Reminder: Tomorrow is deadline for reporting certain infection quality data   11/14/2013
Friday, Nov. 15, is the deadline for participants in the hospital inpatient, long-term care hospital, inpatient rehabilitation facility, and cancer hospital quality reporting programs to report certain infection measure data for second-quarter 2013 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network. For additional details, see the NHSN website, which includes a chart of current and upcoming deadlines for each relevant quality reporting program. 
CMS clarifies physician certification requirements for CAHs   11/14/2013
During a Special Open Door Forum yesterday on rural health issues, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services clarified physician certification requirements for critical access hospitals under inpatient admission and review criteria included in the final rule for the Medicare hospital inpatient prospective payment system for fiscal year 2014. CMS said a physician must certify that the beneficiary may reasonably be expected to be discharged or transferred to a hospital within 96 hours after admission to the CAH. According to the agency, CAHs may satisfy this condition of payment by including a physician certification form or statement in the medical record. If physician certification forms or statements are not included in the medical record, CMS’ guidance also specifies that this condition of payment may be met by either physician notes or by actual discharge within 96 hours. For more on the CAH physician certification requirements, see the AHA talking points.
Administration allows extension of certain health plans   11/14/2013
The Department of Health and Human Services today encouraged state insurance commissioners to adopt a transitional policy allowing health insurers in the individual and small group markets to extend expiring policies that do not meet certain market reforms scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Under the transitional policy, announced by the president and described in a letter to state insurance commissioners, health insurance coverage in the individual and small group markets that is renewed for a policy year starting between Jan. 1 and Oct. 1, 2014 will not be considered out of compliance with the market reforms, such as essential health benefits standards, if the coverage was in effect on Oct. 1, 2013, and the insurer notifies affected individuals and businesses as required. The notice must inform them of any changes in the options available to them; which of the market reforms would not be reflected in any coverage that continues; their right to enroll in a qualified health plan through a Health Insurance Marketplace and possibly qualify for financial assistance; how to access such coverage through a marketplace; and their right to enroll in coverage outside of a marketplace that complies with the new market reforms.
HHS issues initial report on Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment   11/14/2013
An estimated 106,185 people selected a health plan through the new Health Insurance Marketplaces in the first month of enrollment, according to a report released yesterday by the Department of Health and Human Services. About three-quarters of them selected a plan through a state-based marketplace and the rest through a federally-facilitated marketplace. Another 396,261 people submitting applications through a marketplace were deemed eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, HHS said. The estimates represent enrollment-related activity from Oct. 1 through Nov. 2, including people who have not yet paid their first month’s premium. Enrollment based on applications submitted through state Medicaid/CHIP agencies will be released in a subsequent report. HHS anticipates that more comprehensive data will be available in future monthly reports as information system issues are resolved.