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David White

Continuing in its bold move up the ladder of electronic health record (EHR) interoperability, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) jointly finalized two rules on March 9, 2020 that were originally proposed February 11, 2019. The rules are designed both to allow patients access to their own records and data via smartphone apps and to provide strong deterrents to those who would block data.

David White

In today’s session on the “Future of Value-Based Care,” Tom Duvall, co-lead on the ESRD Seamless Care Organization (ESCO) models at the CMS Innovation Center, updated Kidney Week attendees on the status of the ongoing ESCO models that  qualify as Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) under the Quality Payment Program.  Duvall asked for feedback on how the models are currently operating and for input on how to accomplish various goals as CMS considers the next iteration of ESCOs after the current ones are completed in 2020.  In particular, Duvall requested Kidney Week participants submit answers to four questions:

David White

In February, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology released a set of proposed rules to address interoperability, information blocking, and patient access to data and electronic health record (EHR) certification criteria.

ASN has expressed its support for this overall proposed rule set to promote electronic data exchange and stop data blocking to improve health care quality. These will ensure that patients have timely access to important health information and have the ability to share it confidentially with the physician of their choice.

David White

This week, the Baylor College of Medicine became the first academic center and care provider to publicly announce its support for the changes included in Medicare’s proposed rule on Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) Conditions for Coverage: Revisions to the Outcome Measure Requirements for Organ Procurement Organizations – joining the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) in its support of the proposed rule. ASN expressed its support in a separate comment letter and made recommendations for improvement. (ASN’s comments and recommendations will be covered in Kidney News’ March edition.)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has asked ASN to share with its members that the ESRD Quality Reporting System (EQRS) has been suspended due to data submitting issues. 

Users are asked not to submit additional data at this time CMS writes “We are committed to ensuring the accuracy and reliability of our data, and are working to rapidly resolve these issues.”

David White

In a bold move to increase organ transplantation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS or Medicare) has finalized a proposal “to remove the requirements at § 482.82 (conditions of participation for transplant centers) that require transplant centers to submit clinical experience, outcomes, and other data in order to obtain Medicare re-approval.” The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and other members of the kidney community advocated for this change to reduce the unintended consequences associated with the re-approval process.

David White

Please see a statement on the below exchange from ASN President Mark Rosenberg. 

 

In a potentially game-changing exchange yesterday at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar, II, stated that a preliminary HHS Office of the Actuary analysis indicates that the savings generated by averting dialysis would be greater than the cost required to extend coverage for immunosuppressant drugs.  While noting that any potential savings would be “specific to the design of any actual policy,” the secretary underscored that HHS is “very focused on ways we can incentivize toward transplantation.”

David White

Today, June 22nd 2018, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act.  H.R. 6 combines more than 50 bills approved individually by the House.

The bipartisan bill is designed to help overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, bolstering prevention efforts, and trying to counter deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

David White

In a bold move up the ladder of electronic health record (EHR) interoperability, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released two proposed rules February 11 designed to allow patients access to their own records and data – particularly via apps – and provide strong deterrents to those who would block data.

David White

 

Nephrologists will receive boosts in payments – especially in the rate for reimbursement for home dialysis – starting on January 1, 2021, according a final rule recently issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The increases to nephrologists’ reimbursements were part of a multi-year push by ASN to increase the values incorporated in those reimbursement calculations.