Your Government at Work


HHS Proposes Two Rules for Greater Access to EHI

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) proposed two new rules that would give patients access to their electronic health information (“EHI”).  The first rule would require Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare Advantage, and Affordable Care Act exchange insurers to provide enrollees with electronic access to their health information.  This rule would also require affected insurers and health care providers to use open data sharing technologies to support patients as they move between different health plans.  The second rule would require health care providers to allow patients to access their EHI electronically at no cost to them.  The proposed rule seeks comments on what types of pricing information should be included in patients’ EHI to help consumers better understand how much they are paying for health care services.  Comments will be accepted through early April.


Joint Commission Response to CMS Request for Information

On January 30, 2019, The Joint Commission submitted a response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) Request for Information related to Medicare-approved accrediting organizations and the provision of fee-based consultative services for Medicare-participating providers and suppliers.  In the response, the Joint Commission addressed issues raised by CMS pertaining to, among others, the type of fee-based consulting services provided as an accrediting organization to the facilities it accredits and whether conflicts of interest exist as an accrediting organization providing fee-based consulting services.


MIPS Preliminary Eligibility Status Now Available

According to CMS, clinicians can now look up their preliminary eligibility status for the 2019 performance period for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (“MIPS”), one of two payment pathways under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.  Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified registered nurse anesthetists are required to participate in MIPS for 2019 unless they annually bill $90,000 or less in Medicare Part B allowed charges.  CMS will update the tool later this year to reflect final eligibility status based on claims submitted through September 2019.