Thank you for visiting the website of the New York State Neurological Society (NYSNS)! You can use the top menu to discover who we are and how to join as well as find resources for neurologists and the most recent updates on our 2016 conference. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or want more information!


CMS Seeks Public Comments on Draft Quality Measure Development Plan by March 1, 2016

On Friday, December 18, 2015, CMS released the Draft CMS Quality Measure Development Plan to build on our efforts to shift Medicare payments from volume to value.  As mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), section 102, CMS is required to develop and post the draft Quality Measure Development Plan (MDP) no later than January 1, 2016.

CMS is soliciting comments on the Draft MDP from the public (including health care providers, payers, consumers, and other stakeholders) through March 1, 2016. After taking all public comments on the draft MDP into consideration, CMS will post the Final MDP on the CMS.gov website by May 1, 2016, followed by updates annually, or as otherwise appropriate.

Public comments on the Draft Measure Development Plan can be submitted through March 1, 2016 using the following options:

On-line Submission Tool: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/26NYQRB

MDP Dedicated Email Box: MACRA-MDP@hsag.com

U.S. Postal Mail: Attn: Eric Gilbertson, CMS MACRA Team; Health Services Advisory Group, Inc.; 3133 East Camelback Road, Suite 240; Phoenix, AZ 85016-4545

CMS Launches Important Changes to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program Hardship Exception Process

Today, CMS launched important changes to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program hardship exception process that will reduce burden on clinicians, hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs). These changes are a result of recent Medicare legislation – the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act (PAMPA), Pub. L. No. 114-115 – and our ongoing efforts to improve the program.

CMS has posted new, streamlined hardship applications, reducing the amount of information that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and CAHs must submit to apply for an exception. The new applications and instructions for a hardship exception from the Medicare Electronic Health Records Incentive Program 2017 payment adjustment are available here.

This new, streamlined application process is the result of PAMPA, which established that the Secretary may consider hardship exceptions for “categories” of EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs that were identified on CMS’ website as of December 15, 2015. Prior to this law, CMS was required to review all applications on a “case-by-case” basis.

Importantly, EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs that wish to use the streamlined application must submit their application according to the timeline established in PAMPA:

  • Eligible Professionals: March 15, 2016
  • Eligible Hospitals & CAHs: April 1, 2016

Please note: CAHs should use the form specific for the CAH hardship exceptions related to an EHR reporting period in 2015. CAHs that have already submitted a form for 2015 are not required to resubmit.

In addition, we have heard from stakeholders that they would like a more efficient approach for submitting applications from groups of providers. Following Congress’ efforts in PAMPA, we have reviewed our administrative authorities and determined that groups of providers may apply for a hardship exception on a single application. Under the group application, multiple providers and provider types may apply together using a single submission. The hardship exception categories are the same as those applicable for the individual provider application.

Providers will have the option to submit an electronic file (in excel or csv formats) with all National Provider Identifiers (NPIs) or CMS Certification Numbers (CCNs) for providers within the group or use a multiple NPI or CCN form to submit their application. In addition, facilities which include both inpatient and outpatient settings may include both the individual NPIs for any eligible professionals and the CCN for the eligible hospitals and CAHs on the same single submission for their organization.

We look forward to further simplifying and continuing to improve the EHR Incentive Programs in collaboration with the provider community and Congress.

Update Your Provider Enrollment Information as Changes Occur

It is important that all information contained in your provider enrollment record is up-to-date and accurate, such as contact information, (i.e., email addresses, phone numbers, practice and mailing address). Changes to ownership, practice location and final adverse actions must be reported within 30 days of the change. All other changes must be reported within 90 days of the change.

Not making changes to your enrollment could result in revocation of billing privileges.

Verify Enrollment: Log into PECOS (Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System) to view your individual or group enrollment and verify that your information is up-to-date.

Updating Provider Enrollment Information: The easiest way to update your information is via the Internet-based PECOS or you can complete the appropriate paper enrollment application. Make certain that you indicate that your reason for submission is a “Change of Information”.

CMS Announces the PQRS Web-Based Measure Search Tool

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pleased to announce the availability of the new Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Web-Based Measure Search Tool located directly at https://pqrs.cms.gov/#/home and via the PQRS Measures Codes webpage.

This tool will assist eligible professionals (EPs) and PQRS group practices with easily identifying claims and registry measures that may be applicable, and help find measures that meet satisfactory reporting requirements for the 2016 PQRS program year. Users may search measure-related keywords as well as search and filter important measure-related information such as:

  • Measure Number
  • Reporting Methods
  • National Quality Strategy (NQS) Domain
  • Cross-Cutting Measures
  • Measure Steward

The PQRS Web-Based Measure Search Tool allows users to click on a measure to view the individual claims and registry measure specifications available for 2016.

For further assistance or questions regarding measures, contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 1-866-288-8912 or via the e-mail address: qnetsupport@hcqis.org.

E-Prescribing Information

March 27, 2016 is the date that all prescriptions must be electronically submitted in New York State.

Physicians who use a smartphone can Google the words ‘e-prescribing applications’ (app).  This will provide a variety of search results for apps from several entities.  Some apps can be added to a smart phone for freeFor those physicians who do not have a smartphone, MSSNY recommends DrFirst as a “stand-alone” e-prescribing product. This stand-alone product will help those physicians who have an EMR or EHR that might not be ready by the 3/27/16 deadline.  Please see the following:  http://www.drfirst.com/mssny/mssny-lp/   MSSNY members get a discount!  DrFrist’s MSSNY hotline number is (866)980-0553.

As a point of physician protection, a medical record for the patient (spouse, family, friends, etc.) must be maintained (even if it is on an index card) for every prescription written in either paper or electronic mode.

If you have either financial or technical limits, you can apply for a waiver from electronic prescribing.  The application for the waiver would apply for both controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs.  Electronic Prescribing Waivers (EPW) applications are now available from the New York Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE) on the Health Commerce System (HCS). A prescriber must have a HCS account in order to file an electronic prescribing waiver.  Using the HCS account is the quickest way to file the EPW application.

This application allows an institution, medical group practice or an individual practitioner to submit a request for a waiver from the requirement to electronically prescribe. Following are links to instructions for completing the online application on the Health Commerce System, based on the type of requestor:

If you do not have an HCS account, a paper version is NOW available upon request. Please contact the BNE at 1-866-811-7957, option 1.  The paper form is available for applications for institutions, group practices and individual practices and will be sent to requestors.

If physicians experience difficulties with their HCS account,  please call:  1-866-529-1890.

If a prescriber experiences any issues with the on-line Electronic Prescribing Waiver, they should call 1-866-811-7957.

2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedules

The 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedules (MPFS) are available on https://www.NGSMedicare.com at the Fee Schedule Lookup tab from Part B home page. The fee schedules are posted by state and locality via the dropdown menu.

NYSNS Fee Lookup

You will have the option to download the file in an Excel or CSV format. Double click to open and view or save the file of your choice. The fee schedule is provided to us by CMS. If a code does not have a fee schedule, then the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) did not provide us with a fee schedule.

You are able to download and save this file to your personal computer, however, it’s recommended that you use the Fee Schedule Look Up tool to ensure you always have the current and most up-to-date version of the fee schedule.

The fee schedule assistance page provides access to information about fee schedule definitions and acronyms.

New York State Department of Health – Medical Marijuana Program Announcement

Practitioners who have completed the Department approved Medical Marijuana course and have registered with the Medical Marijuana Program may now issue certifications to patients with qualifying conditions.

Patients who have been certified by their physician are eligible to register for the program and obtain approved medical marijuana products from registered organizations’ dispensing facilities in early 2016.  Additional information for patients is now available on the Medical Marijuana web page.

For additional information on this release please refer to press release on the New York State Department of Health’s web page.

Federal Legislative Updates

Telestoke Legislation Gains Momentum

Medicare currently only reimburses for telestroke consultations in rural areas. The AAN, working jointly with the American Stroke Association, has had legislation introduced in the House to expand this coverage regardless of location. As a result of these efforts this legislation was incorporated into a pending telehealth package developed by a group of bipartisan Senators led by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), and was included in the small list of potential changes being considered to improve care for chronic conditions by the Senate Finance Committee.


State Legislative Updates

AAN Monthly Updates

2016 State Meetings

Virginia Neurological Society – January 28-31
Texas Neurological Society Winter Conference – February 5-7
North Carolina Neurological Society February 19-20
South Carolina Neurological Association – February 26-27
Commonwealth Neurological Society – May 21
Texas Neurological Society Summer Conference – July 15-16
Florida Society of Neurology – September 30-October 2
**View a list of all 2016 meetings

Medical Economics Update

Congress passed the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act, which will help ensure flexibility in applying for the hardship exception for Meaningful Use for the 2015 electronic health record reporting period that will affect 2017 payment adjustments. The bill, S. 2425, includes a provision that will likely grant every physician who applies by March 15, 2016, with a hardship exception in order to avoid penalties being assessed in 2017.

Next month, the AAN kicks off the 2016 Practice Management Webinar series. AAN members get access to all 10 webinars for only $189. Attend the live presentation and ask the expert your questions, or view the recording at your convenience. The 2016 Practice Management Webinar Series will help you gain valuable insight and tools to help navigate through the changes that lay ahead in the new health care landscape.

For more information on AAN practice resources visit our webpage.

MSSNY Monthly Updates

Alert To Physicians Aggrieved By Health Republic

If you have claims outstanding with Health Republic, please take a moment to click on this link which will bring you to MSSNY’s grassroots action center and a letter which you can send to your elected State Senator and Assemblyman to call for action to assure that physicians and other healthcare stakeholders are paid for services rendered to patients of the now defunct Health Republic.

MSSNY continues to have regular communication with key state officials regarding how the wind-down of Health Republic will occur, and at what level and when payment can expect to be received.  MSSNY also continues to share with key legislators and the media our collective concerns regarding the severe consequences to physicians’ practices as a result of the collapse of Health Republic, and advocating for a special fund to assure physician claims for care provided to HR-insured patients are fully paid.

This includes sharing the results of our survey of nearly 1,000 respondents, which has generated extensive media coverage from across New York State, including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.  Please add your voice to these efforts to better assure that physicians are not left holding the proverbial bag!

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