Practice Management

Latest News:

12.19.16: Significant Changes Coming the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Registration Renewal Process

Effective January 1, 2017, the DEA is eliminating the informal grace period which the agency has previously allowed for registrants to renew their registrations.  Only one renewal notice will be sent to each registrant’s mailing address approximately 65 days prior to the expiration date; no other reminders to renew the DEA registration will be provided. 

The notice also advises that online capability to renew a DEA registration after the expiration date will no longer be available, and that failure to file a renewal application by midnight EST of the expiration date will result in the “retirement” of the registrant’s DEA number.  The original DEA registration will not be reinstated.  In addition, paper renewal applications will not be accepted the day after the expiration date.  If DEA has not received the paper renewal application by the day of the expiration date, mailed in renewal applications will be returned and the registrant will have to apply for a new DEA registration

To read more, click here.

12.19.16: New York in the Midst of Large Outbreak of Mumps
Article courtesy of Politico

There have been 63 cases of mumps reported at SUNY New Paltz during the fall semester, according to the state’s Department of Health, part of a nationwide spike in the virus that has state and federal officials reminding people of the importance of vaccinations.

Through Dec. 9, New York State reported 147 confirmed or probable cases of mumps, the most since 2010 and a six-fold increase from the 24 cases documented in all of 2015. Across the country, there have been more than 4,000 cases of mumps, the most since 2006 and more than three times as many as were reported in 2015. Roughly half of those cases come from a rapidly growing outbreak in Arkansas, which has public health officials concerned because the majority of people suffering symptoms have been immunized.

To read more, please click here

12.19.16: CMS Updates Guidance Regarding Registering Off-campus Outpatient Departments
Article courtesy of Nixon-Peabody

On December 5, 2016, CMS issued guidance reminding hospital providers to identify off-campus outpatient departments correctly on the CMS 855A enrollment form. Such guidance comes after CMS issued its final rules implementing the site-neutral payments provisions of Section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The rules provided, and the CMS guidance noted, that, effective January 1, 2017, non-excepted off-campus departments of hospital providers will be paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rather than under the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System.

To read more, click here.

12.19.16: New York DOH Weekly Influenza Report

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) collects, compiles, and analyzes information on influenza activity year round in New York State (NYS) and produces this weekly report during the influenza season (October through the following May.)
  • There were 351 laboratory-confirmed influenza reports, a 29% increase over last week.
  • Of the 1,489 specimens submitted to NYS WHO/NREVSS laboratories, 49 (3.29%) were positive for influenza.
  • Of the 27 specimens tested at Wadsworth Center, 2 were positive for influenza and they were influenza A (H3).
  • Reports of percent of patient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI3) from ILINet providers was 1.67%, which is below the regional baseline of 3.00%.
  • The number of patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza was 95 a 2% decrease over last week.
  • There have been no influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported this season.

To read the full report, click here

12.19.16: End-of-Rotation Handoffs Associated with In-hospital Mortality, Study Finds
Article courtesy of ACP Hospitalist

End-of-rotation transitions may heighten mortality risk in internal medicine inpatient care, a study found.

To examine the association of end-of-rotation house staff transitions with mortality among hospitalized patients, researchers conducted a multicenter cohort study of 230,701 patients admitted to internal medicine services in 10 Veterans Affairs hospitals. Patients who were admitted prior to an end-of-rotation transition and died or were discharged within 7 days following transition were stratified by type of transition (intern only, resident only, or intern and resident) and compared with all other discharges (control). An alternative analysis comparing admissions within 2 days before a transition with admissions on the same 2 days 2 weeks later was also conducted.

The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes included 30-day and 90-day mortality and readmission rates. A difference-in-difference analysis assessed whether outcomes changed after 2011 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) duty-hour regulation changes. The study was published by JAMA on Dec. 6.

To read more, please click here

12.8.16 - National Influenza Vaccination Week: What Does Medicare Cover?

