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MIPS: Direct Messaging

Direct messaging is a way to send encrypted emails for securely exchanging health information between physicians, hospitals, labs and other healthcare providers in a trusted network. Direct messaging is a complicated process, especially as you try to connect with other providers in your area who may not be aware of the responsibilities on their end.

MIPS: 2019 Scoring

Practices may find it difficult to navigate the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) scoring process as category weight changes can happen year over year.

From 2018 to 2019, the Quality category for weight of the performance score decreased from 50 percent to 45 percent of overall score, while the Cost category increased from 10 percent to 15 percent of your MIPS score. There were no changes in category weights for Promoting Interoperability or Improvement Activities during that same time period. For those practices participating in an Alternative Payment Model (APM), there were no changes in the category weights.

USP Issues Clarification on General Chapter <800>

Specialty practices have been preparing for USP General Chapter <800>, the standard on the safe handling of hazardous drugs, to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2019. However, in a recent clarification, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) stated that because USP <800> is cross-referenced to the standards that only pertain to compounded drugs (<795> and <797>) the changes under <800> may not apply to specialty practices that only handle hazardous drugs.

Why Your In-Office Dispensing Program Should be Accredited

As oncology providers see an increasing benefit to dispensing medications directly to patients, especially with the rise in oral oncolytics, the practice is also tasked with maintaining high levels of standards to stay in the narrow networks of payers or pharmacy benefit managers. The pharmacy team at ION Solutions can help your practice stay in payer networks so you can increase patient convenience and improve outcomes by dispensing oral oncolytics.

2017 QPP Performance Information Now Available on Physician Compare Website

Medicare patients and their caregivers searching for clinicians and groups can now see 2017 Quality Payment Program (QPP) performance information on the Physician Compare website. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) added the performance information for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians and groups July 12.

MIPS: Opt-In Options for 2019

The Quality Payment Program (QPP) is offering an option to “Opt In” in 2019. A practice or clinician that does not exceed the low-volume threshold is not required to report but could have the choice to opt in to report as an individual or a group. By opting in, the clinician can receive a payment adjustment (positive or negative) on reimbursement for CMS Medicare Part B patients. The clinician can also choose to voluntarily report as an individual or a group, and not receive any payment adjustment, but be eligible to see benchmarking data from peers.

MIPS: Participation in the Quality Payment Program

The Quality Payment Program (QPP) has expanded the groups for Eligible Clinicians in 2019.  Already eligible to participate are physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified registered nurse anesthetists. For 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has added physical therapists, occupational therapists, qualified speech-language pathologists, qualified audiologists, clinical psychologists, registered dietitians or nutrition professionals and groups of such clinicians.

USP <800> Implementation Goes into Effect December 1

In just over six months, USP <800> regulations will go into effect. USP <800> deals with the proper handling of hazardous and non-hazardous drugs, designed to prevent harm to both your staff and patients. The regulations, which have been delayed for implementation, become official on Dec. 1, 2019. That date is not expected to change.

Accounts Receivable Management Tips

As patients face higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, practices need to have processes and tools in place that allow patients to focus on getting the care they need, help patients meet their financial obligations and ensure that both the patient and the practice do not place themselves at financial risk.

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