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COVID-19: CMS/CDC Nursing Home Training Series Webcast – August 13
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Thursday, August 13, 2020



MLN Matters® Articles


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Trump Administration Announces Initiative to Transform Rural Health

The Trump Administration announced it is further transforming the nation’s rural health care system by unleashing innovation through new funding opportunities that will increase access and improve quality. The Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model delivers on President Trump’s Executive Order from last week on Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access as well as the President’s Medicare Executive Order and CMS’s Rethinking Rural Health initiative. Collectively, the Administration aims to ensure individuals in rural America have access to high quality, affordable health care.

Per the President’s Executive Order, the CHART Model also ties payment to value, increases choice, and lowers costs for patients. CHART will empower rural communities to develop a system of care to deliver high quality care to their patients by providing support through new seed funding and payment structures, operational and regulatory flexibilities, and technical and learning support.

“The Trump Administration has placed an unprecedented priority on improving the health of the one in five Americans who live in rural areas,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “The CHART Model represents our next opportunity to make investments that will transform the rural health care system, allowing us to use every lever to support all Americans getting access to high-quality care where they live.”

Providers interested in the CHART Model have two options for participation:

  • Community Transformation Track
  • Accountable Care Organization Transformation Track

For more information, visit the CHART Model webpage. See the full text of this excerpted CMS Press Release (issued August 11).


Physician Compare Preview Period Open through August 20

The Physician Compare preview period is open through August 20 at 8 pm ET. Preview your 2018 Quality Payment Program performance information before it appears on the Physician Compare website profile pages and in the Downloadable Database. Access the secured preview through the Quality Payment Program website.

For More Information:

  • For questions about Physician Compare, public reporting, or the 60-day preview period, which is extended from 30 days, contact PhysicianCompare-Helpdesk@AcumenLLC.com
  • For assistance accessing the Quality Payment Program website or obtaining you Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) system user role, contact QPP@cms.hhs.gov


Management of Acute and Chronic Pain – Stakeholder Engagement Opportunity: Reply by August 21

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will hold listening sessions on pain and pain management, and wants to hear from patients, family members, caregivers, and health care providers. Comments will help CDC update their Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. If you would like to  participate, email InjuryCenterEngage@cdc.gov no later than 5 pm ET August 21. For more information see the Federal Register Notice.


SNF Provider Preview Reports: Review Your Data by August 30

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Provider Preview Reports are available. Review your performance data on quality measures by August 30, prior to public display on the Nursing Home Compare website in October. Corrections to the underlying data are not permitted during this time; request a CMS review if you believe your data is inaccurate.

Beginning with the October 2020 refresh, CMS will display six new measures. For more information, visit the SNF Quality Reporting Program Public Reporting  webpage.


PEPPERs for HHAs and PHPs

Fourth quarter CY 2019 Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Reports (PEPPERs) are available for Home Health Agencies (HHAs) and Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs). These reports summarize provider-specific data statistics for Medicare services that may be at risk for improper payments. Providers can use the data to support internal auditing and monitoring activities.

For More Information:

  • Visit the Distribution webpage for guidance accessing your report
  • Visit the PEPPER Resources website to review user’s guides, recorded training sessions, FAQs, and examples of how other providers are using the report
  • Visit the Help Desk if you have questions or need help obtaining your report
  • Send us your feedback or suggestions


Hospitals: Three Year Geographic Reclassification Data for FY 2022 MGCRB Applications

Three Year Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board (MGCRB) Reclassification Data for FY 2022 Applications (ZIP) is available. CMS provided this data on August 5 prior to issuance of the Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule to give you sufficient time before the September 1 application deadline. Visit the Three Year MGCRB Reclassification Data webpage for more information.


Opioids: Co-Prescribing Naloxone

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires the drug manufacturers for all opioid pain relievers and medicines to treat Opioid Use Disorder to add new recommendations about naloxone to the prescribing information. This will help ensure that health care professionals discuss the availability of naloxone and assess each patient’s need for a naloxone when medications are prescribed or renewed. Consider co-prescribing naloxone for patients with an increased risk of opioid overdose:

  • Also take benzodiazepines or other medicines that depress the central nervous system
  • History of Opioid Use Disorder
  • Household members or other close contacts at risk for accidental ingestion or opioid overdose

For more information, visit the FDA website.



