ACMSS: Volunteer Opportunities

Are you located in the Orange County, CA,  area? ACMSS has office volunteer opportunities, helping us grow. Must be proficient in Google Chrome, administrative duties, and have excellent customer service and outreach phone skills.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Contact us at:

Send inquiries to:

Executive Director
(657) 888-2158;
info@theacmss.org
thecmss@gmail.com

 

Certifying Healthcare to Meet Meaningful Use Requirements

The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS) reminds Eligible Professionals they need to certify scribes and staff utilizing EHR for Meaningful Use.

Eligible Professionals include: Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy, Doctor of Oral Surgery, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, Doctor of Optometry, and Chiropractors.

Any staff members who will be entering electronic data, including up to Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) information for Medication, Laboratory and Radiology Orders attesting for meaningful use must be certified and credentialed. Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) qualify towards meeting the CPOE measure for EHR adoption with CMS.

ACMSS is passionate about improving clinical care and clinical documentation in an effort to revamp the country’s wellness. ACMSS advocates and develops innovative, flexible options in Electronic Medical Record (EMR) for improved wellness systems. ACMSS’ customized packages meet your needs. From non-profit partnerships and vendors to physician practices and schools.

“ACMSS has pioneered to a true wellness model. Together we will innovate 21st-century style, developing and creating higher level EMR systems into transformative Electronic Health Records systems, working with clinicians, healthcare, and standards bodies enabling high-tech clinical care, medicine, and records systems enabling sustainable outcomes,” explains Kristin Hagen, ACMSS President and CEO.

Together we protect our American Healthcare system. We are moving our nation into paradigm models that exist today of Integrative Health for Wellness, Disease Reversal and Disease Prevention, improving population health throughout our country.

About ACMSS

The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists is the nation’s only nonprofit professional society representing more than 15,000 Medical Scribes in over 1,500 medical institutions. ACMSS partners with academic institutions and medical scribe corporations to offer both education-to-certification and employment-to-certification pathways. ACMSS advances the needs of the medical scribe industry through certification, public advocacy, and continuing education. ACMSS is also available for speaking engagements. To learn more about ACMSS, please visit: www.theacmss.org

Outpatient Practices: Certify your Eligible Staff through MSCAT, Meet MU, Currently at 1%

Got Certified Scribes? Key objectives underway! Certify eligible personnel through the Medical Scribe Certification & Aptitude Test (MSCAT).

ACMSS understands the evolving healthcare arena and complexities and challenges you and your Eligible Providers face. We are your trusted resource to help you and your practice meet key goals in meeting Meaningfully Useable data and objectives, both now and in the future.

Certify eligible scribe personnel in your practice today! Become affiliated with ACMSS in partnership with the industry!

Inquire ACMSS: (657) 888-2158; theacmss.org.

Outpatient Practices: Certify your scribes today for Meaningful Use and CPOE. Increase efficiencies and enable quality solutions, today and for the future.

ACMSS_Blue_Logo

Got Certified Scribes? CMSS certify today!  

With CMS guidelines for CPOE, it is now very important that your scribes are credentialed and certified, so they may enter CPOE data. It will also help your company qualify towards meeting the meaningful use (MU) measures and avoid the increasing provider adjustments by year for not adopting the EHR Initiative. We look forward to serving you and are here to assist your medical scribe and certification needs, developing a long and rewarding relationship with you. Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) are healthcare’s solution and innovations in our today’s and tomorrow’s.

Through ACMSS, your scribes can certify today in real time by taking the Medical Scribe Certification & Aptitude Test (MSCAT) and enter orders as a credentialed and Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS). ACMSS offers membership benefits that provide three certification attempts per user, versus one, in addition to store and volume purchase discounts for facilities with 5+ scribe members needing certification. Please see the Bundle Calculator for your company discount.  The discount is applied to the cart at checkout. Once certified, scribes maintain annual membership and continuity education.

To purchase your Volume MSCAT Bundles, click here.  Easy to use, step-by-step purchase instructions are accessible here.

CMS Increasing Provider Payment Adjustments towards fully connected, robust EHR Adoption

Beginning in 2015, eligible professionals who do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will be subject to a payment adjustment. The payment reduction starts at 1% and increases each year that an eligible professional does not demonstrate meaningful use.  

 

2015 @ 1% reduction
2016 @ 2% reduction
2017 @ 3% reduction
2018 @ 4% reduction
2019+ @ 5%+

ACMSS understands and is here to serve our Country’s growing healthcare and economic system needs. Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) are our healthcare’s solution in enabling “real-time” health information management, enhanced doctor-patient care relationships, practice efficiencies, workflow management, and improved and sustainable clinical care outcomes and solutions. As a team, we are partnered towards creating our healthier today’s into our tomorrows.

We thank you for being a valued member, and we look forward to working with you!

Less Than 2 Months to Begin Attestation! 90-Day Data Collection Period Approaching; Don’t Delay!

Got Certified Scribes? CMSS certify today!  

With CMS guidelines for CPOE, it is now very important that your scribes are credentialed and certified, so they may enter CPOE data. It will also help your company qualify towards meeting the meaningful use (MU) measures and avoid the increasing provider adjustments by year for not adopting the EHR Initiative. We look forward to serving you and are here to assist your medical scribe and certification needs, developing a long and rewarding relationship with you. Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) are healthcare’s solution and innovations in our today’s and tomorrow’s.

