KENTUCKY REGIONAL EXTENSION CENTER

Kentucky REC News

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.

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

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

 

 

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.

ANNOUNCING KENTUCKY REC ANNUAL HEALTHCARE CONFERENCES! AUGUST AND FALL 2020

Join the Kentucky Regional Extension Center at our 2020 Annual Healthcare Conferences!

This year, our focus is on Navigating the Future. During the conference we will explore a variety of useful topics to help your practice address the challenges of today’s healthcare landscape. We want Kentucky providers and healthcare organizations across the Commonwealth to be prepared despite the major changes to healthcare in the state and the nation. Connect and discuss Change Management, Telehealth, HIPAA, the Quality Payment Program, Promoting Interoperability, and more! This event welcomes clinicians, administrators, clinic staff and all healthcare professionals.

Breakout Sessions:

  • Medicaid and Hospital PI
  • MIPS
  • Chronic Care and Transitional Care Management
  • Alternative Payment Models
  • HIPAA
  • Patient Centered Medical Home and Specialty Practice

Dates and Locations:

Owensboro August 13, 2020
Lexington August 18, 2020
Louisville October-November, 2020

The Louisville event will be in conjunction with the KHIE eHealth Summit, currently planned to be sometime in the end of October to early November.

 

STAY TUNED! Registration will begin soon!

 

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

HHS SCAM ALERT: INDIVIDUAL POSING AS OCR INVESTIGATOR

HHS Scam Alert: Individual Posing as OCR Investigator

It has come to OCR’s attention that an individual posing as an OCR Investigator has contacted HIPAA covered entities in an attempt to obtain protected health information (PHI). The individual identifies themselves on the telephone as an OCR investigator, but does not provide an OCR complaint transaction number or any other verifiable information relating to an OCR investigation.

HIPAA covered entities and business associates should alert their workforce members, and can take action to verify that someone is an OCR investigator by asking for the investigator’s email address, which will end in @hhs.gov, and asking for a confirming email from the OCR investigator’s hhs.gov email address. If organizations have additional questions or concerns, please send an email to: OCRMail@hhs.gov.

Suspected incidents of individuals posing as federal law enforcement should be reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI issued a public service announcement about COVID-19 fraud schemes HERE. The FBI has seen a rise in COVID-19 related scams.

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

CMS QPP 2019 DEADLINE AND HARDSHIP EXEMPTION GUIDANCE – IMPORTANT INFORMATION

REMINDER:

4/30/2020 at 8 pm EST is the Deadline for Eligible Clinicians and/or Practices to submit their 2019 Quality Payment Program performance data. CMS has also extended the deadline to submit for an Extreme & Uncontrollable Circumstances Hardship.

While CMS has afforded flexibility to automatically apply this Hardship for ECs that have not submitted any data by the deadline, it is best to apply for the Hardship if you have submitted any data for 2019 or in the past, or if you are participating as a group. The automatic hardship has provisions to protect individual ECs at this time.

The good news is that these changes provide those participating in the Quality Payment Program extensive flexibility.

You can access CMS information and the application HERE.

Contact your advisor, or email the experts at Kentucky REC with your questions. We’re here to help: 859-323-3090.

CMS ANNOUNCES RELIEF FOR CLINICIANS, PROVIDERS, HOSPITALS, AND FACILITIES PARTICIPATING IN QUALITY REPORTING PROGRAMS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

UPDATED APRIL 3, 2020
On Sunday March 22, 2020, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced relief for Clinicians, Providers, Hospitals and Facilities participating in Quality Reporting Programs as a response to COVID-19.

These relief efforts include the extension of the deadline for the Quality Payment Program reporting from March 31, 2020, to April 30, 2020. In addition to the extension of the deadline for the quality reporting program (includes MIPS & APM tracks), CMS also extended the criteria and approach for hardships. MIPS eligible clinicians who have not submitted any MIPS data by April 30, 2020, will automatically qualify for the extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy and will receive a neutral payment adjustment for the 2021 MIPS payment year. CMS further clarified that any MIPS EC who submits two or more performance categories will be evaluated as normal under the program.

