MedPAC’s latest lead balloon

At its Jan. 11 meeting, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) voted 14-2 to replace the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) with the “voluntary value program” (VVP). The medical community has already been abuzz with the news, including blogs to AMA membership about “MedPAC’s latest lead balloon,” and frank discussion of VVP’s impact on electronic […]

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  • New prepayment audits strike fear in Medicare providers

    Reviews of Medicare claims using the traditional “pay and chase” method are nothing new, but if documentation is not thorough or if billing practices vary significantly from peers, recent pre-payment audits will threaten the existence of some psychology practices that treat older adults. One psychologist, who requested anonymity because he is currently under audit by […]

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  • CMS Unfairly Penalizing Psychologists for Physicians Quality Reporting System (PQRS)

    Three days before the deadline to submit an appeal to avoid a 2 percent penalty on all 2018 Medicare claims, psychologist Alice Randolph, Ed.D. (Port Clinton, Ohio) dashed off an appeal to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) asserting she had properly administered the appropriate screening measures under the Physicians Quality Reporting System […]

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  • Health Care Reform: Changes Coming to National Health Plan

    When GOP members of the U.S. Senate failed to garner enough votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), constituents wondered if they’d ever been serious about their pledges. The House of Representatives delivered over 50 repeal bills, and in December 2015 the Senate passed an amended version, confident that President Obama would veto it. […]

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  • Practical Benefits Debatable for Geropsychology Specialty

    At its August 2017 meeting the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association (APA) approved a seven-year renewal of geropsychology as a recognized specialty in professional psychology. Victor Molinari, Ph.D., professor at the University of South Florida, said a primary benefit of the specialty recognition is to raise the profile of the field by […]

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  • Cutting National Institutes of Health Budget Must be Opposed

    On March 24, the Affordable Health Care Act was retained after it became evident that the American Health Care Act endorsed by President Trump’s administration did not have necessary political support in Washington. Although this was an important victory for public health, there looms another health-related proposal under review by the administration that could jeopardize […]

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  • Health Care Reform: ACA’s Likely Future Depends on Who’s Guessing

    What’s the future of the Affordable Care Act? Among health policy wonks, answers vary – and largely align with one’s position on the law. Referring to the conditions in the ACA exchanges, President Trump has long declared that “Obamacare is dead,” “gone” or “finished.” The law remains on the books, of course, but Sally Pipes, […]

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  • Health Care Reform: Ministries Exempt from ACA Strictures

    “Are we becoming a more Christian nation because of Obamacare?” Bob Vineyard, owner of the Georgia Insurance Shop, asked that question on InsureBlog, a popular health web log he co-edits. “Something is causing people to abandon traditional health insurance and seek out a non-insurance solution.” Vineyard was referring to growing national membership in what are […]

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  • Understanding Privatized Medicare Plans

    Privatized Medicare plans can be confusing both to plan subscribers and health care providers. The word “Medicare” on forms or insurance cards for privatized Medicare programs might make them believe the plan is the federal Medicare program –but there are significant differences between Medicare and privatized Medicare plans. Medicare is administered through the Center for […]

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  • Psychologists Told Ominous Letters are ‘Just Educational’

    Psychologists in many parts of the country who routinely bill for an hour psychotherapy session have been receiving letters from insurance companies that show their practice patterns are being carefully scrutinized, causing anxiety about future audits. Alan Nessman, J.D., senior special counsel in the Legal and Regulatory Affairs Office of the American Psychological Association (APA), […]

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