Through ACMSS, your scribes can certify today in real time by taking the Medical Scribe Certification & Aptitude Test (MSCAT) and enter orders as a credentialed and Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS). ACMSS offers membership benefits that provide three certification attempts per user, versus one, in addition to store and volume purchase discounts for facilities with 5+ scribe members needing certification. Please see the Bundle Calculator for your company discount.  The discount is applied to the cart at checkout. Once certified, scribes maintain annual membership and continuity education.

To purchase your Volume MSCAT Bundles, click here.  Easy to use, step-by-step purchase instructions are accessible here.

CMS Increasing Provider Payment Adjustments towards fully connected, robust EHR Adoption

Beginning in 2015, eligible professionals who do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will be subject to a payment adjustment. The payment reduction starts at 1% and increases each year that an eligible professional does not demonstrate meaningful use.  

 

2015 @ 1% reduction
2016 @ 2% reduction
2017 @ 3% reduction
2018 @ 4% reduction
2019+ @ 5%+

ACMSS understands and is here to serve our Country’s growing healthcare and economic system needs. Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) are our healthcare’s solution in enabling “real-time” health information management, enhanced doctor-patient care relationships, practice efficiencies, workflow management, and improved and sustainable clinical care outcomes and solutions. As a team, we are partnered towards creating our healthier today’s into our tomorrows.

We thank you for being a valued member, and we look forward to working with you!

We need you: Certified Scribes (CMSS) for CAAHEP Academic Standards Committee

Full-Logo_RevBlue_Horiz_Low_Res_RGB

The Medical Scribe Specialist Review Board (MSSRB) is looking for members to fill its Board of Directors.  The MSSRB is a Committee on Accreditation in the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) system.  The purpose of the MSSRB is to cooperate with CAAHEP and the American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS) to establish, maintain and promote appropriate standards of quality for educational programs for the medical scribe specialist and to provide recognition for educational programs that meet or exceed the minimum standards.

The MSSRB is looking to fill the following Board positions:

  • 2 Medical Scribe Specialist Position

The following criteria must be met to serve on the MSSRB Board of Directors:

  1. Individuals must express a commitment to serve and fully participate in the Medical Scribe Specialist Review Board;
  2. Medical Scribe Specialists must hold the Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS) credential and have one (1) year of experience in the field;

Board Member Duties

  1. Board members serve on a volunteer basis;
  2. Attend and participate in MSSRB annual meeting;
  3. Attend and participate in conference call meetings, scheduled at least monthly (approximately 1 hour long);
  4. Participate in the evaluation and revision of the Standards and Guidelines used in evaluating educational programs;
  5. Participate in the evaluation and review of self-studies and/or annual reports submitted by medical scribe specialist programs for review/accreditation;
  6. Participate in recommending means by which the sponsors may favorably influence the quality and availability of education, as a service to the public and profession; and
  7. Participate in ad-hoc committees, as needed, to meet the changes occurring in the health care professions and accreditation.

 

Submit the following:

Letter of interest, CV, and at least two (2) professional references to MSSRB by July 28, 2015.

American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS)
Website:  theacmss.org
E-mail:   info@theacmss.org
Phone:  (657) 888-2158

Got Certified Scribes? EHR 90-day Attestation Period for 2015 (1% Adjustment) Approaching Don’t Delay; Certify Today!

The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS), a non-profit 501(c)(6) corporation, is devoted to ensuring the highest standards of training, education, performance, and certification of medical scribes. We represent the highest professional quality of medical scribes in the industry for medical record documentation throughout healthcare. Employers looking for medical scribes who have achieved the highest professional distinction in the medical scribe industry seek ACMSS certification. Only those medical scribes who have passed ACMSS’s Medical Scribe Certification & Aptitude Test (MSCAT) are certified. The ACMSS offers the Certified Medical Scribe Apprentice (CMSA) and Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS) pathways.

 
 

With the new CMS guidelines for CPOE, it is now very important that your scribes are credentialed and certified, so they may enter CPOE data. It will also help your company qualify towards meeting the meaningful use (MU) measures and avoid the increasing penalties by year for not adopting the new EHR Initiative.

 

Through ACMSS, your scribes can certify today in real time by taking the Medical Scribe Certification & Aptitude Test (MSCAT) and enter orders as a credentialed and Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS). ACMSS offers membership benefits that provide three certification attempts per user, versus one, in addition to store and volume purchase discounts for facilities with 5+ scribe members needing certification. Please see the Bundle Calculator for your company discount.  The discount is applied to the cart at checkout. We currently have a general exam as well as several specialty ones

 

To purchase your Volume MSCAT Bundles, click here.  Easy to use, step-by-step purchase instructions are accessible here.

 

We look forward to serving you and are here to assist your medical scribe and certification needs, developing a long and rewarding relationship today into our tomorrows.

 

 

Warm regards,
Kristin Hagen, CPEHR, CPHIE, CPHIT, CMSS
President/Chief Executive Officer
ACMSS, a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation
Corporate Office: 657-888-2158
“Revolutionizing Clinical Care one Certified Scribe at a Time.”