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) takes place from December 4-10 andhighlights the importance of continuing influenza vaccination through the holiday season and beyond. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receive an influenza vaccine every year. NIVW is a good time to communicate the importance of vaccination for people at high risk of developing serious influenza-related complications, including people with chronic health conditions and people aged 65 years and older. Now is a great time to vaccinate – to protect your patients, your staff, and yourself.

Medicare Part B covers one influenza vaccination and its administration each influenza season for Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare may cover additional seasonal influenza vaccinations if medically necessary.

For the 2016-2017 season, the CDC recommends use of the Inactivated Influenza Vaccine (IIV) or the Recombinant Influenza Vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray influenza vaccine (Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV)) should not be used during 2016-2017.

For More Information:

Influenza vaccination is promoted on your patients’ Medicare Summary Notices. Visit the Preventive Services website to learn more about Medicare-covered

11.23.16: Late Breaking News Regarding Employee Overtime Rules

On November 22, 2016, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction preventing the US Department of Labor from implementing regulations revising employee overtime payment rules. Until resolved, this delays the federal regulatory changes from going into effect on December 1, 2016.

For New York however, the State Department of Labor has proposed a gradual charge in minimum salary levels defining exempt employees, expected to go into effect on December 31, 2016.

We will keep members informed as details change.

11.23.16: In Need of Assistance Preparing for the New Value Based Payment Models?

Are you frazzled with your practice transformation efforts?  Could you use some help? Value based payments are just around the corner and the NY Chapter ACP is committed to helping you prepare:

The CMS Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI) is designed to support clinician practice transformation over the next 4 years with support from Practice Transformation Networks (PTNS) and Support and Alignment Networks (SANS).

The NY Chapter is working with the ACPSAN to provide the tools and resources that eligible practices need. We can connect you to a Practice Transformation Network that will coach, mentor, and assist you in developing core competencies necessary to transform your practice and thrive in an emerging healthcare environment that emphasizes value of care. The PTN embraces and supports the "quadruple aim" of better care, better health, lower costs, and greater provider satisfaction.

If you are in need of assistance and currently use a 2014 Certified Electronic Health Record and are not currently participating in a Medicare Shared Savings Program, Pioneer ACO program, Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Program, or Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative please contact Lisa Noel, Mgr. Practice Support Services at or 518-427-0366.

11.23.16: NYS Department of Health Releases Influenza Stat Sheet

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) collects, compiles, and analyzes information on influenza activity year round in New York State (NYS) and produces a weekly report during the influenza season (October 1 through the following May 1)

Influenza Report During the Week Ending November 12, 2016;

  • Influenza activity level was categorized as geographically sporadic (Small numbers of lab-confirmed cases of influenza reported). Sporadic activity has been reported for six consecutive weeks.
  • There were 77 laboratory-confirmed influenza reports, a 15% decrease over the prior week.
  • Of the 1,199 specimens submitted to NYS WHO/NREVSS laboratories, 9 (0.75%) were positive for influenza.
  • Of the specimens tested at Wadsworth Center, none were positive for influenza.
  • Reports of percent of patient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI3) from ILINet providers was 0.55%, which is below the
  • regional baseline of 3.00%.
  • The number of patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza was 38, a 31% increase over the prior week.
  • There have been no influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported this season.

To read the full report, please click here.

11.10.16: CMS Issues Final Rule for Updated Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Payment Policies

On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that updates payment policies and payment rates for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2017. CMS finalized a number of new PFS policies that will improve Medicare payment for those services provided by primary care physicians for patients with multiple chronic conditions, mental and behavioral health issues, and cognitive impairment conditions.

In addition, the final rule addresses other topics related to the Medicare program, enrollment requirements for providers and suppliers in Medicare Advantage, and the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) expanded model. For more details on the Diabetes Prevention Program model test, visit the fact sheet for that portion of the rule.

