KENTUCKY REGIONAL EXTENSION CENTER

Kentucky REC News

KENTUCKY REC ANNOUNCES WOW: WEEK OF WEBINARS – AUGUST 10 – 14

In light of the continued need for social distancing to lower risk, the Kentucky REC team and our partners at KHIE have decided to go virtual with our planned August conferences. As much as we want to bring everyone together, guaranteeing your safety is more important.

Therefore we are announcing WoW: Week of Webinars August 10 – 14!

The WoW is a full week of FREE virtual learning and interactive sessions welcoming clinicians, administrators,
clinic staff and all healthcare professional to remotely connect and discuss the following subjects and more:

  • Quality Improvement
  • Telehealth
  • Promoting Interoperability for EHs
  • Patient-centered Medical Home & Specialty Practice
  • HIPAA
  • KHIE Services
  • The Quality Payment Program
  • Promoting Interoperability for EPs

    Participants can choose individual sessions on a variety of useful topics to help you
    address the challenges of today’s healthcare landscape.
Full Agenda and Registration Coming in July

Questions? Interested? Contact us: KYRec@uky.edu or 859-323-3090

QUALITY PAYMENT PROGRAM TIP – YEAR 4 COST

One of the most challenging performance categories in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) is the Cost Category.

The number of potential Cost measures and the category weight has so far increased each year of the QPP. As Cost continues to rise in significance, it is increasingly important that clinicians consider how their performance on Cost measures will affect their overall performance scores. Clinicians and their organizations will want to grow their ability to avoid the program’s escalating penalties for not meeting performance thresholds.

Eligible Clinicians do not need to submit data for this category, but there are still some ways in which you can prepare for and improve your Cost scores.

Here are a few suggestions as you work on the Cost category:
1. Review the Measure Information Sheet
2. Become familiar with each measure’s Attribution Methodology
3. Analyze your past Cost performance in the annual QPP Feedback Reports
4. Confirm all Coding/Billing practices
5. Consider implementing relevant QI (Quality Improvement) processes

If you are interested in this topic and would like to learn more, or have other questions, contact us at (859) 323-3090 or email us at KYREC@uky.edu. Our experts are here to help!

QPP WEBINAR JULY 30: PROMOTING INTEROPERABILITY & IMPROVEMENT ACTIVITIES

Performance Year 4, 2020, of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) is just about halfway over! During our July 30th webinar, Kentucky REC experts will discuss the details of the Promoting Interoperability (PI) and Improvement Activities (IA) Performance Categories to help you make informed decisions for improvement. This webinar will be the third and final in our series of performance category deep dives for QPP Y4.

The Promoting Interoperability (PI) Performance Category has maintained its 25% weight of the MIPS final score. Also much of the category remains the same after it went through a substantial overhaul for Y3. One change to note is the reduction to only one bonus opportunity for Y4 of the program. CMS also refined the reweighting flexibilities that allow you to shift some of the raw category points around several objectives and measures.

Additionally, the Improvement Activities (IA) Performance Category aligns very well with processes we are already doing to improve our practices. With the new changes to IA requiring more preparation and planning, we will discuss what you should keep in mind as we move into the second half of the Performance Year, ranging from best practices, to documenting as a large organization, and how to find the right activities for your organization. Let us know if you would like more information on becoming a Kentucky REC client.

Webinar – QPP Categories Year 4: Promoting Interoperability & Improvement Activities
Thursday, July 30, 2020 12:30 PM ET

 

Next QPP Webinar:

August 27 – Year 5 NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making)

This webinar date and subject might change if CMS delays release of Year 5 NPRM

All QPP Webinars start at 12:30 PM ET

*This webinar is for Kentucky REC contracted QPP clients only. If you are interested in this topic and would like to learn more about becoming a client, please contact us at (859) 323-3090 or Kentucky REC. We aim to be your trusted healthcare advisor!

