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David White

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have incorporated a new “MIPS Participation Status” function on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website.  To find out whether you need to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) during the 2018 performance year, just enter your National Provider Identifier, or NPI.   

David White

ASN is carefully monitoring the notification process and wants to hear from you.

Please email Kidney News staff at info@kidneynews.org to express your opinions and comments so that we may assist you through this process.

Keep a lookout in your mail this week and through early May. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is mailing out Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) “participation status” letters to several hundred thousand clinicians who participate in Medicare., according to CMS officials who spoke this week on a National Stakeholders conference call, in which ASN participated. The mailing is to notify you, other clinicians, and practices of their MIPS status. This status tells you, or other clinicians in your practice, if any of you will be required to participate in MIPS in 2017. 

David White

On Wednesday, May 3rd, the House passed a bipartisan $1 trillion omnibus spending bill by a vote of 309-118, and the Senate passed the bill 79-18 on Thursday, May 4th. The spending package avoided a government shutdown and funds the government at updated levels through the end of September.  

The legislation includes a top American Society of Nephrology (ASN) advocacy priority: a $2 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The push for increased NIH funding was led by ASN in conjunction with peer societies and was the focus of the advocacy efforts of ASN and the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) members and leadership during the recent Kidney Health Advocacy Day 2017

David White

ASN continues to review the MACRA final rule on behalf of its members. In his latest update, ASN Policy and Communications Associate David White highlights five improvements made to the final version of the provider payment system.

Medicare’s new physician payment system is called the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Formerly called MACRA, the QPP starts January 1, 2017, and  we are pleased that Medicare adopted many changes ASN advocated for , including:

David White

Recently, there have been some very troubling developments involving the Medicare Administrative Contractors – the MACs – that has ASN and other members of the kidney community highly concerned.  The MACs, within a short window of time, have announced plans to limit reimbursement for dialysis that occurs more than three times per week exclusively to patients that meet specific acute conditions. The conditions have been outlined in a draft Local Coverage Determination (LCD). These draft LCDs propose that any claim linked to a Plan of Care that includes dialysis treatments occurring more than three per week—for any chronic condition or acute condition not included on the list—will be denied.

David White

More than 20 million Americans have kidney diseases: does the level of funding reflect that public health burden?

On January 18, 2017, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released  a report entitled National Institutes of Health: Kidney Disease Research Funding and Priority Setting

David White

Telehealth Waiver
New coverage for telehealth services is on the way for Comprehensive ESRD Care Models, ESCOs, and the patients they serve. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have added a telehealth waiver for their use effective Oct. 1, 2018. 

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and the Alliance for Home Dialysis have been discussing the need for this waiver with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) for over a year. As reported in Kidney News Online earlier this year, ASN and members of the Alliance have been advocating for a broader array of telehealth services for patients with kidney failure to be covered by Medicare for several years now – both on Capitol Hill and with CMS.

David White

The Trump administration unveiled a proposed FY 2018 budget on Tuesday, May 23, that would cut funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $7 billion, about a 23 percent reduction from current levels.  In a statement from American Society of Nephrology (ASN) President Eleanor D. Lederer, MD, FASN, the society denounced the budget and maintained that NIH funding cuts of the level proposed could disrupt medical research, impede the development of innovative treatments for the 40 million Americans living with kidney diseases, and ultimately costs more money for the treatment of kidney diseases and failure.  

David White

May is shaping up to be a critical month for the fate of President Donald Trump’s second executive order on immigration that temporarily bans travel from six Muslim-majority countries.  

American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is concerned about the impact of the travel bans on the free flow of science and ideas across borders. In a statement in January 2017, ASN President Eleanor D. Lederer, MD, FASN, was quoted as saying “Kidney diseases do not differentiate among race, religion, or geographic borders. As such, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is deeply concerned that President Trump’s recent Executive Order on Immigration will disrupt the society’s mission and have a damaging long-term effect on the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases across the globe.”

David White

The Quality Payment Program Hardship Exception Application for the 2017 transition year is now available on the Quality Payment Program website .