National CMS/CDC Nursing Home COVID-19 Training Series Webcast — August 13

Transparency: Resident and Family Notification, Department of Health and Other Notifications

Thursday, August 13 from 4 to 5 pm ET

Register for this webcast and others in the series.

During this session, learn about:

  • Guidance and policies on transparency during the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Best practices to implement a comprehensive communication plan
  • Insight from a COVID-19 family member
  • Strategies to provide compassionate care and communication during the COVID-19 pandemic

This series is brought to you by CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is hosted by the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program, a national network of Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations serving every state and territory. Miss a training? View recordings, slides, and resources on QIOProgram.org. CMS does not provide continuing education credit for participation in this series. Ask your association or accrediting body if they award credit.


Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management Study Listening Session — August 27

Thursday, August 27 from 1:30 to 3 pm ET

Register for Medicare Learning Network events.

The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act) outlines national strategies to help address the nation’s opioid crisis. Clinicians and health care systems need information about multimodal pain care options in outpatient and inpatient settings to effectively treat Medicare patients with acute or chronic pain, including complementary care, analgesic medications, and medical devices. The Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management Study will give CMS important information about treatment and outcomes and help us understand the roles of behavioral health, specialty care integration, care planning, health disparities in pain, opioid use, and opioid use disorders treatment. 

CMS wants your feedback on:

  • What evidence-based treatments, technologies, and models should Medicare cover that it currently does not?
  • What barriers impede Medicare clinicians and beneficiaries from utilizing non-opioid treatments and technologies to help treat acute and chronic pain?
  • How can Medicare improve care for beneficiaries with pain who have a current or past history of mental or substance use disorder(s) or are at higher risk for these conditions, including people at increased suicide risk?
  • How has the COVID-19 public health emergency, including federal waivers and other flexibilities, impacted your ability to treat pain in Medicare beneficiaries and their access to pain treatment?

Target Audience: Clinicians and state and national associations that represent health care providers.


MLN Matters® Articles

Billing for Home Infusion Therapy Services On or After January 1, 2021

CMS issued a new MLN Matters Article MM11880 on Billing for Home Infusion Therapy Services On or After January 1, 2021 (PDF). Learn about changes to implement Section 5012(d) of the 21st Century Cures Act.


Correction to Editing Update for Vaccine Services

CMS issued a new MLN Matters Article MM11867 on Correction to Editing Update for Vaccine Services (PDF). Learn about outpatient claims when the from and through dates equal a posted 73X or 77X service date or if an occurrence span code visit date is present.


International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD10) and Other Coding Revisions to National Coverage Determination (NCDs) – January 2021 Update

CMS issued a new MLN Matters Article MM11905 on International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD10) and Other Coding Revisions to National Coverage Determination (NCDs) – January 2021 Update (PDF). Learn about updated ICD-10 conversions and codes.


Quarterly Update for Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule and Laboratory Services Subject to Reasonable Charge Payment

CMS issued a new MLN Matters Article MM11937 on Quarterly Update for Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule and Laboratory Services Subject to Reasonable Charge Payment (PDF). Learn about Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory Tests, pricing, and new codes.


Quarterly Update to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Database (MPFSDB) – October 2020 Update

CMS issued a new MLN Matters Article MM11939 on Quarterly Update to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Database (MPFSDB) – October 2020 Update (PDF). Learn about new and revised codes.


Update to Osteoporosis Drug Codes Billable on Home Health Claims

CMS issued a new MLN Matters Article MM11846 on Update to Osteoporosis Drug Codes Billable on Home Health Claims (PDF). Learn about instructions for billing and payment of additional codes.


Influenza Vaccine Payment Allowances – Annual Update for 2020-2021 Season — Revised

CMS revised MLN Matters Article MM11882 on Influenza Vaccine Payment Allowances – Annual Update for 2020-2021 Season (PDF) to extend the implementation date.



HQRP Training Resources Web-Based Training Course

Use the  Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) Training Resources web-based training course to access trainings and documents to meet your learning needs. The training includes:

  • Overview of the program
  • Links and resources to access information by topic

Visit the HQRP Training Resources webpage for more information.


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