Reporting quality measures for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) has been a reason to protest for many medical specialist societies. The good news is that Medicare listened and come Jan. 1, 2014 will allow them to determine quality measures for their specialty-specific physicians.
According to Modern Healthcare:
The rule represents a major victory for the specialty societies, which had protested a common set of quality measures that many said favored primary care and family physicians over specialists. CMS in 2015 will begin imposing penalties on physicians who fail to report to one of these new "qualified clinical directories,” which will satisfy requirements for participating in the agency’s Physician Quality Reporting System.
The new rule brings more incentives for physicians to participate. Arthur Lerner, M.D., of Technology Education Consulting in Healthcare said, “The rule change empowers societies, medical boards and healthcare organizations to create data registries for their members that would include their own CMS-approved quality measures,” according to Modern Healthcare. He added, “This would more closely address the quality of patient care that their members provide.”
In 2014, 400,000 are estimated to participate in PQRS and beginning in 2015, physicians who do not participate will be penalized 1.5 percent (based on part B charges in 2013).
For more information on the new rule and PQRS, go to the CMS website.
Source: Modern Healthcare
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has release the OIG Strategic Plan, 2014-2018. The plan highlights ways OIG can better achieve its mission to “Protect the integrity of Department of Health and Human Services programs and operations and the health and welfare of the people they serve.”
OIG's goal is to make sure that federal money is used appropriately and that HHS programs better serve the people who use them. According to the OIG Strategic Plan, 2014-2018, the
OIG's four goals over the next four years are:
- Fight Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
- Promote Quality, Safety, and Value
- Secure the Future
- Advance Excellence and Innovation
Look for areas in your healthcare organization where fraud, waste, and abuse area a concern. Target those areas with self auditing, and have a plan ready if you uncover erroneous reporting of physician services.
To see what the OIG has in store over the next four years and incorporate some of, read the OIG Strategic Plan, 2014-2018.
By Keith Drayer,
Vice President, Henry Schein Financial Services
year 2013 is fast coming to a close, and with the continued fiscal uncertainty
in Washington, no one can say for sure what changes are in store for 2014.
government’s need to generate more tax revenue and close what some perceive as “loopholes”
may spell the end of a highly favorable capital-purchasing environment with
accelerated equipment depreciation. In other words, "these are the good
old days" when it comes to advantageous tax treatment and depreciation,
and extremely favorable equipment financing options. Indeed, this may be the
time to upgrade to enhance practice efficiency.
Section 179 of the IRS tax code, which has been modified several times since
9/11 and the recession, practices are allowed to deduct all or part of the
purchase price of certain qualifying business purchases including equipment,
technology and off-the-shelf software.
The 2013 Section 179 deduction is $500,000, which begins to phase out at
$2 million. In addition, there is a
bonus depreciation deduction. The equipment must be in use by December 31,
this opportunity will be reduced when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve if
Congress decides to reduce this favored business equipment incentive for small
businesses, such as medical practices or laboratories. If that’s the case, on January 1, 2014,
Section 179 deduction amount will go from the $500,000 limit this year back to
the original cap of $25,000, with a phase out beginning at $200,000. Additionally,
there will be no bonus depreciation utilization in 2014. So if practices wait to make an equipment,
technology, or software purchase, they will lose a big tax deduction.
the example in the chart below.
Tax savings (if in 38% tax bracket)
result of Section 179 benefit
Equipment Net Cost (after tax
Amount Paid to the IRS for 2013 taxes $19,000
Without new equipment purchase
Henry Schein Financial Services
addition to depreciation and tax benefits, there are other reasons to move quickly on equipment purchases.
Faster ROI on New Equipment and
Technology - Any
equipment or technology purchases that enhance profitability are easier to justify
in this year’s favorable financial climate. Bringing equipment online sooner
will also increase practice efficiency and effectiveness, which may result in
incremental profitability, a higher level of quality care and greater patient
More Favorable Deferred Financing - The interest rate environment
is still historically low which makes financing large purchases attractive. Specialty
lenders are offering 100% financing as well as long-term deferrals for
equipment or technology with favorable deferred payment options of six to nine
months at 0% interest if paid within the deferred period.
Eliminate downtime from faulty or
– Still on the fence? Consider the loss
of revenue, equipment downtime and unhappy patients you may experience the next
time an outdated piece of equipment breaks down…again. If it needs to be replaced, the general rule
is “sooner is better than later”.
Before taking any action that may affect your
business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor as these are individual
circumstances, and, by means of this article, Henry Schein is not offering accounting, financial, legal, tax or other
professional advice or services.
All of the talk in healthcare news has been about the Health Insurance Marketplace website, where Americans and Canadians have access to affordable health insurance. What you may not be aware of is the website that cuts out the middle man, where doctors auction their medical services to the patient. From tummy tucks to female well visits and from fractionated chemotherapy to total knee replacements, you can look for a doctor to perform a service at a price that suits your needs.