3/20 New Medicare Card Call

On March 20, 2018 from 11am to noon Pacific Time, CMS will host a Special Open Door Forum to give providers an opportunity to ask questions about the New Medicare Card Project.  Use this call to get answers to your questions, so you are ready to accept the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier starting April 1, 2018.  For more information see https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html.  Address questions to NewMedicareCardSSNRemoval@cms.hhs.gov.

Participation Instructions: participant dial-in number: 800-837-1935; Conference ID #: 4588156.  TTY Communications Relay Services are available for the Hearing Impaired; dial 7-1-1 or 800-855-2880.

A transcript and audio recording will be at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/PodcastAndTranscripts.html a few days after the call.

CW/NHSN Validation Study

CMS has announced that the RELI Group will be conducting a data validity and reliability study on CROWNWeb and NHSN data.  They have randomly selected 335 facilities nationwide and sent a certified letter to each selected facility (or their LDO) in February with instructions on how to participate.  Facilities that are selected but do not respond will have their QIP TPS reduced by ten points.  For details see https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/CMS/DVR.Memo.0118.pdf.


New Medicare Cards News

CMS has updated and expanded their NMC website for providers, at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/Providers.html to include information on how remittance advices with HICNs or MBIs will be handled.  They’ve also published an NMC Mailing Strategy document, at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/NMC-Mailing-Strategy.pdf.  New cards will be mailed to Alaska, California, and Oregon between April and June 2018, and to Idaho, Montana, and Washington in July 2018 and beyond.

They’ve also published Guidance on how to talk to patients about their new cards, with suggested language to use to keep everyone on the same page and avoid confusion, at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/New-Medicare-Card-Messaging-Guidelines-July-2017.pdf.  The NMC Overview web page at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html has also been updated.

ESRD in the Budget Act of 2018

Kidney Care Partners (https://www.pr.com/press-release/744275) has summarized the ESRD-related provisions of the new budget law, H.R.1892 – Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018; the Act “will expand the use of home dialysis therapy through use of telehealth services; expedite patient access to quality dialysis care at newly certified facilities; and extend authority for Special Needs Plans (C-SNPs) without interruption in care.”  In addition, payments for non-emergency ambulance use are reduced.

While the legislation as passed and signed may not be effective until HHS converts it to administrative law, the original lawyerese can be found at: