Official NTOCC Comments

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

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HHS Office of Inspector General Releases Report: Highlights Needed Changes To Observation Status Policy

Posted on 7/31/2013 by NTOCC ®

On Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report which analyzed hospitals’ use of observation stays and short inpatient stays for 2012. The report concludes that patients who have been hospitalized for three days and are sent to nursing homes should not have to pay extra for nursing home stays merely because they were on “observational status” while in the hospital. While the OIG gives no formal recommendation, and recognizes a fix may require legislation, the report states, “CMS should consider how to ensure that beneficiaries with similar post-hospital care needs have the same access to and cost sharing for SNF services.”

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CMS Releases FY2014 Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Proposed Payment Rules

Posted on 7/9/2013 by NTOCC ®

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued two proposed rules that would update payment policies and rates for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and address payment and policy changes for the hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and the ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system. The rule also proposes changes to several of the quality reporting initiatives that are associated with PFS payments – the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive program. In addition, the rule continues the phased-in implementation of the physician value-based payment modifier, created by the Affordable Care Act, which would affect payments to physician groups based on the quality and cost of care they furnish to beneficiaries enrolled in the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program. Among other changes, CMS proposed bundling seven new categories of supporting items and services in payments for primary care, and combining five levels of outpatient visit codes into a single Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code for each type of outpatient visit.

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