The CY 2017 PFS final rule is one of several rules that reflect a broader Administration-wide strategy to create a health care system that results in better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. Changes highlighted by CMS include:

  • Payment Accuracy for Primary Care and Care Coordination:  CMS created new codes that separately pay for chronic care management and transitional care management services, and solicited public comment on additional policies the Agency should pursue. After considering the public comments received, for CY 2017, CMS is finalizing a number of coding and payment changes to better identify and value primary care, care management, and cognitive services. To read the full list of coding and payment changes, click here.
  • Improvements to Mental and Behavioral Health Coding: The ability to make separate payments using new codes to pay primary care practices that use interprofessional care management resources to treat patients with behavioral health conditions is now an option. Several of these codes describe services within behavioral health integration models of care, including the Psychiatric Collaborative Care Model that involves care coordination between a psychiatric consultant or behavioral health specialist, behavioral health care manager, and the primary care clinician, which has been shown to improve quality of care.
  • Cognitive Impairment Care Assessment and Planning:  Separate payments using a new code to describe the comprehensive assessment and care planning for patients with cognitive impairment. (e.g., for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s).

10.20.16: The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Issues New Guidance on HIPAA
and Cloud Computing

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) continues to issue guidance to covered entities and business associates on discrete arrangements that implicate the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules (HIPAA Rules). Most recently, OCR released guidance on “HIPAA and Cloud Computing” accompanied by a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

The guidance affirms that a covered entity (or business associate ) may engage a cloud service provider (CSP) to store electronic protected health information (ePHI) or to create, receive or transmit ePHI on the covered entity’s (or business associate’s) behalf provided that the parties enter into a HIPAA-compliant business associate agreement. OCR cautions, however, that “a covered entity (or business associate) that engages a CSP should understand the cloud computing environment or solution offered by a particular CSP so that the covered entity (or business associate) can appropriately conduct its own risk analysis and establish risk management policies.”

OCR also clarifies that a CSP storing or maintaining encrypted ePHI on behalf of a covered entity or on behalf of a business associate is itself a business associate.

<<To read the full article, please click here

10.6.16: Physicians: You Can Now Access 2015 PQRS Feedback Reports and 2015 Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports 

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made available the 2015 Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Feedback Reports and 2015 Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs).  The PQRS Feedback Reports show your program year 2015 PQRS reporting results, including payment adjustment assessment for calendar year 2017. The 2015 Annual QRURs show how physician groups and physician solo practitioners performed in 2015 on the quality and cost measures used to calculate the 2017 Value Modifier as well as their 2017 Value Modifier payment adjustment.

How to Access the Reports:

  • An Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) account with the appropriate role is required for participants to obtain 2015 PQRS Feedback Reports and 2015 Annual QRURs.
  • If you already have an EIDM account, then follow the instructions provided here to sign up for the appropriate role in EIDM.
  • To find out if there is already someone who can access your PQRS Feedback Report and QRUR, contact the QualityNet Help Desk.
  • To access both reports or sign up for an EIDM account, visit the CMS Enterprise Portal and click “New User Registration” under “Login to CMS Secure Portal.” Instructions for signing up for an EIDM account are provided here.

Access and review your 2015 PQRS Feedback Report and 2015 Annual QRUR now to determine whether you are subject to the 2017 PQRS negative payment adjustment and the 2017 Value Modifier payment adjustment.

To read more, click here.

Last Updated 12.8.16

Practice Management Topics

Alternative Payment Models (APMS)

End of Life Care/
Advance Care Planning


I-STOP/ E-Prescribing

Geriatric Care

Health Information Technology


Legal Counsel's Forum

Medical Marijuana 

Medicare & Medicaid

Opioid Prescription Education

Practice Management Tools

Public Health and Education

Smoking Cessation

Sunshine Act

Highlighted Topic:

E-Prescribing Resources

NYACP has resources to assist you in all of your ISTOP and E-Rx implementation efforts.

New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians
744 Broadway, Albany NY 12207
Tel: 518-427-0366
Fax: 518-427-1991