Official NTOCC Comments

Review the official comments, letters and responses from the National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC).

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IOM Releases New Report on Improving End of Life Care

Posted on 9/18/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Today, the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) issued a new consensus report entitled “Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life” in which a committee of experts finds that improving the quality and availability of medical and social services for patients and their families could not only enhance quality of life through the end of life, but may also contribute to a more sustainable care system. The 500-page report spans various aspects of end of life care including delivery of person-centered, family orientated care; clinician/patient communication and advanced care planning; professional education and development; policies and payment systems; and public education and engagement. The report offers a variety of recommendations including many that are aligned with NTOCC’s policy and advocacy work. This includes the recommendations that the federal government should provide financial incentives “for coordination of care across settings and providers from hospital to ambulatory settings as well as home and the community.”

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NTOCC Update: September Health Affairs Highlights Transitional Care

Posted on 9/10/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

The September Issue of Health Affairs includes two articles of interest for the transitional care community. The first, “THE CARE SPAN: Transitional Care Interventions Prevent Hospital Readmissions For Adults With Chronic Illnesses” explores the role that transitional care plays in preventing hospital readmissions. The study found the following activities significantly reduced short-term readmission rates – communication between the primary care provider and the hospital, a home visit within three days, and care-coordination by a nurse.

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HHS Announces New Health Care Innovation Awards

Posted on 7/11/2014 by NTOCC ®

Yesterday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced new prospective awardees (still to be finalized) to test innovative care models designed to deliver better health care and lower costs under the Health Care Innovation Awards initiative, authorized by the Affordable Care Act. This round of anticipated recipients brings the total amount of funding to as much as $360 million spanning 27 states and the District of Columbia. Prospective recipients will receive their final Notice of Award later this summer.

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CMS Seeks Feedback on the Long Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Quality Reporting Program

Posted on 7/7/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced they are seeking input from providers on the implementation of the LTCH Quality Reporting Program, which was authorized by the Affordable Care Act. CMS will be conducting brief interviews with providers on a voluntary basis during the months of July and August, 2014. Please see the CMS announcement below.

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CMS Releases CY 2015 Physician Fee Schedule Rule

Posted on 7/7/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Last Thursday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would update payment policies and payment rates under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for CY 2015. The proposed rule also proposes changes to several of the quality reporting initiatives for physicians including the Physician Quality Reporting System, Medicare Shared Savings Program, and Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, as well as changes to the Physician Compare tool on the website.

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Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Leaders Introduce Post-Acute Care Bill

Posted on 6/27/2014 by NTOCC ®

Today, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-MI) introduced the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act). The bill would standardize the collection of post-acute assessment data to better inform Medicare payment reforms for post-acute care (PAC), including for Long Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), and Home Health Agencies (HHAs) .

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NTOCC Submits Comments to House Energy & Commerce Committee On Innovation in Health IT

Posted on 6/23/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Last week NTOCC submitted comments to the House Energy & Commerce Committee in response to a call for ideas on how the federal government can support technology adoption in our health care programs for the express and explicit purpose of reducing costs and increasing the overall quality and efficiency of the programs.

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Representative Blumenauer, Petri Introduce the Medicare Transitional Care Act

Posted on 5/30/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Today, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Thomas Petri (R-WI), introduced the bipartisan Medicare Transitional Care Act of 2014, legislation that seeks to improve transitions of care by providing Medicare beneficiaries that are at highest risk for hospital readmission access to evidence based transitional care services that are provided by an eligible transitional care entity, such as a hospital, community-based organization or skilled nursing facility. Importantly, as you may recall, NTOCC has worked to ensure that the bill aligns with NTOCC’s “Seven Essential Elements” and supports team-based care.

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Legislation Introduced that Seeks to Fill Care Transition Gaps

Posted on 5/29/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Thomas Petri (R-WI), introduced the bipartisan Medicare Transitional Care Act of 2014, legislation that seeks to improve transitions of care for Medicare beneficiaries at highest risk for readmission as they move from the hospital setting to their home, skilled nursing facility or next point of care. The National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC) believes the bill is an important step forward to improving patient outcomes and reducing unnecessary health-related expenses.

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House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Two-Midnight Rule and Short Inpatient Stays

Posted on 5/21/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Yesterday, the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health held a hearing that focused on the current incentives around short inpatient stays, including CMS’s two-midnight rule, and the unintended consequences of those incentives which include a massive backlog of Medicare appeals, and excessive growth of outpatient observation stays. In particular, the Committee heard testimony from government officials including Sean Cavanaugh, Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center of Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Jodi Nudelman with the Office of the Inspector General, and from a panel of hospitalists, medical directors, a patient advocate, and a RAC representative.

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