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2017 KMS News Updates

Legislature finally adjourns

capitol domeAfter 113 days, one day shy of the historically long 2015 session, legislators concluded their business and adjourned the 2017 session. The wrap-up session stretched from May 1 all the way through mid-June as legislators worked to reach agreement on state appropriations, a revenue package to fund the state deficit and a school funding formula to satisfy the Supreme Court ruling requiring equitable statewide funding.

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Wrap-up session wanes

capitol domeFriday, May 26, marked the 96th day of the Legislative Session and the third full week of the Wrap-Up Session. Though the work of the legislature has been limited to focus on K-12 funding, tax considerations and the budget, there has been little coalescing on any of these issues.

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Notifications regarding MIPS status on the way

CMS is reviewing claims and letting practices know which clinicians need to take part in MIPS, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. MIPS is a part of the new Quality Payment Program. Sometime this month, practices should expect to receive a letter from WPS GHA the Medicare Administrative Contractor that processes Medicare Part B claims for Kansas. The letter is expected to tell the participation status of each MIPS clinician associated with the Taxpayer Identification Number.

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Electronic death certificate usage improves

Kansas physicians are successfully making the transition to filing death certificates electronically, since the requirements changed January 1 of this year. The Office of Vital Statistics reports an impressive increase from fewer than 500 physicians using the VRVweb Electronic Death Record System in July 2016 to more than 2,700 users as of April 2017. Partnering organizations, the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, worked with facilities across the state to coordinate training opportunities to help physicians and staff comply with the mandate. These efforts have proven successful.

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KFMC seeks feedback regarding KanCare

The Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc., is conducting a KanCare Provider Experience Survey on behalf of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Division of Health Care Finance. The brief survey covers a variety of provider experience questions and is designed to help ensure that the KanCare program is as responsive and provider-friendly as possible. The survey is estimated to take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

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KanCare payment dispute process improved

Effective May 1, 2017 the state has updated the Reconsideration and Appeals process for providers disputing a denial of payment to the KanCare Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). This is welcome news as the timeframe for the Reconsideration process is now consistent as well as optional, and extends the Appeal timeframe to 60 days – up from 30 days.

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State seeks Medicaid medical director

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is seeking a Medicaid Medical Director (MMD). The MMD provides leadership and oversight for quality improvement and policy development, healthcare initiatives, medical review, pharmacy drug utilization and collaboration with partners.

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Summit on Quality: May 10, 2017

The Kansas Healthcare Collaborative, in joint partnership with the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, is pleased to announce the ninth annual Summit on Quality, scheduled for May 10, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita, Kansas. Registration is open through May 6, 2017.

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KanCare training available: May 16 and 18

The KanCare Managed Care Organizations (MCO) will be hosting a free collaborative session providing training for medical and institutional providers. All three MCOs will present and be available to answer questions and address issues you may be experiencing. Last year’s program was very well attended. This is a great opportunity for physician billing staff. The half-day programs will take place May 16 in Wichita and May 18 in Topeka. For more information about the program and to register check out the KMAP Bulletin.

Review your Open Payments data

The CMS Open Payments Program is required to collect information about payments a physician receives when a drug or device company gives a physician stocks, money for research, gifts, speaking fees, meals and other payments. Data about the payments is then shared on a public website. Before releasing this information to the public, you are given a period of time to review (and dispute if needed) any data reported about you.

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Health-related issues advance

With the exception of Medicaid expansion, the legislature has completed most of the work directly impacting health care providers. Over the April break, the Governor signed House Bill 2026, establishing meaningful process reforms for the state's managed care Medicaid program, KanCare.

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Wrap-up session begins May 1

On Monday May 1, the legislature reconvened for the so-called "wrap-up" or veto session. The April break allowed the Governor to receive the bills that advanced through the regular session and sign or veto them. Returning in May is designed to allow the legislature one last attempt to consider and override any bills vetoed by the Governor and to pass an omnibus budget reconciling previous appropriations with the cost of new legislation passed. Though that is the design, it has been a long time since the wrap-up session has worked that way.

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KHC Summit on Quality: May 10, 2017

The Kansas Healthcare Collaborative is pleased to announce the ninth annual Summit on Quality, scheduled for May 10, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita, Kansas.

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Submit nominations for KMS Board

In 2013, the KMS House of Delegates voted to change the organization's governance structure, create an 18-member Board of Trustees and establish a membership-wide election process.

