Related Stories

Will You Get a Medicare Bonus or Pay Cut Next Year? - 07/11/2019

 If you participated in the 2018 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under the Quality Payment Program (QPP), it’s now possible to check whether you’ll receive a Medicare payment bonus or cut next year.  Physicians should check their 2018 MIPS performance feedback and 2020 payment adjustment as soon as possible in case the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made mistakes when calculating your data, which happened last year. 


Problem With Medicare’s PECOS Being Resolved, Officials Say - 07/11/2019

A software update to Medicare’s Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) implemented last month has created problems associated with existing and new group reassignments. Because of this, data from PECOS to the Multi-Carrier System for these changes have been delayed for all Medicare Administrative Contractors.


United Healthcare Cuts Consults - 07/01/2019

United Healthcare is eliminating payment for consults in two phases – one that took effect June 1 for certain services, and their complete elimination starting in October. The change is an effort to align with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services policy that eliminated payment for most consults in 2010, but it’s going to make it more difficult for many specialists to get compensated for the extra time and work those services require.


False Impression: Medicine Says Medicare Report Inflates Success of Quality Program - 06/14/2019

High participation, “significant strides,” overwhelming success. That was the picture the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services painted in a March report on the first year of the Quality Payment Program. But a closer look by the Texas Medical Association raises serious doubts about CMS’ numbers, transparency, and cheerleading – so much so that TMA and seven other state medical associations are asking the agency to rescind the report.


Doctor’s Order A Must For Lab Tests - 05/29/2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is paying attention to claims for these lab services because it has found they were paid in error in 2018 by some $28 million. For routine venipuncture, medical necessity errors accounted for virtually all the improper payments. For urinalysis, it was insufficient documentation.


Medicare Muzzle? New Rules May Make Physicians Reluctant to Speak Up - 05/28/2019

New Medicare rules on local coverage determinations may make physicians reluctant to speak their minds.


Use Modifiers to Override Correct Coding Initiative Edits - 05/28/2019

Correct Coding Initiative Edits Now Free on Internet


Code Carefully for Bilateral Procedures - 05/02/2019

Coding for bilateral procedures can be confusing. Many payers accept CPT modifier 50 as an indicator of a bilateral procedure, but they differ in how they apply it to their coding and payment policies.


Guide to Insurance Overpayments and Refund Requests - 04/29/2019

Use this guide to help you and your staff properly assess refund requests from health plans.


Make Sure These Medicare Missteps Didn’t Affect Your Claims - 04/16/2019

Because of all of the policies, edits, determinations, rules, and revisions, Medicare’s claims processing sometimes goes awry for certain codes, fees, or other specific claim elements. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reports these errors and their fixes on a regular basis.


National Specialty Societies With MACRA Information - 03/27/2019

To help you get the best information possible, TMA has identified direct links to MACRA news, resource centers, education, and advocacy from national specialty societies. Visit your specialty society online for information specific to your specialty, setting, and practice.


Security Risk Analysis for HIPAA — and Medicare/Medicaid? - 03/08/2019

Do you need to conduct a security risk analysis or review of your practice in the next 72 days?


Medicare Enrollment Application Revised - 03/04/2019

A new Medicare enrollment application form for physicians and nonphysician practitioners will go into effect May 1.


How to File a Medicare Extended Repayment Plan - 03/04/2019

  Extended repayment plans (ERPs) are an option for returning overpaid money to Medicare. Ideally, you should request an ERP immediately after receiving the initial demand letter. However, you can request an extended payment plan any time while the overpayment is outstanding. 


Watch Those Extra Fees For Medicare Patients - 03/04/2019

Watch Those Extra Fees For Medicare Patients


Use New G Codes for Medicare Therapy Claims - 03/04/2019

Starting with services dated Jan. 1, 2013, physicians have to report new, nonpayable G codes and related modifiers on Medicare claims for outpatient physical, speech, and occupational therapy.


Texas Clinics Repay Medicare for Improper Claims - 03/04/2019

Several Texas dialysis clinics in El Paso and the Dallas-Fort Worth area have had to repay Medicare for treating people in the country illegally.


How's Novitas Doing? - 03/04/2019

Medicare wants to know what you think of the job Novitas Solutions is doing administering the Medicare program in Texas.


Where Do We Go From Here With Our Health Care System? - 03/04/2019

To say that Medicare works well, denies the fact that in many patients are no longer able to go to the doctor of their choice. In fact, even finding a doctor is difficult. Additionally, many doctors no longer participate in the Medicare program. This program is only one step away from a single payer health care system, which was once referred to as socialized medicine.


Cornered: Proposed Medicare Fee Overhaul Could Box In Doctors - 02/05/2019

Proposed overhaul to Medicare payments for complex patient care visits and same-day office-based procedures could box in Texas physicians.


SB 418: Prompt Pay Final Rules - 01/24/2019

SB 418: Prompt Pay Final Rules


Use Transitional Care Management CPT Codes - 01/10/2019

Two new CPT codes for transitional care management services are in effect, and Medicare accepts them. But read the Medicare rules carefully because they vary from the CPT guide.


New Options for Medicare’s 2019 Quality Payment Program - 01/08/2019

Just when you thought no one could make the Quality Payment Program any more complicated, the agency that runs the program has done just that. Beginning in 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will split the QPP’s advanced alternative payment model (APM) track into two options: the original Medicare Option, and the new All-Payer Combination Option.


Review Your Physician Compare Data Before Jan. 7 - 12/20/2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently opened its Physician Compare preview period, which will allow you to check out your 2017 QPP performance data and 2016 clinician utilization data before it’s publicly reported on Physician Compare in early 2019. CMS will close the preview period on Dec. 31, so you’ll want to review your information and check for errors as soon as possible.


New Rules, Free CME: 2019 Medicare Payments - 12/18/2018

As you’ve probably seen, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its final 2019 Medicare physician fee schedule and Quality Payment Program rule in November. TMA policy experts have analyzed the final Medicare rule and created a two-part webinar series to help practices get up to speed and in line with the latest CMS requirements.