 5115).

Subtitle C – Provisions Relating To Parts A and B

  • home health payments (section 5201);
  • revision of period for providing payment for claims that are not submitted electronically (section 5202);
  • timeframe for Part A and B payments (section 5203); and
  • Medicare Integrity Program (MIP) funding (section 5204).

Subtitle D – Provisions Relating To Part C

  • phase-out of risk adjustment budget neutrality in determining payments to Medicare Advantage organizations (section 5301); and
  • Rural PACE Provider Grant Programs (section 5302).[1]

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The goal of the act is to save nearly $40 billion over five years from mandatory spending programs through slowing the growth in spending for Medicare and Medicaid. Has it been successful to-date?

Assessment

We know from personal experience that the DRA can be implemented by all healthcare stakeholders to the benefits of the industry sector in the aggregate. But, has it been?

Conclusion

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Editors Note: Gregory Ginn has been a professor in the Department of Health Care Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, since 2000. He received his doctorate, MBA, M.Ed., and undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and is an inactive Certified Public Accountant registrant in the States of Nebraska and Texas. Before his current position at UNLV, he spent time teaching at Clarkson College, College of Saint Mary, University of Findlay, University of Central Texas, Stephen F. Austin State University, State University of New York at Buffalo, University of Houston at Victoria, University of Texas at Austin, and the Southwest Texas State University. Prior to his academic roles, he was an accountant for Touche Ross & Co., and an Internal Revenue Service Tax Auditor. Dr. Ginn has also been a reviewer for organizations such as: Health Care Management Review and the Health Care Administration Division of the Academy of Management. He is Treasurer for the Nevada Executive Health Care Forum and was a member of the Southern Nevada Wellness Council. His graduate teaching experience in healthcare administration is abundant, having taught courses in: Management of Health Services Organizations, Quantitative Methods, The U.S. Health Care System, Health Care Systems and Policy, Health Care Finance, Group Practice Management, Long-term Care, and Health Care Law.  He has been published in numerous journals, including Journal of Healthcare Management, Hospital Topics, Nursing Homes, Journal of Nursing Administration, International Electronic Journal of Health Education, and Hospital and Health Services Administration. His current and former professional memberships include: American College of Healthcare Executives, Nevada Executive Healthcare Forum, Academy of Management, Association of University Programs in Health Administration, Certified Medial Planner (Hon.) and Heartland Health Care Executives.

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Tightening Payment Rules for Non-Physicians

Understanding the Medicare “Incident To” Rules

By Staff ReportersGator

Under the “incident to” rules, Medicare Part B pays for some services that are billed by physicians, but performed by non-physicians. And, the Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS] and Office of Inspector General [OIG] says that some of these services might be used improperly.

Suggestions to CMS

The agency recommends the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] perform the following:

  • Revise the “incident to” rule to require that physicians who bill Medicare, but don’t perform the services themselves, ensure that the services are provided by a licensed physician, or a non-physician with the necessary training, certification or licensure.
  • Require that physicians who use non-physician services identify this with a service code modifier on bills.
  • Take appropriate action to detect when physicians bill for “incident to” services that are not covered under the rule.

Assessment

In the current healthcare reform environment, Medicare services by non-physicians are coming under increased scrutiny. And, the OIG is finding that the “incident to” rule is allowing medical care to be provided by non-physicians who may lack the necessary qualifications. This may be a healthcare financial, insurance and quality breach. So, don’t let this trap “bite” you.

Source: HHS Office of Inspector General (www.oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-09-06-00430.pdf)

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