THE GOOD NEWS: this change provides those participating in the Quality Payment Program extensive flexibility. Should you have any questions around how this can impact your practice, please contact your Kentucky REC advisor or call us at 859-323-3090.

Please see below for an overview of the changes for the Quality Payment Program:

Provider Programs2019 Data Submission2020 Data Submission
Quality Payment Program - Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)Deadline extended from March 31, 2020 to April 30, 2020.

MIPS eligible clinicians who have not submitted any MIPS data by April 30, 2020 will qualify for the automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy and will receive a neutral payment adjustment for the 2021 MIPS payment year.
CMS is evaluating options for providing relief around participation and data submission for 2020.
Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

The 2019 MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Policy Update is for MIPS Eligible Clinicians who HAVE NOT SUBMITTED any data for the 2019 MIPS program. No additional action is necessary to qualify for this policy. Clinicians will be automatically identified, and those meeting this policy will receive a neutral MIPS payment adjustment during the 2021 MIPS payment year. CMS has updated the QPP Participation Status Tool so Eligible Clinicians can see if the policy has been automatically updated.

For MIPS Eligible Clinicians and/or Groups who have started, but have not been able to complete their submission, and Virtual Groups that are unable to start or complete their submission, then an APPLICATION for the MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances must be submitted by April 30, 2020.

PLEASE NOTE: If data is submitted for two or more of the MIPS performance categories, then CMS will score and clinicians and/or groups will receive a payment adjustment based on the submitted data for the 2019 performance year.

For further information on Hospital and Post-Acute Care (PAC) programs, CLICK HERE for the recent Press Release about the CMS Quality Payment Program.

For further information on the Reporting Relief, refer to the CMS QPP COVID-19 Response Fact Sheet.

HERE is a Fact Sheet with this CMS QPP information for your reference.

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

NCQA UPDATES FOR PCMH/PCSP DURING THE COVID-19 NATIONAL EMERGENCY

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) enacted policies for NCQA staff, contractors, and events, based on updates from the CDC and other authorities. Please find information regarding changes affecting PCMH/PCSP Recognition programs as a response to the Coronavirus national emergency below:

NCQA:
  • Is prepared to conduct all business activities virtually if needed
  • Will continue to deliver all systems, surveys, support services, contract, and grant related services
  • Is assessing large meetings, events, and conferences with the goal to convert to virtual events
EXCEPTIONS:

Practitioners Who Provide Care During a Public Health Emergency

  • Organizations don’t need to credential practitioners who are not part of their network or practice and are providing care to members/patients as part of a federal, state, or local government emergency response team.
  • Organizations don’t need to credential practitioners part of the organizations emergency response efforts if it documents disaster management plans implemented from March – September for allowing these practitioners to provide care for members.

CMS 1135 Waivers for State Licensing

  • CMS allows states to request a waiver that temporarily allows out of state practitioners to provide services licensed in another state. When credentialing practitioners in a state that receive a waiver, NCQA will waive the requirement that organizations verify the license to practice for that state.

Health Care Organizations & Practices Whose Operations are Affected

  • NCQA will be flexible in scoring organization performance during the March – September time frame. Organizations will need to provide documentation regarding the circumstances that interfered with meeting requirements.
  • Practices may show evidence from any time in the past year, so organizations may demonstrate activities were implemented before and after the March – September time frame.
SURVEY ACCOMODATION INFORMATION:
  • Organizations with an upcoming survey or evaluation in 2020 should contact their Recognition account representative. NCQA will determine if additional accommodations (e.g., longer extensions, virtual surveys, shorter look-back periods) are necessary on a case-by-case basis.

NCQA will continue to assess the situation and will make updates as needed. For further information and updates: NCQA COVID-19

HERE is a one pager with this NCQA information for your reference.

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