MHA Today | April 28, 2016

April 28, 2016
MHA Today: News for Healthcare Leaders


MHA Today is provided as a service to members of the Missouri Hospital Association. Additional information is available online at MHAnet. Connect with us on LinkedIn.

In This Issue
New Tort Reform Law Concerns Expert Witnesses
State House Repeats Amendment Barrage
TJC Releases New Fire Protection Standard Module
TJC To Delete 131 Accreditation Standards
CMS Releases MACRA Proposed Rule
MLN Connects Provider eNews Available
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Set For April 30
USPSTF Posts Final Research On Screening Prostate Cancer


Advocate
state and federal health policy developments


New Tort Reform Law Concerns Expert Witnesses

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

The General Assembly has completed its enactment of Senate Bill 591. The bill revises standards governing the use of expert witnesses in many court proceedings, including those involving medical malpractice claims. The new standards mimic those used in federal courts and most other states. The legislation moves to the governor for approval or veto.

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State House Repeats Amendment Barrage

Staff Contact: Daniel Landon

During the past several days, the state House of Representatives considered four Senate bills and added a bevy of health care bills to each through the amendment process. The set of amendments added to each bill is similar, but not identical. The underlying bills include SB 677, SB 608, SB 635 and SB 607. The most likely fate of these “Christmas Tree” bills is that they will be reviewed by groups of legislators appointed to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate versions of each bill. Some amendments will be retained, others discarded. Some, all, or none of the bills ultimately may be enacted, depending on the ebb and flow of legislative debate during the closing weeks of the legislative session. All of the newly-expanded bills are targets for potential legal challenge or gubernatorial veto by encompassing an unconstitutionally disparate set of topics.

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Regulatory News
the latest actions of agencies monitoring health care


TJC Releases New Fire Protection Standard Module

Staff Contacts: Sarah Willson or Jackie Gatz

The Joint Commission’s new fire protection standard module identifies 25 life safety and environment of care elements of performance from eight standards that have been frequently cited during survey activities throughout the past four years. TJC’s physical environment portal, in partnership with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, aims to provide helpful information to improve compliance.

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TJC To Delete 131 Accreditation Standards

Staff Contact: Sarah Willson

The Joint Commission has announced major changes to its hospital accreditation standards and elements of performance. TJC released a prepublication list of the 131 requirements, along with the rationale behind deletion. The changes will take effect Friday, July 1. The deletions are part of an effort to improve the accreditation process.

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CMS Releases MACRA Proposed Rule

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a proposed rule which would implement provisions of the Medicare Access and Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act related to the physician payment system. The new regulation establishes a two-track physician payment system, offering the choice of aligning with an alternative payment model or being subject to a quality performance scoring system. Comments must be received by 4 p.m. Monday, June 27. Notable points about the two tracks include the following.

  • Merit-based Incentive Payment System
    • 2017 performance will be used to set payment adjustments for 2019.
    • Quality measures include four performance categories: quality, advancing care information, clinical practice improvement activities and cost. Measures and activities vary by category and include outcome measures, performance measures and global and population measures.
    • Meaningful use will be replaced by the term “advancing care information.”
  • Alternative Payment Models
    • Initially, Medicare Advantage would not qualify as an APM.
    • CMS provides a listing of what is considered an APM in Table 32 of the proposed rule. Nominal risk standard must be met to be considered an APM (marginal risk set at 30 percent, minimum loss rate set at 4 percent, total risk set at 4 percent).


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MLN Connects Provider eNews Available

Staff Contact: Andrew Wheeler

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issues updates to MLN Connects Provider eNews. eNews includes information about national provider calls, meetings, events, announcements and other MLN educational product updates. The latest issue provides updates and summaries of the following.

  • proposed fiscal year 2017 payment and policy changes
    • inpatient rehabilitation facilities
    • skilled nursing facilities
    • hospice
  • 2015 mid-year quality and resource use reports available
  • next generation accountable care organization model letter of intent deadline extended to Friday, May 20
  • comments requested by Sunday, May 15, regarding new electronic health record measure


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Quality and Population Health


National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Set For April 30

Staff Contact: Alison Williams

Unused or expired medications are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. The rate of prescription opioid abuse is considered to be an epidemic. The U.S. and the Office of National Drug Control Policy note that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, often times unknowingly. Disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash poses additional safety, health and environmental hazards. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, April 30, offers the public a chance to properly and safely dispose of unused or expired medications. For more information about take-back day and how to properly dispose of prescription drugs, visit the Drug Enforcement Administration’s website. RecycleSpot.org provides a list of drop-off locations and dates.

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USPSTF Posts Final Research On Screening Prostate Cancer

Staff Contact: Leslie Porth

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has posted a final research plan on screening for prostate cancer. The draft research plan for this topic was posted for public comment from Oct. 29 to Nov. 25, 2015. The task force reviewed all submitted comments and considered them when finalizing the research plan.

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Consider This ...

Thirty-three percent of children between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight, and 17 percent are obese.

Source: NPR