Official NTOCC Comments

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

   Visit the Policy Maker information page

HHS Announces Dramatic Move Away from Traditional Fee-For-Service Medicare Payments

Posted on 1/27/2015 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

HHS announced yesterday that they are moving towards an alternative payment model for Medicare payments. In the new model, HHS has set a goal of tying 30 percent of traditional, fee-for-service Medicare payments to quality or value through alternative payment models, such as ACOs or bundled payment arrangements by the end of 2016. By the end of 2018, the goal is to tie 50 percent of payments to those models. In order to achieve these goals, Secretary Burwell also announced the creation of the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, in which HHS will work with private payers, employers, consumers, providers, states and state Medicaid programs, and other partners to expand alternative payment models into their programs. The Network will hold its first meeting in March of this year.

read more..

Kaiser Health News Article Focuses on Early 2014 Evaluation of the Community-based Care Transition Program (CCTP)

Posted on 1/21/2015 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Kaiser Health News recently reported on a Health and Human Services (HHS) and Econometrica evaluation dated May 30, 2014, that found only a small minority of community groups enrolled in the Community-based Care Transition Program (CCTP) produced significant results, compared with those from sites that weren’t part of the program. The evaluation also found that, of the 48 groups studied, only four significantly cut readmissions compared with those of a control group.

read more..

Federal Agencies Release Coordinated Health IT Plan

Posted on 12/10/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

As mentioned by Kelly Cronin at NTOCC’s Annual Summit, HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released an updated Federal Health Information Technology (IT) Plan for the years 2015 through 2020. The plan looks to expand adoption of health information technology, advance interoperability, strengthen care delivery, and forward research and innovation. This plan updates a previous version that was released in 2008, and moves to a value-based model focused on improving access and quality, while lowering costs through “person-centered care.”

read more..

NTOCC Update: CMS releases final versions of Physician Fee Schedule Rule and the Home Health Payment System Rule

Posted on 11/5/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final versions of the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Rule and the Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS). In the PFS rule, NTOCC was particularly concerned with the implementation of the Chronic Care Management (CCM) code. CMS’ proposal would pay physicians a separate fee for managing Medicare beneficiaries with two or more chronic conditions. In the HH PPS rule, NTOCC commented on the proposed changes to the face-to-face encounter requirements that could have a negative impact on Medicare beneficiaries’ transitions to home health.

read more..

When IT and reimbursement intersect: The renewed focus on care transition technologies

Posted on 9/26/2014 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Source: Becker's Health IT & CIO Review

read more..

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.”

read more..

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.

read more..

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.

read more..

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 Medicare.gov website.

read more..

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.

read more..