Archives for July 2015

New Guidelines Aims to Optimize Imaging Strategies for “Holes in the Heart”

Read release here.

Recommendations Aim to Improve Care for Heart Failure Patients with LVADs

Read release here.

Remember to Sign Up for ASE’s August Live Guideline-based Webinar

Join Raymond Stainback MD, FASE, Medical Director, Non-Invasive Cardiology of the Texas Heart Institute, on Wednesday, August 19 at 1:00 pm Eastern Time for an interactive live webinar, as he reviews the ASE publication: Echocardiography in the Management of Patients with Left Ventricular Assist Devices: Recommendations from the American Society of Echocardiography.

During this live webinar, provided by ASE, Dr. Stainback will describe the current FDA-approved surgically implanted long duration left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) and list the five distinct phases of care in which echocardiography is used for LVAD patient management. He will locate within the LVAD guideline, the pertinent echo exam protocol and safety concerns associated with each phase of care. Be sure to reserve a spot now so you do not miss out on this opportunity for exclusive echocardiography updates and CME.

To ensure your FREE registration for this event, please follow these three simple steps:

  1. Log on to your ASE Member Portal with your ASE username (email) and password.
  2. Select “ASEUniversity and CME Credits” on the left.
  3. Once logged on to ASEUniversity, select “Live Webinars” on the left and “Register” found in the Live Webinar Event Summary.

ASE Congratulates Members Who are Among the First to Achieve the Advanced Cardiac Sonographer Designation

Read release here.

Echocardiography Experts Receive Special Distinction

Read release here.

Still need to claim CME from ASE 2015?

Learn how to claim your CME from ASE 2015 here.

Modest Changes in Echo Professional Fees But Significant Changes in Hospital Outpatient Echo Payment Proposed by Medicare for 2016 (7/10/15)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released proposed changes to the Medicare allowances for physicians’ services paid under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and services provided by hospital outpatient departments paid under the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS). If the changes are adopted as proposed, the amounts paid for physicians services (Professional and Technical Components) under the PFS would remain relatively unchanged in 2016, but hospitals would experience significant changes in the amounts paid by Medicare for the overhead, supplies, equipment, and non-physician personnel costs associated with outpatient echos. Read more here.

CMS Medicare Physician Payment Schedule Proposed Rule Released

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2016 Medicare Physician Payment Schedule Proposed Rule proposed rule. View it here.

The CMS Fact Sheet can be found here.  ASE is analyzing these recommendations and will share a more detailed and targeted analysis soon.

CMS and AMA announce efforts to help get ready for ICD-10

The American Medical Association and CMS jointly announced that an agreement has been reached on important elements of a “grace period” for the October 1, 2015, implementation of the ICD-10 diagnosis code set.

In guidance that is being transmitted, CMS announced that:

  • For a one year period starting October 1, Medicare claims will not be denied solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis codes provided, as long as the physician submitted an ICD-10 code from an appropriate family of codes. In addition, Medicare claims will not be audited based on the specificity of the diagnosis codes as long as they are from the appropriate family of codes. This policy will be followed by Medicare Administrative Contractors and Recovery Audit Contractors.
  • To avoid potential problems with mid-year coding changes in CMS quality programs (PQRS, VBM and MU) for the 2015 reporting year, physicians using the appropriate family of diagnosis codes will not be penalized if CMS experiences difficulties in accurately calculating quality scores (i.e., for PQRS, VBM, or Meaningful Use). CMS will continue to monitor implementation and adjust the duration if needed.
  • CMS will establish an ICD-10 Ombudsman to help receive and triage physician and provider problems that need to be resolved during the transition.
  • CMS will authorize advanced payments if Medicare contractors are unable to process claims within established time limits due to problems with ICD-10 implementation.

The October 1 deadline for implementation of the ICD-10 code set is fast approaching, and time is running out for physician practices to complete their preparation. The AMA has a broad range of materials available on its web site to help physicians prepare for the October 1 deadline. For additional information please visit here.

CMS releases the proposed HOPPS rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed rule to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems.The proposed rule also includes important proposed changes to the Two Midnight Rule for CY 2016. See this related fact sheet for detailed information on this rule and click here to view the full detailed fact sheet on CMS changes. ASE is analyzing these recommendations and will share a more detailed and targeted analysis soon.