Washington Watch Weekly - February 12, 2021 | ASCRS
Washington Watch

Washington Watch Weekly - February 12 2021

ASCRS Joins AMA and Medical Community in Letter to House and Senate Leadership Urging Passage of Legislation to Extend the Moratorium on the Medicare 2% Sequestration Through the End of the Public Health Emergency

On February 12, ASCRS joined the AMA and the medical community in a letter to congressional leadership urging Congress to pass H.R. 315, the “Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act,” bipartisan legislation sponsored by Representatives Bradley Schneider (D-IL) and David B. McKinley, PE (R-WV). The legislation extends the moratorium of the 2% Medicare Sequestration cuts through the duration of the public health emergency. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Omnibus/COVID Relief Package) extended the moratorium through March 2021.

ASCRS is also joining the Alliance of Specialty Medicine in a letter to the sponsors in support of the legislation.

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure Frontrunner to Head CMS

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure appears to be the frontrunner to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Brooks-LaSure is a former Obama administration health official, who served as deputy director for policy at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), helped implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA). She chaired President Biden’s health transition team and currently works as a managing director of the consulting firm Manatt Health. Previously, she was on the Ways and Means Committee staff, where she helped to draft the ACA, while working with nominee for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, who served on the committee during his time in Congress. The other leading candidate is North Carolina Health Secretary Mandy Cohen, who served as CMS chief operating officer and chief of staff during the Obama administration.

CMS Releases Fact Sheet on PFS Payment for Office & Outpatient E/M Visits; Medical Review when E/M code is Based on Time

Recently, included in the February 11th edition of MLN Connects, CMS verified that effective January 1, for Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) payment of office and outpatient Evaluation and Management (E/M) visits (CPT codes 99201 through 99215), Medicare generally adopted the new AMA coding, language, and interpretive guidance framework.

They also released a fact sheet (PDF), which indicates that there will be medical review when practitioners use time to select the visit level. Therefore, you will need to be prepared to support your code selection based on documentation.

ASCRS ASOA Release Quality Payment Program (QPP) 2021 Final Rule Guide for Ophthalmic Practices

ASCRS and ASOA have released a comprehensive guide for ophthalmic practices participating in the QPP for 2021. The guide includes the following:

  • QPP Overview
  • 2021 Key Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Changes
  • Guides on each of the Four Categories of MIPS: Quality, Promoting Interoperability, Improvement Activities, and Cost

Guides on Group vs. Individual Reporting and Virtual Groups, Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and MIPS APMs and MIPS APM Guide for the Alternative Payment Pathway (APP) will be coming soon.

For questions, please contact Jennifer Gallihugh, ASOA Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives at jgallihugh@asoa.org.

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