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IRC §501(r) was added by the ACA and impacts all 501(c)(3) hospitals. Among other things it requires specific disclosures regarding patient collections.

Financial Assistance Policy (“FAP”)

 

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In a significant victory for MGMA members, last night the Senate voted to approve the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, H.R. 2. This legislation, which passed the House of Representatives on March 26, permanently repeals the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. President Obama will sign the bill into law.

In addition to SGR repeal, the law includes three major elements impacting physician group practices. The law: 

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Between now and mid-May you may receive a notice requiring you to revalidate your Medicare enrollment – here are the details – if your original enrollment was before March 25, 2011 – get ready – you’ll only have 60 days to react.

Revalidations
Section 6401 (a) of the Affordable Care Act established a requirement for all enrolled providers and suppliers to revalidate their enrollment information under new enrollment screening criteria. This revalidation effort applies to those providers and suppliers that were enrolled prior to March 25, 2011. Newly enrolled providers and suppliers that submitted their enrollment applications to CMS on or after March 25, 2011, are not impacted. Between now and March 23, 2015, MACs will send out notices on a regular basis to begin the revalidation process for each provider and supplier. Providers and suppliers must wait to submit the revalidation only after being asked by their MAC to do so. Please note that 42 CFR 424.515(d) provides CMS the authority to conduct these off-cycle revalidations. 

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With the implementation of Basel III during calendar year 2015, the instructions and preparation of the FDIC quarterly call reports has changed. There have been particularly significant changes to schedule RCR and the risk weightings and classifications.  Additionally, some new accounting pronouncements have been implemented that affect call report preparation as well.  For additional information or assistance please contact James Dowling of the Marcum Financial Institutions Services Group.  

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The NCUA has announced its plan to ask Congress to rewrite the Federal Credit Union Act so it can establish a risk-based NCUSIF premium system, similar to the FDIC.  In addition, they seek to eliminate the 1.3% equity ratio cap, in an effort to build the NCUSIF to a level that would better withstand losses in the event of financial crisis or recession.  

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Do physicians really spend an inordinate amount of our medical dollars? Does defensive medicine really cost our economy a bundle? Unnecessarily? Here is an article in a recent Medical Economics that explores the questions.

Despite broad consensus that defensive medicine exists, it remains difficult to define the term, much less measure its impact on U.S. healthcare spending. Typically, defensive medicine means physicians ordering tests and procedures, making referrals or taking other treatment steps to help protect themselves from liability rather than to benefit their patients’ care. Some researchers label it as unnecessary care of marginal value at best. Others describe it as overuse of medical services that affords more economic — and even psychological — benefit to physicians than to their patients. 

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Senate adjourns without acting on repeal legislation, but promises quick action when it returns from recess.

It appears that the highly-anticipated repeal of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula—also known as the “doc fix”—will have to wait at least a couple of weeks longer.

The U.S. Senate adjourned for a two-week recess in the early hours of Friday morning without acting on legislation designed to eliminate SGR, despite the bill’s overwhelming approval by the House of Representatives. 

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On Friday, March 13th, 2015, CMS issued Transmittal number 7 to the Provider Cost Reporting Forms and Instructions, Chapter 40, Form CMS-2552-10. Transmittal 7 is effective for cost reporting periods ending on or after October 1, 2014.

The transmittal is available at the CMS website >>

The major changes reflect Federal Fiscal Year 2015 IPPS Final Rule changes including: 

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pleased to announce that the submission deadlines for the PQRS reporting methods below have been extended. All other submission timeframes for other PQRS reporting methods remain the same.
The revised submission deadline is March 20, 2015 at 8 pm ET for the following reporting methods:  

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Eligible professionals now have until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015, to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year.

CMS extended the deadline to allow providers extra time to submit their meaningful use data. CMS continues to urge providers to begin attesting for 2014 as soon as they can. 

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