Official NTOCC Comments

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

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CMS Releases FY2014 Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Proposed Payment Rules

Posted on 7/9/2013 by NTOCC ®

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued two proposed rules that would update payment policies and rates for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and address payment and policy changes for the hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and the ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system. The rule also proposes changes to several of the quality reporting initiatives that are associated with PFS payments – the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive program. In addition, the rule continues the phased-in implementation of the physician value-based payment modifier, created by the Affordable Care Act, which would affect payments to physician groups based on the quality and cost of care they furnish to beneficiaries enrolled in the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program. Among other changes, CMS proposed bundling seven new categories of supporting items and services in payments for primary care, and combining five levels of outpatient visit codes into a single Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code for each type of outpatient visit.

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ONC Targets Long-Term Care and Post-Acute Facilities to Improve Transitions Through Health Information Technology

Posted on 6/21/2013 by NTOCC ®

Recently, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (health IT) unveiled a new webpage that discusses how health IT can improve care transitions across long-term and post-acute care settings (LTPAC). ONC is strengthening its focus on LTPAC providers, with a specific emphasis on improving care coordination and care transitions for patients to reduce costly hospital readmissions. ONC recognizes the importance of care transitions for this medically complex population and states that health IT “provides an opportunity for health care providers to share health information in a timely and secure manner across care settings to support patient-centered care, particularly during transitions from one care setting to another.”

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Ways and Means Committee Hold Hearing on Medicare Post-Acute Care Payments & MedPAC Releases June 2013 Report

Posted on 6/14/2013 by NTOCC ®

Today, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on the Medicare post-acute care payment system including payments relating to Home Health Agencies (HHA), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRF), and Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCH). Jonathan Blum, Deputy Administrator and Director, Center of Medicare, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Mark Miller, Executive Director, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), were the subcommittee’s two witnesses.

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Ways & Means Committee to Hold Hearing on Medicare Post-Acute Care Payments

Posted on 6/11/2013 by NTOCC ®

Yesterday, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee announced that they would hold a hearing on bipartisan proposals to reform the Medicare post-acute care payment system on Friday, June 14th at 9:30am ET. The hearing will focus on payment reforms relating to Home Health Agencies (HHA), Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRF), and Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCH), and of particular note for NTOCC, will highlight the lack of guidelines for placing patients in post-acute facilities when they are discharged from hospitals.

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CMS Announces Funding Opportunity for Round Two of the Health Care Innovation Awards

Posted on 5/15/2013 by NTOCC ®

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released a Funding Opportunity Announcement for round two of the Health Care Innovation Awards. Under this announcement, up to $1 billion dollars will be awarded to applicants from across the country who propose new payment and service delivery models that will deliver better care and lower costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees. Funded by the Affordable Care Act and administered by the CMS Innovation Center, the second round of the Health Care Innovation Awards will support public and private organizations in four defined areas that have a high likelihood of driving health care system transformation and delivering better outcomes for Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP beneficiaries.

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Tavenner Nomination to Head CMS Clears Senate

Posted on 5/15/2013 by NTOCC ®

Today, the Senate confirmed President Obama’s nominee, Marilyn Tavenner, to oversee the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) by a vote of 91 to 7.

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CMS Issues Proposed FY2014 Payment and Policy Changes for Acute and Long-Term Care Hospitals

Posted on 4/29/2013 by NTOCC ®

On Friday, 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 rule updates and lays out a framework for implementation of several programs aimed at improving quality of care including: the new Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program, which would begin in 2015, the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) and Readmissions Reduction program.

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Senate Finance Committee Votes to Advance CMS Acting Administrator Tavenner

Posted on 4/23/2013 by NTOCC ®

Today, the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve President Obama’s nominee, Marilyn Tavenner, to oversee the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Fourteen bipartisan members of the panel gave voice vote approval to her nomination. Up next, Tavenner must be confirmed by the full Senate; however that vote has not been scheduled, and the timeline remains unclear.

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NTOCC Leads Letter to CMS Regarding CCTP Cuts

Posted on 4/17/2013 by NTOCC ®

Today, NTOCC along with several other care transition stakeholder groups sent a letter to Marilyn Tavenner, Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), expressing concerns about the implications of the 40% funding cut to the Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP) enacted by the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013.

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President Releases (FY) 2014 Budget

Posted on 4/10/2013 by NTOCC ®

Today, President Obama unveiled his $3.3 trillion Budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2014 that aims to reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over the next ten years through a combination of mandatory and discretionary program spending cuts, coupled with higher revenues largely through tax increases aimed at the wealthy.

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