MGMA Washington Connection 08/18/2022

08/18/2022 9:55 AM | Rebekah Francis (Administrator)

HHS expected to renew COVID-19 PHE in October

MGMA expects the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to renew the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) in October, since the 60-day notice period passed with no word from the Department. Recently, the Administration reiterated its promise to provide a 60-day notice prior to ending the PHE. If HHS does renew the PHE for an 11th time, it is expected to be in effect through at least mid-January.

Last week, MGMA wrote to HHS Secretary Becerra, asking him to renew the PHE and provide medical groups at least a 90-days’ notice prior to ending it so they may sufficiently wind down flexibilities that have been in effect for over two years.

MIPS facility-based scoring unavailable in PY 2022

Due to the continued impact of COVID-19 on measure performance under the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that facility-based scoring will be unavailable in performance year (PY) 2022 under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). CMS utilizes performance under the Hospital VBP to calculate quality and cost scores under MIPS for facility-based clinicians and groups.

In 2022, affected clinicians must report MIPS quality measures; there are no reporting requirements under the cost performance category. However, CMS notes, that if facility-based clinicians or groups do not have available measures to report, they can submit a MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception application to reweight selected performance categories. Additional information is available in the Quality Payment Program Resource Library.

CMS releases new IDR resources

Yesterday, CMS released new resources related to the federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process under the No Surprises Act. CMS launched a new page on the surprise billing website, linking helpful IDR resources and common mistakes when submitting a dispute resolution claim. Additionally, the agency published a new technical guidance document for IDR entities which includes additional information about eligibility for the federal IDR process, batching claims, and submission of supplemental information to IDR entities. 

While the resources will help practices better understand the IDR claim submission process, MGMA continues to advocate for critical improvements to be made to the IDR portal to streamline the dispute resolution process. Additional resources related to the requirements under the No Surprises Act are available on the MGMA surprise billing issue page.

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