Congress urged to maintain tax exemption on municipal bond interest   07/29/2013
As the Senate Finance Committee works on tax reform legislation, a broad coalition of 54 organizations, including the AHA, last week urged Senate leaders to maintain the federal tax exemption on municipal bond interest. “As the federal government continues to develop policies to reduce the deficit, several proposals have been offered that would replace, limit or eliminate the tax exempt status of municipal bonds,” the groups wrote. “…Just as federal borrowing has been exempt from state and local taxes for over a century, the municipal tax exemption has a long history of success, having been maintained through two world wars and the Great Depression, as well as the recent Great Recession, and it continues to finance the majority of our nation’s infrastructure needs for state and local governments of all sizes when no other source exists to do so. We cannot afford to abandon the great success of this important instrument now.”
HHS posts application for certified enrollment counselor organizations   07/29/2013
The Department of Health and Human Services today launched an online application for organizations, including hospitals, interested in training staff and volunteers to become Certified Application Counselors. Beginning Oct. 1, CACs will help people understand and apply for individual and small group health insurance coverage through the Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces, or health insurance exchanges, created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In addition, organizations may register to attend one of three web-based information sessions on becoming a CAC organization, scheduled for July 31, Aug. 5 and Aug. 7 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Eastern Time, HHS announced. Among other topics, the webinar will review the requirements for CAC organizations and how to apply, and provide an overview of CAC training requirements. According to HHS, CACs will be required to complete about five hours of computer-based training modules, not the 20 hours estimated previously.
Medicare providers can register to rate their claims administration contractor   07/29/2013
Medicare fee-for-service providers can register online for an opportunity to rate the performance of their Medicare Administrative Contractor using the MAC Satisfaction Indicator, a new provider satisfaction measurement tool to be launched by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Each year, CMS will draw a random sample of health care providers from the registry to complete the survey tool, which will be used to improve the level of claims administration service offered by the MACs.
CMS revises application request for ESRD payment, care delivery model   07/29/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Friday released a revised Request for Applications for the Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care Model. Announced in February, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation project will test whether organizations comprised of dialysis facilities, nephrologists and other Medicare providers and suppliers can reduce costs and improve care coordination and quality for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease. The model offers three payment tracks, depending on the size of the dialysis facility participating in the model. The revised RFA updates the payment track for large dialysis organizations. Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent and application by Aug. 30. For more information, see the CMS factsheet.