NASL testified before the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee's hearing, “Examining Bipartisan Legislation to Improve the Medicare Program.” Read NASL Vice President & Diagnostic Testing Committee Chair Alan Morrison’s testimony on our proposal to modernize the antiquated, complex Medicare payment rules for clinical lab services for nursing home and other homebound beneficiaries. Read NASL’s Statement for the Record calling for repeal of the therapy cap or extension of the exceptions process.
CMS issued the CY2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Proposed Rule, which would take effect on or after January 1, 2018. The proposed rule updates Medicare Part B payment policies, payment rates and quality provisions for services under the Medicare PFS, and is available on the Public Inspection Desk of the Federal Register. It is scheduled to appear in the July 21st edition of the Federal Register. NASL has posted the pre-publication version of the 815-page proposed rule here. CMS’ Fact Sheet is available on CMS.gov. (7/13/17)
The U.S. Senate released what they are calling a “discussion draft” named the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The draft strikes the entire American Health Care Act, as passed by House last month, and substitutes the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. Several Republican Senators already have signaled that they do not support the draft as written because it does not go far enough to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). No Senate Democrats support the draft. Read NASL's summary of the Senate Republican Discussion Draft, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 here. (6/22/17)
CMS wants more comments on revisions to skilled nursing case-mix methodology. Provider groups praised CMS' decision to publish the notice outside of the pay rule, with NASL Executive Vice President Cynthia Morton telling McKnight's at the time that “it's a big change and people need time to understand it.” (6/14/17)
CMS filed the Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities: Revisions to Case-mix Methodology; Extension of Comment Period, extending the comment period for the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) entitled, Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities: Revisions to Case-mix Methodology from June 26 to August 25, 2017. (6/13/17)
President Trump released his full budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The proposal reduces Federal spending in order to balance the budget within ten years. While the President’s Budget is unlikely to see an up or down vote in Congress, lawmakers inevitably will consider these proposals among many others to reduce government spending and waste. The budget includes significant reductions to spending in the Medicaid program, converting it to a per capita cap program beginning in 2020. On Medicare, the budget does not propose any cuts
except that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) would be repealed by 2023. The budget, which is entitled, A New Foundation for American Greatness, is available here; fact sheets are posted here. Read NASL's Summary here. (5/23/17)
GAO gets it right with need for more IT. “It's good to have a "big dog" recognize that the long-term and post-acute care sectors should be given more help with information technology and exchange,” says McKnight’s guest columnist and NASL Executive Vice President Cynthia Morton. (5/11/17)