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Legislature completes first phase of work

The 2017 regular legislative session adjourned last Friday after swift passage of a rescission bill to plug the 2017 state budget on the previous evening. Though the rescission bill had broad bipartisan support in both chambers, much difficult work remains for the so-called "veto session" when the legislature returns in May to consider those items the Governor has vetoed, or not yet resolved during the regular session. Tax policy, a court-mandated school finance plan for K-12 schools and a future budget plan have yet to be crafted and begin the bumpy road towards passage.

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Veto override on Medicaid expansion fails

The legislature reconvened after a three-day weekend, and the first order of business for the House of Representatives was the motion to override the Governor's veto of House Bill 2044, the Medicaid expansion bill. It takes a two-thirds super-majority, or 84 votes, in the House to override a veto. Despite significant leadership and effort from hospitals and support by the broader healthcare community, as well as citizens across the state, the vote fell three short of the required tally, and the Governor's veto was sustained.

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Celebrate National Doctors' Day

Historians note that on March 30, 1842, Dr. Crawford Long first used ether anesthesia to remove a tumor from the neck of a patient. In 1933, Eudora Almond, wife of Georgia physician Charles B. Almond, MD, chose that same date to honor physicians by sending greeting cards and placing flowers on the graves of deceased physicians. Her efforts were memorialized in 1991 when then-President George W. Bush proclaimed March 30 as National Doctors' Day. In his proclamation President Bush stated: "More than the application of science and technology, medicine is a special calling and those who have chosen this vocation in order to serve their fellow man understand the tremendous responsibility it entails."

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KHC Summit on Quality: May 10, 2017

The Kansas Healthcare Collaborative is pleased to announce the ninth annual Summit on Quality, scheduled for May 10, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita, Kansas.

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New RAC announced

CMS has awarded five new Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC) contracts. Three contractors will perform post-payment review of Part A and B Medicare fee-for-service claims for all provider types other than home health/hospice and Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS).

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Busy week for health care issues

Last Friday marked another important legislative deadline. Bills that have passed either the House or the Senate had until this deadline to have been considered and passed out of committee by the other chamber in order to remain alive for further consideration. This week is the last of the "regular" session, leaving only bills exempted (budget, taxes, etc.) from normal legislative deadlines for work during the wrap-up session in May.

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New issue available: Kansas Journal of Medicine

The Kansas Journal of Medicine–published by the KU School of Medicine–distributes original research, reviews, commentaries and case studies on all aspects of clinical medicine, health care delivery, health policy and medical education.

Preparing for MACRA: helpful resources

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) will combine current CMS programs and change how physicians are reimbursed. MACRA will measure physician performance across a broad set of standards, assessing quality, cost, clinical practice improvements and advancing care information. The law has many facets and KMS, along with our partners, want to help physicians prepare effectively.

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Turn-around impacts health-related bills

The first major deadline of the 2017 legislative session has passed. "Turn-around" is the date by which most bills must be passed by their chamber of origin; tax and spending bills are exempted from the rule. Many health-related issues have been considered this year but if they are not listed below, they are unlikely to advance unless they are amended into other, related bills.

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Several mumps outbreaks active in Kansas

The Kansas Department of Health & Environment has identified a number of active mumps outbreaks within our state and noted several in surrounding states.

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Medicaid expansion moves forward

The end of last week marked the first major legislative deadline. Unless a bill has been exempted from legislative deadlines–as most budget and spending bills are–it has to have made it through its house of origin to remain alive at this point in the session.

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Legislature faces first deadline

As we approach the first legislative deadline, the work of the legislature as it pertains to healthcare is coming into clearer focus. Unless a bill has been exempted from legislative deadlines by the House Speaker or Senate President, it must have had a hearing and passed the body of origin by the end of this week to remain "alive" for the remainder of the session. Though there have been a number of hearings on a variety of topics, the bulk of the work affecting the health care community has been focused on KanCare administrative simplification and standardization, restoring reimbursement rates for Medicaid providers, Medicaid expansion, immunization reporting and telemedicine.

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Legislative update: February 6, 2017

Heading in to the fourth week of session, the Health committees have continued to work at a rapid pace. Below you will find a list of key issues KMS is following on behalf of the physician community.

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Health-related bills on the move

Three weeks into the 2017 legislative session, bills are moving at a rapid pace and committees are considering a host of issues affecting Kansas physicians.

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2017 Legislative session begins

The Kansas Legislature convened on January 9 to begin the 90-day session. Of the 165 legislators, about a third of them are serving in their first term and all are preparing for the difficult task of balancing the state budget and funding necessary services. Committees have begun meeting and bills have already begun to advance through the process.

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