Medicare EHR incentive program deadlines approaching   09/03/2013
To attest to meaningful use of electronic health records for fiscal year 2013, hospitals participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program must complete their performance period by Sept. 30 and their attestation by Nov. 30. For hospitals reporting on their first year of participation, the performance period is 90 days; hospitals in their second or third year of participation report on a full fiscal year. Hospitals paid under the inpatient prospective payment system must attest to meaningful use by FY 2013 to benefit fully from the program’s incentives. For more information, including timelines, FAQs and other guidance on Stage 1 and 2 requirements for meaningful use, visit
CMS issues provider-focused Health Insurance Marketplace publications   09/03/2013
Two new publications from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services answer questions that health care providers and patients may have about the Health Insurance Marketplace where individuals and small businesses may purchase health coverage beginning Oct. 1. For details, see “10 Things Providers Need to Know” and “10 Things to Tell Your Patients” about the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Survey shows increased RAC activity   09/03/2013
Hospitals continue to experience rapid growth in recovery audit contractor reviews, according to the latest results of the AHA's quarterly RACTrac survey. The new report shows that medical record requests have increased by 47% and the number of complex audit denials reported by respondents has increased by 58% since the fourth quarter of 2012. Additionally, an increasing number – 45% of survey participants – of hospitals experienced overturned denials through use of the discussion period. Hospital representatives are invited to attend a free Sept. 19 webinar to review recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regulations that impact the RAC program and the recent RACTrac survey results. For more information, visit
CMS announces NY dual-eligible demonstration   09/03/2013
New York is the seventh state to partner with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the Financial Alignment Demonstration to test a new capitated payment and integrated care model for patients enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, CMS announced last week. Under the Fully Integrated Duals Advantage demonstration, New York and CMS will contract with Medicaid managed long-term care plans to coordinate the delivery of covered Medicare and Medicaid services for an estimated 170,000 Medicare-Medicaid enrollees in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County, most of whom are currently enrolled in such plans and receive community-based long-term services and supports. Enrollment will be phased in beginning next July.
AHA leader tells volunteers their role is 'more important than ever'   09/03/2013
“Volunteers have always been crucial to hospitals, but changes in the marketplace, in our communities and in the law will make them more important than ever,” AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock told members of the AHA’s Association of Healthcare Volunteer Resource Professionals at their annual conference last week in Indianapolis. Describing the changing health care landscape, Umbdenstock said volunteers can increase their value to hospitals by aligning their efforts with priorities such as enrolling uninsured patients in health coverage, engaging patients and families in their care, connecting hospitals with their communities, and reducing health care disparities. AHVRP, an AHA personal membership group, serves professionals in health care volunteer services, retail operations and related support services disciplines.
AHA to host Sept. 16 Twitter chat on patient engagement   09/03/2013
AHA will host a Sept. 16 Twitter Chat on effective strategies to engage patients and families, based on the 2012 AHA Committee on Research report “Engaging Health Care Users: A Framework for Healthy Individuals and Communities.” Leading the chat will be AHA Board Chair Benjamin Chu, M.D., group president for Kaiser Permanente’s southern California and Hawaii regions and co-chair of the report committee, which focused on how to engage health care users to improve outcomes and reduce health care costs. To participate in the chat, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, follow the AHA on Twitter @AHAhospitals and insert the hashtag #AHAengage in any tweets.