The National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care

The Washington Watchline

Reducing the Regulatory Burden: A New Path for CMS

On November 2, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rules for the 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the 2018 Quality Payment Program data collection requirements. These final rules are in line with the new administration’s goal to reduce the regulatory burden imposed on physicians by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

Promoting Medical Device Innovation and Adoption

A core principle of NAMDRC is advancing patient care through improved medical technology. Two articles published concurrently in September by the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), one in the Journal CHEST and the second in CHEST Physician, are of particular interest. These are Investing in New Technology in Pulmonary Medicine: Navigating the Tortuous Path to Success. Chest. 152(3):663–671, SEP 2017. Robert Kruklitis, Kim French et al. and The Growing Need to Mix Pulmonary Medicine and Politics.

The 2018 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System

On August 14, 2017 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the final rule to update the 2018 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) payment policies and rates for inpatient hospital care. This document, together with a proposal published on August 17, 2017, reflects the Medicare policy of the new administration within the existing legislated parameters.

CMS Implements The Appropriate Use Criteria Program

It has been estimated that improper Medicare payments cost taxpayers and beneficiaries about $50 billion a year. Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services have been taking steps to reduce the burden of wasteful spending in Medicare. As part of this effort, CMS has advanced the implementation the Appropriate Use Criteria Program (required by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014) in the 2018 proposed Physician Fee Schedule (2018 PFS).

The Proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2018

On July 13, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule to update payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for 2018. Physician compensation for services to Medicare beneficiaries is based on national relative values (RVUs) that have been established by combining values for physician work, practice expense, and malpractice insurance expense.

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