Future dates subject to change

This exclusive content is for contracted QPP clients only. If you are interested in this topic and would like to learn more about becoming a client, please contact us at (859) 323-3090 or email us at KYREC@uky.edu. We want to be your trusted healthcare advisor!

CMS UPDATES: COVID-19 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, MEDICARE SEQUESTRATION, AND CS MODIFIER

There are so many changes in healthcare due to COVID-19 it can be overwhelming to keep track. Kentucky REC quality experts point out a few of these changes from CMS to help providers stay on top of the most important information.

Updated Questions and Answers on COVID-19

Review CMS’ updated FAQs (PDF) to equip the American health care system with maximum flexibility to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Check this resource often as CMS updates it on a regular basis – they insert the date at the end of each FAQ when it is new or updated.

Using CS Modifier When Cost-Sharing is Waived

This clarifies a prior message that appeared in CMS’ April 7, 2020 Special Edition of their Medicare Learning Network Newsletter.

CMS now waives cost-sharing (coinsurance and deductible amounts) under Medicare Part B for Medicare patients for certain COVID-19 testing-related services. Previously, CMS made available the CS modifier for the gulf oil spill in 2010; however, CMS recently repurposed the CS modifier for COVID-19 purposes. Now, for services furnished on March 18, 2020, and through the end of the Public Health Emergency, outpatient providers, physicians, and other providers and suppliers that bill Medicare for Part B services under specific payment systems outlined in the April 7 message should use the CS modifier on applicable claim lines to identify the service as subject to the cost-sharing wavier for COVID-19 testing-related services and to get 100% of the Medicare-approved amount. Additionally, they should NOT charge Medicare patients any co-insurance and/or deductible amounts for those services.

Medicare FFS Claims: 2% Payment Adjustment Suspended (Sequestration)

Section 3709 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act temporarily suspends the 2% payment adjustment currently applied to all Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) claims due to sequestration. The suspension is effective for claims with dates of service from May 1 through December 31, 2020.

You can subscribe to CMS’ MLN Connects here.

 

Contact the experts at Kentucky REC for all your questions. We’re here to help: 859-323-3090.

HIPAA WEBINAR JULY 9: VIRTUAL SRA 2020 – SOCIAL DISTANCING OPTION FOR STAYING HIPAA COMPLIANT

Webinar – Virtual SRA 2020: The Social Distancing Option for Staying HIPAA Compliant
Thursday, July 9, 2020 12:00 PM ET

 

The Kentucky REC is here to assist you with completing your Security Risk Analysis and ensure organizations stay compliant under the HIPAA Security Rule. Since the COVID 19 crisis demands a new level of caution, Kentucky REC experts have developed an innovative SRA via a virtual platform. Join us on July 9 to learn more about the details and logistics of a virtual SRA, and learn the best options for HIPAA Compliance in 2020.

We’ll also discuss the state of healthcare security in 2020 and important steps to take to remain HIPAA compliant in this rapidly changing environment.

Call 859-323-3090 or email Kentucky REC HIPAA Privacy and Security experts with your questions, or if you want to talk to an advisor to schedule to schedule a Security Risk Analysis with us this year.

WEBINAR JUNE 18: KENTUCKY REC CAN HELP YOU IMPROVE YOUR QPP PERFORMANCE

As your organization works through the 2020 Quality Payment Program year, Kentucky REC Quality Experts want to share insights on how we can help your eligible clinicians in both the MIPS and APM (Alternative Payment Models) tracks. The Kentucky REC has a proven record with 10 years of advice and guidance to help Kentucky providers, small and large, comply with federal and state regulations, avoid penalties, and earn incentives when available.

We are committed to helping Kentucky clinicians with our patient-centered approach and Quality Improvement methodologies to improve quality, patient care, and health outcomes in the Commonwealth. We look forwarding to sharing with you how our team of experts can help your organization achieve your goals.

Webinar – QPP Year 4: Kentucky REC Can Help You Improve Your QPP Performance

Thursday, JUNE 18, 2020 12:30 PM ET

 

Contact the experts at Kentucky REC for all your QPP, MIPS, and APM questions. We’re here to help: 859-323-3090.

