Senators Introduce Legislation To Prevent Surprise Medical Bills
The Hill (9/18, Sullivan) reports senators from both parties are “unveiling a draft measure to crack down on surprise medical bills, which they say have plagued patients with massive unexpected charges for care.” The legislation “would prevent a health care provider that is outside of a patient’s insurance network from charging additional costs for emergency services to patients beyond the amount usually allowed under their insurance plan.” In addition, insurers, not patients, “would have to pay additional charges, which are limited under the proposal.”
Source: AMA Morning Rounds
August 8, 2018
Employers contracting directly with hospitals, providers to lower health care costs, survey indicates
CNN Money (8/7, Luhby) reports more and more “companies are contracting directly with hospitals and providers to take care of their employees, according to an annual survey released Tuesday by the National Business Group on Health.” Data show about 11 percent of companies intend to do this in 2019, compared to three percent in 2018. The article says, “Also becoming more popular are direct contracts between companies and providers to handle certain pricey conditions, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, fertility treatments and orthopedic needs.” The survey revealed that about “18% of companies said they are negotiating these deals for 2019, up from 12% this year.”
Modern Healthcare (8/7, Livingston, Subscription Publication) reports that according to the survey, large companies and their employees will pay more for health care next year. Data indicate companies will “pay $14,800 per employee for health coverage in 2019, an increase of 5% from $14,099 this year.” Companies are expected to pay approximately 70 percent of the costs, while employees will cover the remaining 30 percent.
QPP Group Eligibility Status Now Available
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that physician practices/groups may now log into the CMS QPP website to check their 2018 eligibility for Medicare’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). After groups log in, they will be able to click into a details screen to see the eligibility status of every clinician in the group ( based on their National Provider Identifier or NPI) to find out whether they need to participate during the 2018 performance year for MIPS.
Unfortunately, CMS will not be sending out letters to advise physicians of their eligibility status this year so checking on the QPP participation status look-up tool is the only way to determine or verify eligibility status. Eligibility rules in 2018 are different than in 2017 so status this year may be different than last. Also as is indicated in the look-up tool, exempt individual clinicians still will need to report if their group is eligible and chooses to report as a group.
The look-up tool can be found at https://qpp.cms.gov/participation-lookup
BONES of PA Newsletters
ASC Tax Update (May 8, 2018)
Update on Proposed Tax on Surgery Centers (April 25, 2018)