The legislation, dubbed the Rural Bloom Dispensary Fairness Act, was reintroduced in March by Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., afterwards an beforehand adaptation in 2011 bootless to accomplish it out of committee. Schock and bill co-sponsors Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, are appointed to co-host today’s discussion.
Rural clinics about bill for Medicare Part A casework application the UB-04 form, the accepted affirmation anatomy for Medicare fee-for-service contractors, according to a account from the sponsors touting today’s session. “However, back the condoning metric in the statute says ‘fee schedule’ and this is broadly interpreted by CMS as the acceptable Medicare Part B form, frequently referred to as the ‘CMS-1500,’ RHCs are precluded from the allurement programs artlessly due to an authoritative technicality,” the sponsors said.
The sponsors say “time is of the essence” for Congress to act on the bill, back 2014 is the aftermost year acceptable providers can activate accommodating in the Medicare EHR allurement acquittal program.
The Illinois Hospital Association, in an “advocacy alert,” is allurement its associates to alarm their aldermanic assembly in abutment of the bill to “correct this inequity.” It said about 100 rural clinics in the accompaniment are affiliated with Illinois hospitals.
The CMS beneath to animadversion on the legislation, but acicular to a acquaint acknowledgment in the “frequently asked questions” area of its website. The EHR allurement acquittal diplomacy was created in the HITECH accoutrement of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“Since casework provided by acceptable professionals while alive in (rural bloom clinics) are not billed beneath the Part B physician fee schedule, they do not accommodated the HITECH Act ogue of “covered able services,” according to the CMS response. “As the HITECH Act bases the Medicare EHR allurement acquittal on a allotment of accustomed accuse for ‘covered able services, casework provided in the (clinics) by the acceptable able would not be included in the adding for the Medicare EHR incentive.”
The CMS credibility out, however, that EHR allurement payments beneath Medicaid are “based on a altered methodology” so that acceptable professionals at bounded bloom centers may authorize “if they, or the accomplished RHC as a proxy” accommodated accommodation belief for that program, chiefly that 30% of its patients are “needy individuals.”
Unlike physicians and added acceptable professionals, who charge accept amid the Medicare or Medicaid EHR allurement programs – they’re bound to one or the other, but cannot accept payments beneath both — hospitals can bifold dip, and CMS annal show, overwhelmingly, they do. The EHR allurement acquittal programs accept paid out $15.88 billion appropriately far, CMS abstracts show.
Technically, Schock’s bill would accredit rural bloom clinics to banknote in on the Medicare EHR allurement diplomacy by authoritative clinics acceptable to accept allurement payments for the “covered able services” of the physicians and added “eligible professionals” who assignment in them. Similarly, the bill additionally would accredit clinics to aggregate allurement payments from the Medicare e-prescribing and affection advertisement programs if casework were furnished by acceptable professionals.
Schock additionally included in the bill a “budget neutrality” accouterment that directs HHS’ secretary to abstract the added amount of the angle by abbreviation the EHR allurement payments of others.
This offsetting allotment accouterment has aloft the affair with the National Rural Bloom Association, said David Lee, its government diplomacy and action manager. “We abutment the assumption of the Rural Bloom Dispensary Fairness Act, but some NRHA associates accept apropos about abbreviation allurement payments to added providers in adjustment to pay for this important fix,” Lee said. “The account neutrality congenital in would account some rural bloom hospitals to get a bargain payment.”
Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn
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