Many health policy experts are betting on the expanded role of telemedicine as an essential cost-saving, quality (and access) enhancing tool. Yet legal and policy issues have dogged the development of useful telemedicine guidelines, making it difficult to know what’s ok and what’s not. What sort of licensure is required for physicians practicing telemedicine? When is the physician “practicing medicine” vs. “merely consulting?” When is a physician patient relationship established? Is one even necessary? The newly developed model policy developed by the Federation of State Medical Boards should help guide states in developing specific telemedicine standards.
June 30th Deadline to e-Prescribe to Avoid Medicare Adjustment Penalty
June 30, 2012 is the deadline for submitting ten (10) Part B Fee for Service (FFS) claims to Medicare to avoid the 2013 Adjustment (penalty) of 1.5% against 2013 reimbursements.
Exception: if a provider submitted 25 e-prescribing events successfully in 2011, they have already met the reporting requirement to avoid the 2013 penalty. Otherwise, this upcoming June 30, 2012 deadline will apply. If you’ve started e-prescribing and are continuing to do so, do not stop at just 10 for this year to avoid the reduced reimbursement for 2013. This should be continually noted on all Medicare claims regardless to avoid any future penalties into the coming years as they will continue to require this as there will be a 2% reduction for year 2014 as well.
CMS Issues Final Rule on E-Prescribing
By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Physicians who use a qualified e-prescribing system are eligible for an additional 1% in Medicare Part B payments in 2011 and 2012, and a 0.5% increase in 2013. Providers who fail to complete at least 10 paperless prescriptions using a qualified e-prescribing system between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2011, will receive a 1% cut in Medicare reimbursements in 2012, a 1.5% cut in 2013, and a 2% cut in 2014.
In a proposed rule from May, CMS said doctors who are unable to e-prescribe should apply for a “hardship exemption” before Oct. 1. In the final rule issued Sept. 1, CMS announced doctors now have until Nov. 1 to apply for an exemption.
CMS Changes E-Prescribing Penalty Program
Physicians who are using a qualified e-prescribing program on only 25 Medicare claims over the course of the entire year, can claim a 1% bonus (2% in 2010). The only have to add a single code to the claim to qualify ( G8553). 2011 is the last year physicians can switch to e-prescribing without generating a penalty. In 2012, physicians filing at least the minimum 25 Medicare claims will receive a 1% bonus, but those not doing so will incur a 1% penalty! In 2013, the incentive drops to 0.5%, and the penalty increases to 1.5%. In 2014, and beyond, there will be no incentive, but the penalty will rise to 2% and remain there. Physicians can obtain a FREE e-prescribing system by signing up at http://www.nationalerx.com