Eligible Professionals: Remember to Apply by July 1 for 2016 EHR Hardship Exception

EHR Incentive Programs ? A program of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

News Updates
Medicare Eligible Professionals: Take Action by July 1 to Avoid 2016 Medicare Payment Adjustment

Payment adjustments for eligible professionals that did not successfully participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2014 will begin on January 1, 2016. Medicare eligible professionals can avoid the 2016 payment adjustment by taking action by July 1 and applying for a 2016 hardship exception.

The hardship exception applications and instructions for an individual and formultiple Medicare eligible professionals are available on the EHR Incentive Programs website, and outline the specific types of circumstances that CMS considers to be barriers to achieving meaningful use, and how to apply.

To file a hardship exception, you must:

  • Show proof of a circumstance beyond your control.
  • Explicitly outline how the circumstance significantly impaired your ability to meet meaningful use.

Supporting documentation must also be provided for certain hardship exception categories. CMS will review applications to determine whether or not a hardship exception should be granted.

You do not need to submit a hardship application if you:

  • are a newly practicing eligible professional
  • are hospital-based: a provider is considered hospital-based if he or she provides more than 90% of their covered professional services in either an inpatient (Place of Service 21) or emergency department (Place of Service 23), and certain observation services using Place of Service 22; or
  • Eligible professionals with certain PECOS specialties (05-Anesthesiology, 22-Pathology, 30-Diagnostic Radiology, 36-Nuclear Medicine, 94-Interventional Radiology)

CMS will use Medicare data to determine your eligibility to be automatically granted a hardship exception.

Apply by July 1
As a reminder, the application must be submitted electronically or postmarked no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on July 1, 2015 to be considered.

If approved, the exception is valid for the 2016 payment adjustment only. If you intend to claim a hardship exception for a subsequent payment adjustment year, a new application must be submitted for the appropriate year.

In addition, providers who are not considered eligible professionals under the Medicare program are not subject to payment adjustments and do not need to submit an application. Those types of providers include:

  • Medicaid only
  • No claims to Medicare
  • Hospital-based

Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the programs.

Department of Health and Human Services logo Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services logo
Visit the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website Stay Connected: Twitter button YouTube button Subscriber button
Subscriber Services: Manage Preferences | Unsubscribe
This service is provided to you by the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Outpatient Specialties and CPOE: Certify Your Medical Scribes Today to meet CMS/MU

The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS), a non-profit 501(c)(6) corporation, is devoted to ensuring the highest standards of training, education, performance, and certification of medical scribes. We represent the highest professional quality of medical scribes in the industry for medical record documentation throughout healthcare. Employers looking for medical scribes who have achieved the highest professional distinction in the medical scribe industry seek ACMSS certification. Only those medical scribes who have passed ACMSS’s Medical Scribe Certification & Aptitude Test (MSCAT) are certified. The ACMSS offers the Certified Medical Scribe Apprentice (CMSA) and Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS) pathways.

 

Increasing CMS Penalties

 

2015 1%
2016 2%
2017 3%
2018 4%
2019+ 5% maximum

With the new CMS guidelines for CPOE, it is now very important that your scribes are credentialed and certified, so they may enter CPOE data. It will also help your company qualify towards meeting the meaningful use (MU) measures and avoid the increasing penalties by year for not adopting the new EHR Initiative.

 

Through ACMSS, your scribes can certify today in real time by taking the Medical Scribe Certification & Aptitude Test (MSCAT) and enter orders as a credentialed and Certified Medical Scribe Specialist (CMSS). ACMSS offers membership benefits that provide three certification attempts per user, versus one, in addition to store and volume purchase discounts for facilities with 5+ scribe members needing certification. Please see the Bundle Calculator for your company discount.  The discount is applied to the cart at checkout. We currently have a general exam as well as several specialty ones

 

To purchase your Volume MSCAT Bundles, click here.  Easy to use, step-by-step purchase instructions are accessible here.

 

We look forward to serving you and are here to assist your medical scribe and certification needs, developing a long and rewarding relationship today into our tomorrows.

 

 

Warm regards,
Kristin Hagen, CPEHR, CPHIE, CPHIT, CMSS
President/Chief Executive Officer
ACMSS, a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation
Corporate Office: 657-888-2158
“Revolutionizing Clinical Care one Certified Scribe at a Time.”

CMS and ONC Release NPRMs on Stage 3 Requirements and 2015 Edition Certification Criteria

CMS and ONC Release NPRMs on Stage 3 Requirements and 2015 Edition Certification Criteria

On Friday, CMS released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Stage 3, the next step in the implementation of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. Concurrently, ONC also announced the proposed 2015 Edition certification criteria for health IT products. Both proposed rules focus on the interoperability of data across systems, and make the EHR Incentive Programs simpler and more flexible.

The CMS NPRM specifies the Stage 3 requirements for eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals to qualify for Medicaid EHR incentive payments and avoid Medicare payment adjustments in 2018 and beyond. ONC’s proposed rule outlines the certification and standards to help providers meet the proposed Stage 3 requirements with a 2015 Edition CEHRT.

Note: Medicare incentive payments end in 2016 and Medicaid providers are not subject to payment adjustments.

Proposed Stage 3 Requirements
The CMS proposed rule would streamline Stage 3 of the EHR Incentive Programs and allow providers more flexibility for reporting by:

  • Establishing a single, aligned reporting period for all providers based on the calendar year
  • Aligning quality data for reporting via a single submission method for multiple CMS programs
  • Simplifying meaningful use reporting requirements to eight objectives that focus on advanced use of EHR technology and quality improvement

The Stage 3 proposed rule’s scope is limited to the requirements and criteria for meaningful use in 2017 and beyond. CMS is pursuing additional changes to meaningful use beginning in 2015 through separate rulemaking.

For More Information
For more information on the Stage 3 and 2015 Edition certification criteria proposed rules, review the press release and fact sheet.

More information about the comment periods will be available soon.

Medicare Eligible Professionals: Tomorrow is the Last Day to Attest for 2014 Participation

EHR Incentive Programs ? A program of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

News Updates
Tomorrow is the Deadline for Medicare Eligible Professionals to Attest for 2014 ParticipationEligible professionals have until 11:59 pm ET tomorrow, March 20, 2015, to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year.

Medicare eligible professionals must attest to meaningful use every year to receive an incentive and avoid a payment adjustment. Providers who successfully attest for the 2014 program year will:

Note: The Medicare extension does not affect deadlines for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Additionally, the EHR reporting option for PQRS has been extended until March 20, 2015

How to Attest
Submit your data to the Registration and Attestation System, which includes 2014 Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) Flexibility Rule options.

Tips to ensure successful attestation:

  • Before you register– make sure you have an active and approved enrollment record in the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS)
  • When registering– be sure to have your NPI, Identity and Access Management (I&A) ID and Password, Payee TIN, and Payee NPI information available, along with your EHR Certification Number
  • Before you attest– make sure you have a successful and active registration status in the Registration and Attestation System
    • Registration status will read “Active” when all validations pass
  • After you attest– click on the status tab to see your progress, and then click the appropriate tab to see your registration, attestation, and payment status

CMS recommends you review all of your attestation information before submitting. To learn more, see the Educational Resources on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website.

For help, call the EHR Information Center: 1-888-734-6433
TTY for people with hearing impairments: 1-888-734-6563
MondayFriday, 8:30 am – 7:30 pm (ET)

Department of Health and Human Services logo Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services logo

ACMSS Medical Scribes Remind of EHR Deadline, Announce Specialty in Ophthalmology

For Immediate Release

Anaheim, CA, March 17, 2015 — The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists (ACMSS) reminds healthcare professionals to attest for the Electronic Health Records Incentive Program before the deadline this Friday.

Also, ACMSS announced its first specialty exam in ophthalmology.

“We are pleased that Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) now qualify in the outpatient specialty of ophthalmology to handle Certified Provider Order Entry (CPOE) towards meeting the MU measures,” said ACMSS President and CEO Kristin Hagen. “We expect to add more specialties in the future.”

To qualify for EHR incentives for the 2014 reporting year, eligible professionals have until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015, to attest to “meaningful use” of electronic health records.

Thereafter those who don’t use the program will face penalties. “Beginning in 2015, eligible professionals who do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use will be subject to a payment adjustment. The payment reduction starts at 1% and increases each year that an eligible professional does not demonstrate meaningful use, to a maximum of 5%,” according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Use of medical scribes can count toward that “meaningful use” requirement.

By documenting and inputting medical records, medical scribes allow healthcare providers to focus on why they got into practice in the first place — to take care of their patients. In addition to real-time documentation, medical scribes increase practice efficiencies in several areas, including billing, patient record organization, insurance, and patient care both inside and outside of the exam room.

About ACMSS
The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists, formerly known as The American College of Clinical Information Managers, is the nation’s only nonprofit professional society representing more than 15,000 Medical Scribes in over 1300 medical institutions. ACMSS partners with academic institutions, vocational training organizations, and medical scribe corporations to offer both education-to-certification and employment-to-certification pathways. ACMSS advances the needs of the medical scribe industry through certification, MSCAT development, public advocacy, and continuing education. To learn more about ACMSS, please visit: www.theacmss.org.

###

Contact:
Kristin Hagen, President/CEO
American College of Medical Scribe Specialists
khagen@theacmss.org
(657) 888-2158

CMS NEWS: CMS proposes 2016 payment and policy updates for Medicare Health and Drug Plans

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
CMS NEWS & FACT SHEET

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 20th, 2015

Contact: CMS Media Relations
(202) 690-6145 | press@cms.hhs.gov

CMS proposes 2016 payment and policy updates for Medicare Health and Drug Plans

Proposed policies continue Secretary’s initiative tying Medicare payments to value and maintain stability of Medicare Advantage program

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today released proposed changes for the coming year for the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Prescription Drug Programs that will advance Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell’s vision of building a better, smarter health care system and moving the Medicare program, and the health care system at large, toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients.

“The proposed rates will enhance the stability of Medicare Advantage program and minimize disruption to seniors and care providers,” said Andy Slavitt, CMS Principal Deputy Administrator. “The policies in the Notice and Call Letter will continue the movement to reward providers of high quality, consumer-friendly care for the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs.”

The Medicare Advantage and the Part D Prescription Drug programs’ enrollments and quality continue to grow and improve since the Affordable Care Act. Medicare Advantage has reached record high enrollment each year since 2010, a trend continuing in 2015 with a total increase of more than 40 percent since passage of the Affordable Care Act, and premiums have fallen by nearly 6 percent from 2010 to 2015. And, more than 90 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have access to a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan.

This continued popularity of the program reflects a clear signal that Medicare Advantage and the Prescription Drug Program are attractive to health plans and beneficiaries alike. Today’s proposal will continue this trend by providing fair payments to plans, rewarding high-quality care, and spending our health care dollars wisely. We believe these policies will minimize disruption and continue our commitment to high-quality plans, and create a stable and consistent policy environment.

The proposed changes reflect the commitment to a Medicare program that delivers better care, spends health care dollars more wisely and results in healthier people. In 2015, CMS estimates that 60 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees will be in 4 or 5 star plans – an increase of 43 percent since 2009. In the Draft Call Letter, CMS is proposing to continue to refine the star rating system to so as to continue to encourage improved quality, including a proposal to modify the system to ensure plans are not unfairly penalized for enrolling dual eligible or low-income beneficiaries. In addition, the proposal enhances the value of in-home assessments so they are used to support care planning and care coordination and improve enrollee health outcomes.

The Advance Rate Notice proposes changes in payments that will affect plans differently depending on a variety of factors. On average, when combined with expected growth in plan risk scores due to coding, the expected revenue change would be positive growth of 1.05 percent. Plans that have shown quality improvement and have demonstrated a focus on customer satisfaction would see additional growth. Plan payment levels will continue to be somewhat higher than the equivalent payments in fee for service.

Finally, the proposed policies promise to provide enrollees with greater information to make informed decisions about their care and their coverage. The 2016 Draft Call Letter proposes steps to ensure that plans maintain accurate provider directories and make those directories widely available, helping enrollees better understand the providers available to them. In addition, CMS proposes to work with Part D sponsors that offer limited access to preferred cost sharing pharmacies in their networks to ensure all beneficiaries have access to affordable coverage.

The Advance Notice and draft Call Letter may be viewed through: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/MedicareAdvtgSpecRateStats/ and selecting “Announcements and Documents.” Comments on the proposed Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter are invited from the industry and the public and must be submitted by March 6, 2015. The 2016 Final Rate Announcement and Call Letter will be published on Monday, April 6, 2015.

###

FACT SHEET

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 20th, 2015

Contact: CMS Media Relations
202) 690-6145 | press@cms.hhs.gov

Fact Sheet: Moving Medicare Advantage and Part D Forward

On February 20, CMS released proposed updates to the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs through the 2016 Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter. Through these proposed policies, CMS is continuing the work in moving the Medicare program toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients while spending taxpayer dollars wisely.

The Advance Notice and draft Call Letter may be viewed through: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/MedicareAdvtgSpecRateStats/ and selecting “Announcements and Documents.” Comments on the proposed Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter are invited from the industry and the public and must be submitted by March 6, 2015. The final 2016 Rate Announcement and Call Letter, including the final Medicare Advantage and FFS growth percentage and final benchmarks will be published on Monday, April 6, 2015.

CMS will accept comments on all proposals before publishing final versions on April 6, 2015. Comments can be emailed to: AdvanceNotice2016@cms.hhs.gov.

Recent Trends in Medicare Advantage and Part D
In recent years, both the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D programs have continued to grow, quality of participating plans has continued to increase, and premiums have remained stable. In the MA program:

Enrollment continues to grow – MA enrollment has increased by 42 percent since passage of the Affordable Care Act to an all-time high of more than 16 million beneficiaries, with nearly 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in an MA plan.
Plan quality continues to improve – in 2015, CMS estimates that 60 percent of MA enrollees will be enrolled in a 4 or 5 star plan, compared to an estimated 17 percent back in 2009.
Premiums remain affordable – average premiums today are lower than before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, dropping 6 percent between 2010 and 2015.

Moving the Medicare Program Forward – Greater Value for the Programs
The 2016 Advance Notice and Draft Call letter supports broader efforts at the Department of Health and Human Services and CMS to move the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs toward value and quality. On January 26, Secretary Burwell announced a new initiative to move the Medicare program, and the health care system at large, toward paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients. Through the proposed policies in the Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter, CMS is proposing to further align the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs with those goals.

Higher Quality of Care­ – The 2016 Draft Call Letter includes a number of updates to the star rating system used to assess the performance of plans in providing enrollees with high quality care. The proposed updates would strengthen the accuracy of the evaluation system, as well as to improve incentives for plans to provide care for dual eligible or low-income beneficiaries.
More Information for Enrollees – The 2016 Draft Call Letter proposes to improve the information available to beneficiaries regarding plan networks, including an emphasis on requirements for plans to maintain accurate provider directories for beneficiaries.
Payment reform – The 2016 Draft Call Letter announces CMS’s intention to work with plans to collect information on the adoption of valued-based payment models among health plans.

2016 Advance Notice

Through the 2016 Advance Notice, CMS is proposing updates to the methodologies used to pay MA plans and Part D sponsors. The proposed changes are intended to improve payment accuracy and incent quality, while continuing to protect beneficiaries from significant increases in premiums and out of pocket costs.

As in previous years, CMS continues to move payments towards aligning MA program payments with payments made for beneficiaries in Fee for Service Medicare, helping to ensure fairness in the program.

Net Payment Impact

The chart below shows the expected impact of the proposed policy changes on plan payments relative to last year.

Year-to-Year Percentage Change in Payment

Impact

2016

Advance Notice

MA Growth Rate

1.7%
Transition to ACA rules

-0.8%
Rebasing/Re-pricing

TBD1
Improved star ratings

0.5%
Risk model revision

– 1.7%
MA coding intensity adjustment

– 0.25%
Normalization

– 0.4%
Expected Average Change in Revenue from Advance Notice Policies

-0.95%
Coding trend

2.0%
Expected Average Change in Revenue

1.05%

1 Rebasing/re-pricing impact is dependent on finalization of average geographic adjustment index and will be available with the publication of the Rate Announcement

Coding Pattern Adjustment

Each year, as required by law, CMS makes an adjustment to plan payments to reflect differences in diagnosis coding between Medicare Advantage organizations and FFS providers. In CY 2016, CMS proposes to make an adjustment reflective of the statutory minimum.

Risk Adjustment Model

For CY 2015, CMS used the 2013 CMS-HCC and 2014 CMS-HCC models, blending the resulting risk scores from each model at 67 percent and 33 percent, respectively. In 2016, CMS proposes to end the blend and calculate risk scores based entirely on the 2014 CMS-HCC model.

The 2014 model differs from the 2013 model in that it excludes a few diagnoses, such as stage 1-3 chronic kidney disease, that have been coded very frequently by the MA plans that have been most aggressive in coding. For example, in 2012, 9.9 percent of FFS beneficiaries were coded as having ‘Renal Failure’ (HCC 131), 14.6 percent of all MA enrollees were coded with renal failure, and 38.8 percent of beneficiaries in the plans that were most aggressive in coding were coded with renal failure. Similarly, 6.5 percent of FFS beneficiaries were coded with Polyneuropathy (HCC 71), 10.1 percent of all MA beneficiaries, and 20.1 percent of beneficiaries in the MA plans that were most aggressive in coding. By excluding some diagnoses from the model, the 2014 CMS-HCC model makes the payment system fairer.

Using Encounter Data

Historically, CMS calculated risk scores using diagnoses submitted from FFS providers and diagnoses submitted by MA plans into CMS’ Risk Adjustment Processing System (RAPS). In recent years, CMS began collecting encounter data from MA plans to develop more accurate payment models. In 2015, CMS added Encounter Data as an additional source of diagnostic data used to calculate risk scores. For 2016, CMS proposes to use encounter data to calculate risk scores, by blending encounter data-based risk scores with RAPS-based risk scores.

Part D Risk Adjustment Model

For 2016, CMS is proposing an updated Part D risk adjustment model encompassing the following changes:

Update to reflect the 2016 benefit structure;
Updates to the data years used to calibrate the model;
Clinical update to the diagnoses included in some prescription drug hierarchical condition categories (RxHCCs);
Inclusion of Part D data for Medicare Advantage- Part D sponsors in the model calibration; and
An actuarial adjustment to the Chronic Viral Hepatitis C RxHCC.
This proposed Part D model is designed to improve predictive accuracy.

2016 Draft Call Letter

As with previous years, CMS is continuing to propose improvements to the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs through the Draft Call Letter. These updates are intended to drive quality improvement in the care enrollees receive, as well as to strengthen beneficiary protections within the program.

Value-Based Contracting

Last month, the Secretary announced her vision for moving the health care system toward paying providers based on quality rather than the quantity of care they provide. In the Draft Call Letter, CMS announces an intention to begin working with plans participating in Medicare Advantage to better understand, through a voluntary effort, the extent to which they use value-based payment models to compensate providers offering services to their enrollees.

Changes to Star Ratings

Last fall, CMS released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking research or analyses that could demonstrate a causal relationship between dual or Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) status of a plan’s enrollees and a plan’s ability to achieve high star ratings. After reviewing the results of this RFI, CMS is proposing to reduce by 50 percent the weight of seven targeted measures for 2016. By reducing the weight of these measures, CMS seeks to provide relief to plans serving a large number of duals or LIS beneficiaries while CMS conducts additional research on what is driving the association. Long-term adjustments would be based on further in-depth examination of the issue by CMS and its HHS partners in quality measurement, as well as external measure developers, to determine the driving factors for the difference that has been observed in the preliminary research and the RFI submissions.

In-Home Enrollee Risk Assessments

In recent years, CMS has observed an increase in home visits for enrollees. CMS encourages Medicare Advantage Organizations to adopt best practices for in-home assessments to enhance care planning and care coordination and signals its intention to track and analyze care provided to enrollees following in-home visits.

Accuracy of Provider Directories

Under current program rules, Medicare Advantage Organizations are required to maintain accurate provider network directories for the benefit of enrollees. CMS proposes to reiterate existing rules regarding the accuracy of these directories to make certain plans are aware of their responsibility to maintain accurate directories.

Preferred Cost Sharing Pharmacies (PCSP)

Part D plans have the ability to form networks of pharmacies that offer “preferred cost sharing;” or lower cost sharing arrangements for beneficiaries than those offered by other network pharmacies. Part D plans must maintain network adequacy standards for all network pharmacies, though there are no comparable standards for access to preferred cost sharing pharmacies. CMS is not seeking to establish such standards; however, based on recent research, CMS is concerned about beneficiary access to preferred cost sharing pharmacies and about the transparency of preferred cost sharing pharmacy network access. CMS therefore proposes to publish information on PCSP access levels for each plan offering a preferred cost sharing benefit structure. CMS also proposes to work with plans who are outliers with respect to access to preferred cost sharing networks to either improve access or prevent plans from marketing themselves as offering preferred cost sharing in areas where the benefit is not meaningfully available.

Total Beneficiary Cost

Through the bid process, CMS tracks Total Beneficiary Cost, which assesses the collective impact on plan enrollees of changes in premiums, benefits, and other factors on plan enrollees. By statute, CMS has authority to deny bids that propose too significant an increase in costs or decrease in benefits. As with last year, CMS intends to keep the level of acceptable increase to $32 per member per month. To support continued quality improvement, this year, CMS will modify the TBC evaluation methodology for plans experiencing large overall adjustments resulting from quality increases and decreases.

###

Get CMS news at cms.gov/newsroom, sign up for CMS news via email and follow CMS on Twitter @CMSgov

LiveWell Nebraska: As doctors go paperless, more turn to medical scribes for help

By Rick Ruggles / World-Herald staff writer

Physician frustration with electronic health records has prompted a boom in a profession called “medical scribing.”

Medical scribes generally sit in the exam room and type into the patient’s electronic chart as the doctor and patient talk. The number of doctors using scribes in the Midwest and across the nation is fairly small but growing fast. Scribes can help doctors see more patients, and patients don’t have to wait so long for appointments. Scribes also can reduce the amount of time tacked onto the end of a doctor’s day while he punches information into the computer system.

Doctors from North Platte to the Nebraska Medical Center’s emergency department to a large primary care center opening in Omaha in July are trying out scribes.

“What is happening is they (doctors) have become really highly paid secretaries or data-entry specialists,” said Dr. Michael Murphy, CEO of the largest scribe company in the nation. “Doctors save lives, scribes save doctors.”

Murphy, of Florida-based ScribeAmerica, estimates that there are 14,000 scribes across the nation, up from 10,000 early last year. The American College of Medical Scribe Specialists, a voluntary certification program for scribes, predicts that there will be 100,000 scribes by 2020.

Scribes maximize doctors’ time with the patient, “and they minimize their time with the electronic medical record,” said Dr. Wesley Zeger, an emergency department physician at the Nebraska Medical Center who has helped create a scribes program that started this week in the ER.

The federal government a few years ago began to ask doctors to convert their paper records to electronic charts. The government gave incentives early on to make the change, and it has now begun to penalize doctors for failing to make the conversion.

Many agree that an electronic record won’t get misplaced like a paper file can, an electronic file removes the risk of bad handwriting leading to an error and it gives specialists easy access to key information from the primary care doctor and vice versa.

But some doctors find typing their notes and diagnoses adds time and frustration to their day. Some say the pleasure of helping an ill patient is eroding under government requirements and the need for better typing and computer skills.

Last week at an Alegent Creighton Clinic family medicine office near Lakeside Hospital, scribe/licensed practical nurse Miki McGill weighed patient Greg Cade and checked his blood pressure. McGill is known as a “super scribe,” because with her LPN credential, she can do more than type into the electronic record.

She has worked with Dr. Russ Bowen for years but became his scribe through an Alegent test project in 2010. She has remained in that role since.

As Bowen talked with Cade, 63, about his high blood pressure, McGill typed away on a computer connected to the wall by a metal arm.

“I thought today I was going to impress you with low blood pressure. Nope,” Cade said to Bowen.

Bowen carried a computer tablet that he referred to at times, but McGill did all of the heavy typing onto her own computer. McGill said little as Bowen and Cade talked until the physician used the word “telangiectasia” in reference to Cade’s skin condition. Bowen started to spell it for her and checked himself. McGill eventually found the spelling.

Bowen, 45, said he loves having a scribe. McGill’s presence “lets me communicate more directly with the patients,” he said. She puts in the doctor’s instructions and the note on the patient’s condition or illness, symptoms and diagnosis.

“So at the end of the visit, that’s all done,” Bowen said. He said there are days when McGill might save him three hours of work.

Alegent Creighton Clinic, which is part of CHI Health, uses 24 scribes in doctors’ offices and outpatient clinics across the metro area. Dr. Dana Zanone, medical director of informatics for Alegent Creighton Clinic, said physicians “didn’t go to med school to learn how to type.”

Alegent-employed doctors who use scribes pay a small part of the scribes’ costs — about a quarter of it — and not just any doctor may have one. Doctors who have a huge patient load and do a great deal of work may have access to a scribe if they want one, Zanone said.

“Typically a doctor will see three to four more patients using a scribe and get home earlier,” Zanone said. “And it allows you to really concentrate on the patient.”

Scribes perform data entry in real time, as the doctor sees the patient, unlike transcriptionists, who transcribe a dictated message through recording technology. Most experts see scribing as a profession rising in demand while medical transcription declines.

Scribes, like most clinic or hospital employees, are informed of federal privacy requirements and are required to adhere to them.

They aren’t universally adored. A December 2014 opinion article in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that scribes aren’t a long-term answer to electronic health records that are hard for doctors to navigate. Doctors need to demand that vendors provide better, more user-friendly technology, the article said.

“The medical scribe industry may impede the technological evolution of EHR (electronic health record) products by undermining market demand for needed improvement, and it is unlikely that scribes will be used only as a temporary solution,” the article said.

The Joint Commission, an independent medical accrediting body, recommends that scribes not be allowed to punch in “order entry,” such as prescriptions, lab orders and radiology orders. Scribe programs generally adhere to that recommendation.

Methodist Health System doesn’t use scribes but relies on Dragon, a form of voice-recognition technology that inputs dictated words into the electronic system. Alegent and the Nebraska Med Center also use Dragon but are trying out scribes as well.

Todd Searls, head of the Nebraska firm Wide River LLC, which helps doctors and hospitals with information technology, agreed that over-reliance on scribes can be a problem. Doctors need to review what scribes put into the system, and if they’re disengaged from the electronic record, mistakes may occur, Searls said.

A malpractice defense based on “I didn’t do that, my scribe did that” is no defense at all, Searls said — the doctor remains responsible for the record.

Searls said his firm reviewed the implementation of an electronic record system in a small Midwestern hospital and found that doctors had complained about the system in front of patients. That makes doctors appear grumpy, shows that they don’t have solutions to problems and indicates that they’re not competent with the system, he said. It opens them up to liability, too.

A study reported in Health Affairs last year found many physicians upset over poor electronic record usability, the time consumed by data entry, interference with face-to-face care and an overwhelming volume of electronic messages and alerts.

Those factors have given rise to scribes.

Dr. Ronald Anderson, an independent hospitalist who practices at Immanuel Medical Center, employs two scribes, who he said help him work more efficiently. The electronic record can be “just horrendous,” he said, but his two scribes — Angela Reeg and Lisa Tiedje — help him see twice the patient load he otherwise would see.

Anderson believes in registered nurse-scribes because they understand medical principles, diseases and terminology, and they can coordinate care with physical therapists and dietitians. “And they’re both wonderful,” Anderson, 62, said of his scribes.

April Diaz, 28, will be one of four part-time scribes in the Nebraska Medical Center emergency department. Diaz, of Sutton, Nebraska, is getting a master’s degree in biology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and eventually will apply to medical school.

“I’m eager to get a routine down and see how each physician likes to have things charted,” she said. “I’m really excited for this program.”

Dr. Erica Carlsson was a scribe for four years in Texas. Now a resident doctor in the med center’s emergency department, she helped put together the department’s scribe program. “It’s good for patients. They can move through the ER a lot faster.”

The Great Plains Physician Network in North Platte expects to hire two scribes in the near future.

And Think Whole Person Healthcare, a 24-physician primary care center in Omaha that will open this summer, intends to have a scribe for each doctor.

Sandy Lane, chief financial officer for Think, said patients want quality time with their doctor, not time spent watching him type. “We are firm believers that the doctor doesn’t have to be a technician on the computer.”

Anderson said his two scribes “leapfrog” patients, one scribing for one patient, the other scribing for the next. It gives each more time to organize and write in the record.

“So it saves us a ton of time,” Anderson said. He can devote his energy to patients, Anderson said, and his RN-scribes can help with patient safety by giving the charts a thorough review.

Scribes are expensive, he said, “but it’s more expensive to have your production cut in half.”

 

source

Eligible Professional 2014 Attestation Deadline on February 28; Prepare for Attestation

EHR Incentive Programs

Eligible Professional 2014 Attestation Deadline on February 28; Prepare for Attestation

If you are an eligible professional participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, you have until February 28, 2015 to attest to demonstrating meaningful use of the data collected during your EHR reporting period for the 2014 calendar year. If you are participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, please refer to your state’s deadlines for attestation information.

The CMS Attestation System is open and fully operational, and includes the 2014 Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) Flexibility Rule options. Medicare eligible professionals can attest any time to 2014 data until 11:59 p.m. ET on February 28, 2015.

Reminder: You must attest to demonstrating meaningful use every year to receive an incentive and avoid a Medicare payment adjustment.

Payment Adjustments
Payment adjustments were applied beginning January 1, 2015 for Medicare eligible professionals that did not successfully demonstrate meaningful use in 2013 (or 2014 for first-time participants) and did not receive a 2015 hardship exception.

Medicare eligible professionals that did not successfully demonstrate meaningful use in 2014 and do not receive a 2016 hardship exception will have payment adjustments applied beginning January 1, 2016. The application period will open in early January 2015. For more information, please review the payment adjustment tipsheet.

If you are eligible to participate in both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, you MUST demonstrate meaningful use to avoid the payment adjustments. You may demonstrate meaningful use under either Medicare or Medicaid.

If you are only eligible to participate in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, you are not subject to these payment adjustments.

Attestation Resources

Are you ACMSS Certified? “Now” is the time, the future is here!

ACMSS encourages all Eligible Providers to continue their certification process toward Meaningful Use Electronic Health Records, together building a fully interoperable, interconnected healthcare system.  CMS has released recent information they intend to reduce reporting period to 90 days. ACMSS applauds these efforts and recognizes the challenges faced to providers, with key solution of Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) to achieve national goals.  Now is the time to ensure organizations are electronically adopting CEHRT with skilled personnel and avoid increasing penalties, 2015 forward, presently at 1%.  The time is “now,” the future is “here!”

Inquire how your practice will benefit from Certified Medical Scribe Specialists (CMSS) toward meeting outpatient CPOE measures.  info@theacmss.org

1 2
LIVE Support