Official NTOCC Comments

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

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NTOCC Policy Update: May 2014

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

In March, President Obama released his $3.9 billion budget proposal for FY2015, which outlines the administration’s policy priorities for the coming year. Because spending levels have already been established in the two-year agreement negotiated by Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), which was passed in December of 2013, the White House’s budget proposal is largely viewed as a Democratic messaging blueprint for the Administration’s priorities, and one that was missing any controversial policies given that midterm elections are coming up for several key Democratic members of Congress.

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CMS Issues Proposed FY 2015 Payment and Policy Changes for Acute and Long-Term Care Hospitals

Posted on 5/1/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

On Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule for hospitals paid under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long-Term Acute Care Hospital Prospective Payment System (LTCH PPS). In addition to setting proposed payment rates for hospital inpatient services, the proposed rule updates several quality reporting programs.

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NTOCC and n4a Share Community-based Care Transitions White Paper with CMS

Posted on 3/28/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

This week, NTOCC joined the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) in sending a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) requesting information regarding the implementation of the Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP).

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House Passes Short-Term SGR Bill

Posted on 3/27/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Today, the House passed a 12-month patch of the current SGR formula and it now heads to the Senate for a vote. As you may recall, substantial progress had been made on a permanent repeal and replacement of the formula, but negotiators could not come to an agreement on the offsets for a longer-term fix before the March 31st expiration deadline. Thus, Congress is resorting to another patch.

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House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees Release Draft Post-Acute Care Reform Legislation

Posted on 3/19/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Today, Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-MI) as well as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) released a bicameral, bipartisan discussion draft titled, “Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014.” The proposal seeks to set the stage for Medicare payment reform 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). The legislation focuses around standardizing post-acute patient assessment data, requires reports from MedPAC and the Department of Health and Human Services to make recommendations on payment prototypes based off of the PAC assessment data, and requires CMS to develop regulations to encourage the use of this data in patient discharge planning while continuing to take into account patient preferences.

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Obama Administration Releases FY 2015 Budget Proposal

Posted on 3/5/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Today, President Obama released his $3.9 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2015 which outlines the administration’s policy priorities for the coming year. The topline for base discretionary spending in 2015 is $1.014 trillion, compared to $1.012 trillion in 2014. The proposal is largely viewed as a Democratic blueprint for the upcoming midterm elections as spending levels have already been established in the two-year agreement negotiated by Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), which was passed in December of 2013. The budget adheres to the agreed-upon spending level of the Ryan-Murray plan, but also suggests an additional $56 billion in discretionary spending which the President is proposing to pay for with cuts to non-health care related programs. We believe that there will be considerable resistance in Congress to the President’s new initiatives, and we do not expect the $56 billion to materialize.

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PCORI Announces Webinar on Eugene Washington Engagement Awards

Posted on 2/12/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) recently announced that they will be holding a public webinar on Thursday, February 13, from 1:00pm – 2:00pm ET which will provide a detailed description of the newest funding opportunity, the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards.

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Negotiators Reveal Bipartisan Proposal to Repeal and Replace the Physician Payment Formula

Posted on 2/7/2014 by NTOCC ®

Yesterday, Congressional negotiators in the House and Senate unveiled a bipartisan agreement on the framework for a repeal of the current Medicare physician payments Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, which will avoid a 27% cut in Medicare payments to physicians set to go into effect on March 31st. The agreement includes a 0.5% payment update for physicians for five years before transitioning to an alternative payment model structure. The proposal is expected to cost about $126 billion over 10 years.

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CMS Delays Two-Midnight Rule

Posted on 2/5/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Last week, after mounting pressure from the hospital and physician community, CMS announced that it will delay enforcement of the two-midnight rule until October. The punitive measures of the rule were set to go into effect in April, and auditors will now have to wait until after September 30 to start auditing claims under the two-midnights rule.

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HHS Issues Joint Rule Allowing Patients and Designees Direct Access to Lab Test Results

Posted on 2/5/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Yesterday, three agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)-- the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Office for Civil Rights – jointly issued a final rule that removes legal barriers that prevent medical laboratories from providing lab test results directly to patients or their designees.

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