SFMS now has a new presence on the Internet with the newly revamped www.sfms.org.
The new site features:
- Physician finder tool and customizable physician page for each SFMS member
- New Advocacy section that includes regional, state, and national updates on priority bills and key wins
- More robust Membership section with full integration with SFMS’ member database to enable online application, renewal, event registration, and member information updates
- Commenting capability on the newly integrated SFMS blog to promote two-way communication and better user engagement
- Integration with Issuu to read San Francisco Medicine journal in e-magazine format
SFMS will be phasing out our blog on WordPress and posting new and pertinent health care news and events at the SFMS blog on our website, http://www.sfms.org/NewsPublication/SFMSBlog.aspx. Subscribers can also sign up for an RSS feed by visiting sfms.org and clicking on the “Get Aggregated RSS” link at the bottom of the page.
California physicians are reporting that the Medicare payments they are receiving in 2012 have been reduced for a failure to prescribe enough electronically in 2011—despite the fact that these physicians have filed hardship applications to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS responded to CMA inquiries that it was not able to process all hardship applications prior to January 1, although the agency says it has since approved or denied all of those exemption requests. This means that CMS has levied a 1 percent penalty for what it considers “noncompliant physicians.”
CMA is working with CMS to build clarity over whether penalties will apply to physician reimbursement rates going forward, and to ease confusion over the process in the future. For now, there is no official appeals process for the e-prescribing penalty program. However, CMS has expressed a willingness to work with individual physicians on concerns with the payment adjustments.
CMS encourages physicians who think they are receiving the e-prescribing penalty in error to contact its help desk. The QualityNet Help Desk can be reached by phone Monday through Friday, 7 am to 7 pm CST at (866) 288-8912 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avoid the 2013 penalty
On March 1, the agency reopened its hardship requests from physicians looking to avoid the 2013 e-prescribing penalty, which will grow to 1.5 percent. Physicians seeking waivers will have until June 30 to file exemption requests. A request for a feedback report, and an application for a hardship exemption, can be filed online by clicking on the Communications Support Page.
California has set a goal of having 10,000 eligible health care providers by June receive Medicaid incentive payments for demonstrating meaningful use of certified electronic health records, according to a CMS blog post published recently by National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari and CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
In the blog post, Mostashari and Tavenner wrote that they have set a goal of helping 100,000 health care providers qualify for Medicare or Medicaid incentive payments this year.
As of February, more than 59,000 eligible health care professionals and more than 2,000 hospitals had received Medicare or Medicaid incentive payments, they noted.
Mostashari and Tavenner wrote that many states, including California, “are partnering with local stakeholder organizations to make sure providers get the help and encouragement to achieve ‘meaningful use’ and assistance with overcoming any barriers that are blocking their progress”.
SFMS is partnering with Regional and Local Extension Centers to provide assistance with EHR adoption and implementation. REC and LEC support and serve health care providers to help them quickly become adept and meaningful users of EHRs. The target audience of RECs is primary care clinicians, but many RECs offer assistance to specialists, as well. If you need assistance as you look into transitioning to EHRs and participating in the CMS EHR Incentive Programs, consider contacting:
California Health Information Partnership and Services Organization (CalHIPSO)
Lumetra, San Francisco Local Extension Center
Are you a primary care provider looking for assistance with Meaningful Use and EHR? SFMS is partnering with Lumetra, a local extension center for San Francisco, to fill available slots for priority primary care providers (PPCPs) to receive subsidized services from CalHIPSO.
These openings will be competitive and enrolled on a first come first serve basis. The following conditions apply:
- The referred provider must be eligible for CalHIPSO services and MUST be able to reach Meaningful Use – No specialists.
- All of the enrollment spots (M1 credit) have been already filled. We are looking to replace Bay Area providers who have been enrolled, but have let us know that they will not be going live and/or reaching Meaningful Use.
- Since theses providers serve as replacements for providers who had already earned enrollment credit, we will not be able to pay the medical society for their enrollments.
Please contact Jeff Gutman at email@example.com or (415) 677-8447 to enroll reserve providers.
The eligible Bay Area counties include San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced.