CMS: Relief from QIP Reporting

On March 22, 2020 CMS announced relief from QIP-related reporting requirements for CROWNWeb and the ESRD QIP.   Find the full CMS press release at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-announces-relief-clinicians-providers-hospitals-and-facilities-participating-quality-reporting.  An excerpt follows:

“CMS will not count data from January 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 (Q1-Q2) for performance or payment programs.  Data does not need to be submitted to CMS for this time period…  No data reflecting services provided January 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 will be used in CMS’s calculations for the Medicare quality reporting… programs.  This is being done to reduce the data collection and reporting burden on providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

CMS published an additional bulletin on March 27, https://www.cms.gov/files/document/guidance-memo-exceptions-and-extensions-quality-reporting-and-value-based-purchasing-programs.pdf, with ESRD information on pp.9-10.  This bulletin clarifies the original and includes new information on NHSN QIP relief, and information on opting out of the relief:

“Dialysis facilities should be aware of the potential subsequent impact to a facility’s total performance score (TPS) when data are excluded from score calculations.  Facilities impacted by COVID-19 may elect to opt out of the CMS granted exception by emailing the request to the ESRD QIP at esrdqip@cms.hhs.gov.  The email must be sent by the dialysis facility’s chief executive officer (CEO) or designee.  We are requesting that a dialysis facility make this request within 90 days of March 22, 2020.  For further assistance regarding the ESRD QIP information contained in this message, please contact the ESRD QIP at esrdqip@cms.hhs.gov.”

Medicare and Medicaid Telehealth Expansion

CMS has announced expansion of payment for Medicare and Medicaid Telehealth services to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.  For more information see:

New CMS ACO and ESCO Resources

CMS has added many new tools to it’s Accountable Care Organization home page, including several on ESRD Seamless Care Organizations.  Examples from February 2020 include these Case Study PDFs:

  • Keystone ACO’s Health Navigator Program to Identify and Close Care Gaps.
  • Atlantic Dialysis Management Services’ Patient Navigator Program.
  • Centers for Dialysis Care’s Patient Advisory Committees.

The Comprehensive ESRD Care Model page has also been recently updated.  Find links to all these and more at https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/aco/.

New CDC MMWR on Coronavirus, Billing Code

CDC has issued an MMWR on the current coronavirus threat.  It says,

“COVID-19 is a serious public health threat.  Cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the United States, primarily in travelers from China and quarantined repatriates, and also in two close contacts of COVID-19 patients.  Currently, COVID-19 is not recognized to be spreading in U.S. communities.  If sustained transmission in U.S. communities is identified, the U.S. response strategy will enhance implementation of actions to slow spread in communities.  Implementation of basic precautions of infection control and prevention, including staying home when ill and practicing respiratory and hand hygiene will become increasingly important.”

Find the full report at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6908e1-H.pdf?deliveryName=USCDC_921-DM20815.

However, the Washington Post tells us today that ” ‘Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in the United States,’ Nancy Messonnier, a top official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters.  ‘It’s not a question of if this will happen but when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses.’ ”

CMS has also created a new billing code specific to testing for the COVID-19 virus.  For details see https://www.cms.gov/outreach-and-educationoutreachffsprovpartprogprovider-partnership-email-archive/2020-02-20#_Toc32923423.

12/19 Webinar on Innovative Payment Models

CMS will present a December 19, 2019 Cross-Model Office Hours Session on their new Innovative Payment Models – the Primary Care First Model Options, the Direct Contracting Model Options, and the Kidney Care Choices Model.  Each Model team will discuss aims, timelines, eligibility, and more.  The Session will include a live Q&A portion.  Find more details and register at https://cmslearningevents.cosocloud.com/cmscmoh/event/registration.html.

Find additional information about each model at: