Prior authorization reform bill introduced in the Senate
Yesterday, the Senate introduced an MGMA-supported bill which would deliver much-needed reform to prior authorization under the Medicare Advantage program. The bipartisan Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2021 (S. 3018) is the companion bill to the House legislation introduced earlier this year.
As prior authorization continues to rank as one of the most burdensome issues for medical groups year over year, MGMA is committed to working with lawmakers to expedite the passage of this critical legislation.
MGMA engages in advocacy around electronic payments, value-based care, and vaccines
As the voice of medical practices in Washington, D.C., MGMA actively engages with other leading health organizations and coalitions to promote our advocacy agenda. This past week, MGMA joined in advocacy around a variety of pertinent issues, including the electronic funds transfer (EFT) transaction standard, the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), and COVID-19 vaccine access. Read more about these recent advocacy initiatives below:
• MGMA urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to affirm providers’ right to receive EFT payments without being forced to pay percentage-based fees for additional services.
• MGMA requested that CMS allow MSSP accountable care organizations to elect pre-pandemic years to set benchmarks for agreements beginning in performance year 2022.
• MGMA encouraged the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator and U.S. Surgeon General to leverage office-based physicians, including primary care physicians and pediatricians, in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
HHS extends COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra once again renewed the public health emergency (PHE) for COVID-19, effective Oct. 18, 2021. The extension will continue all telehealth waivers and other flexibilities pursuant to the PHE determination for another 90 days.
Unless it is further extended, the current PHE determination will lapse on Jan. 16, 2022. As a reminder, the Biden administration has indicated that it intends to provide the healthcare community with 60 days' notice prior to allowing the PHE to lapse.