Tri-Society Policy Alert: Things to Know About the 2021 Proposed Medicare Payment Rules
This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released two proposed rules for the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and the Hospital Outpatient Department and ASC. The GI societies will provide feedback to CMS on these rules.
Physician payments under MPFS are scheduled to be cut across most specialties as the conversion factor, which determines payment rates, is expected to decrease in order to meet budget-neutrality rules.
ACG and the GI societies are already working with Congress and CMS on this important issue. CMS must forgo budget-neutrality rules when implementing changes in evaluation and management (E/M) services. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) has agreed to engage U.S. House leadership on this issue in hopes of preventing these cuts from going into effect. Please urge your U.S. Representative to sign this letter! In July, the GI societies also joined over 100 specialty societies in a letter asking Secretary of HHS Alex Azar that the agency use its authority under the public health emergency (PHE) declaration to waive budget neutrality for the changes.
To find out more about how provisions in these rules will impact GI read the full analysis and summary.
COVID-19: Important Updates for GI Practices
From ACG Legislative and Public Policy Council Chair, Whitfield L. Knapple, MD, FACG
In an effort to keep ACG members up-to-date on important updates in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, please find below the latest information tailored for GI practices.
ACG Participates in HHS Telemedicine Event: On Wednesday, August 5th, ACG Practice Management Committee member Dr. Eric Shah, MD, MBA participated the “HHS Telemedicine Hack” Course, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Shah provided an overview of his experience in implementing telehealth services in New Hampshire, as well as recommended strategies for physician practices. Click here to review the slides.
HHS recently announced a 10-week telemedicine learning course. There is no cost for this course and CME credits are available. Among the topics: workflows, documentation, best practices, and reimbursement. These sessions are also recorded to view at a later time. Register here. ACG is working with HHS on including helpful tips for GI practices, including for those ACG members in small practices and in rural areas.
ACG Practice Management Toolbox: Telemedicine
Many GI practices hope to continue offering telehealth services beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency. ACG continues to work with policymakers on extending these important telehealth flexibilities.
ACG Guidance on Reopening Your Endoscopy Center: Find the Latest Information on Your State
From Chair and Vice Chair of the ACG Board of Governors, Neil H. Stollman, MD, FACG and Patrick E. Young, MD, FACG
“Federal guidance is extensive, but local regulations and conditions dominate”
The ACG Board of Governors and the ACG Endoscopy Resumption Task Force are closely monitoring the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in certain areas of the country, including recent announcements to further delay elective procedures. The CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing requirements and reopening are made at the state and local level. Interested in learning more on the latest information on your state? Your state governor's website will have the latest information on COVID-19 prevalence and plans for reopening. The Council of State Governments website is tracking information on your state (updated regularly).
The ACG Guidance on Safely Reopening Your Endoscopy Center recognizes that not all areas of the country are the same, and each region/state is dealing with various levels of COVID-19 prevalence, ability to test patients/staff, as well as the ability to access personal protective equipment. The ACG Governors continue to monitor state executive orders on reopening our practices and expanding procedures across the U.S. Many ACG members have recently received communications from your ACG Governor, providing the latest information on your state. The ACG Board of Governors will continue to monitor these developments on your behalf and keep you updated.