WEBINAR JUNE 10: MEDICARE PROMOTING INTEROPERABILITY FOR HOSPITALS

Join us Wednesday June 10 for an informational webinar as we review the Stage 3 Medicare Promoting Interoperability (Meaningful Use) requirements for Program Year 2020, for both Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals. The Kentucky REC has been providing advice and guidance across the Commonwealth for over 10 years, helping Kentucky hospitals small and large, comply with regulations and avoid penalties. We look forwarding to sharing how our team of experts can help your organization achieve its goals.

Webinar – Medicare Promoting Interoperability for Hospitals
Wednesday June 10, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET

Contact us at Kentucky REC with your questions about Promoting Interoperability for hospitals. Our experts are here to help: 859-323-3090

 

 

QPP WEBINAR MAY 21: YEAR 4 COST CATEGORY

Join us for the second of three webinars in our series on MIPS Year 4 categories: COST. CMS made a number of changes for year 4 of the Quality Payment Program, and the Cost category weight grows as the program progresses. While this category doesn’t require a submission on your part, there are ways in which you can prepare for and improve your Cost scores.

Two long term goals of the QPP involve:

  • assigning at least one Cost measure to every participating clinician
  • having Cost have equal weight with Quality in the program

To meet these goals, the number of potential Cost measures and category weighting has continued to grow over the past 3 years of the program. As Cost continues to rise in significance, it is increasingly important that clinicians consider how their performance on Cost measures will affect their performance scores. Clinicians and their organizations will want to grow their ability to avoid the programs escalating penalties for not meeting performance thresholds.

Our experts will share the changes to Cost for 2020, along with methods you can use to better monitor your Cost performance in the Quality Payment Program. No matter your practice size, Cost will have an impact on your performance scores, and will be a critical category for obtaining a positive payment adjustment. We want to help you not only meet the minimum threshold, but thrive in the Quality Payment Program.

Webinar – QPP Categories Year 4: Cost
Thursday, May 21, 2020 12:30 PM ET

 

Next in the series:
July 16 – QPP Categories Year 4: Promoting Interoperability & Improvement Activities

All QPP Webinars start at 12:30 PM ET

*This webinar is for Kentucky REC contracted QPP clients only. If you are interested in this topic and would like to learn more about becoming a client, please contact us at (859) 323-3090 or Kentucky REC. We aim to be your trusted healthcare advisor!

Future dates subject to change

PI WEBINAR MAY 13: HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE & KY PUBLIC HEALTH OPTIONS

Join Kentucky REC and KHIE experts as we discuss Health Information Exchange (HIE) in detail. We will discuss the benefits of utilizing HIE, an overview of the Medicaid Promoting Interoperability HIE and Public Health Objectives, and workflow suggestions. A representative of the Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) will present on their services that can help you in successfully implementing HIE within your practice, along with the Public Health options that are offered in Kentucky.

Let us help you prepare for and be successful when tackling Stage 3.

Webinar: KY Medicaid Promoting Interoperability (MU) for EPs:
Successfully Incorporate Health Information Exchange and KY Public Health Options

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 12:00 pm ET

Contact us at Kentucky REC with your questions about Promoting Interoperability. Our team of experts is here to help: 859-323-3090.

 

KHIE & ANTHEM BCBS MEDICAID INCENTIVE OPPORTUNITY

Kentucky Health Information Exchange Incentive Opportunity Announced!

In collaboration with the Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) and the Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE), Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid (Anthem) is offering participating Anthem providers the opportunity to apply for assistance to help offset the costs associated with connecting to KHIE. If approved, providers may be awarded up to $2,000, per tax identification number (TIN) and/or business entity, until all funds up to $100,000 are depleted. Approved providers will be notified using the email address provided on the Application.

Applications will be accepted through June 30, 2020 (may be extended due to COVID-19 national emergency).

More information and the application can be found HERE.

Contact us at Kentucky REC with your questions. We’re here to help and are available at 859-323-3090.