The National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care

The Washington Watchline

A Major 2020 Healthcare Legislative Deadline

In recent issues of the Watchline we have noted the increasing importance of federal legislation to achieve NAMDRC’s goals of continuous improvement in patient care. The 2020 presidential election and current turmoil in Washington will make this a challenging, but hopefully not a lost year. The Congressional calendar will be limited in 2020 as incumbents, and some presidential contenders in the Senate, shift their attention to running for election.

Durable Medical Equipment 2020

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published an update to the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) program in early November. This update marks a noticeable departure from the policies the Agency had been implementing in recent years. The impact of the federal DME policy on patient care is often underestimated. The increasing documentation requirements have been a burden on physician time, competitive bidding has reduced patient services and the complex coding and payment policy, focused on cost savings, has erected a barrier to the introduction of new technology.

NAMDRC Advocacy 2019; an Update

Federal regulations and payment policies have a significant effect on the availability of important therapies for patients with pulmonary disease.  As healthcare policy has moved into the arena of “value based care”, the focus of regulatory agencies has shifted from promoting improved quality of care to cost containment.  Since its inception, The National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care’s (NAMDRC) core principle has been improving the quality of patient care by reducing barriers to that care.

The 2020 Medicare Physicians Fee Schedule; Major Changes on the Horizon

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule for the 2020 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and Quality Payment Program (QPP) on November 1st.

CMS Moves to Increase the Adoption of New Medical Technology

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the proposed 2020 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) rule and the finalized 2020 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule. Under the OPPS, the position of the Administration in regard to the effort to move to site neutral payments remains unchanged. In the IPPS, the Administration rejected requests for endobronchial valve procedures and for percutaneous extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to be considered operating room procedures for payment. 

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