Oncology News Archives

CMS RELEASES 2020 FINAL RULES

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On Friday, November 1, 2019 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule, which includes updates to the Quality Payment Program (QPP), and the 2020 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System final rule. The final rules are effective on January 1, 2020. Medicare Physician Fee Schedule 2020 Final Rule  The finalized Calendar Year (CY) 2020 PFS conversion factor is $36.09, up slightly from the CY 2019 PFS conversion factor of $36.04. Below are some of the key changes for CY 2020 and CY 2021. CMS Reported Estimates of Payment Impact on PFS Services: Hematology/Oncology 0% Nurse Practitioner 0% Physician Assistant 0% Radiation Oncology 0% Rheumatology 0% Documentation – Evaluation and Management (E/M) Services for CY 2020 Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse-midwives can review and verify (sign and date), rather than re-document, notes made in…

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ASCO’s PracticeNET Monthly Calls

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Starting in August 2019, the ASCO PracticeNET program began hosting monthly calls. Every month PracticeNET hosts an hour-long call for physicians and administrative practice leaders. Below is the information from the recent and upcoming PracticeNET calls. December PracticeNET Call Register for the December 2019 PracticeNET call. December 19, 2019 at 4:00 PM Eastern. Agenda will be forthcoming November PracticeNET Call Register for the November 2019 PracticeNET call. November 21, 2019 at 4:00 PM Eastern. Agenda will be forthcoming October PracticeNET Call: Slides from the October 17 PracticeNET Call. Read and Track S.2543 – Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019. Read and Track H.R.3 – Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. Visit CMMI to read the Radiation Oncology Model proposed rule and fact sheet. Read ASTRO’s comment letter to CMMI on the RO Model. September 19 PracticeNET Call: Slides from the September 19, 2019 PracticeNET call – Quality Payment Program and Hospital Outpatient Reporting Program proposed changes for 2020…

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CMS PUBLIC LISTENING SESSION ON ONCOLOGY PAYMENT MODEL

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The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI – the Innovation Center) is announcing a Public Listening Session to gather feedback on value-based payment to support high-quality oncology care.  The Innovation Center says they are seeking to develop a potential new oncology payment and service delivery model that builds on the Oncology Care Model (OCM). The Innovation Center will release additional materials before the November 4, 2019 Public Listening Session. The Public Listening Session will take place on Monday, November 4, 2019 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm EST at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building (Great Hall) 200 Independence Avenue, SW Washington DC 20201. You can participate in person, via livestream video, or via teleconference.  Registration for the Public Listening Session is required. For additional information on the Public Listening Session visit https://innovation.cms.gov/resources/oncology-listening-session.html.  

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CMS QUARTERLY UPDATE TO HCPCS CODE SET

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MLN Matters Number: MM11296  provides the updates on the HCPCS code set for codes related to drugs and biologicals. The HCPCS code set is updated quarterly. On May 19, 2019 CMS announced a change in the current process of allowing only one opportunity per year to apply for new Level II codes. CMS is moving to a process with quarterly opportunities to apply for drugs, and semi-annual opportunities to apply for devices. Administrator Verma’s speech can be viewed at: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/speech-remarks-administrator-seema-verma-medical-device-manufacturers-association. CMS HCPCS Quarterly Updates including C-Codes, G-Codes, Q-Codes and J-Codes are available on the CMS website at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/HCPCSReleaseCodeSets/HCPCS-Quarterly-Update.html

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LATEST FDA APPROVALS

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FDA approved ado-trastuzumab emtansine (KADCYLA, Genentech, Inc.) for the adjuvant treatment of patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer (EBC) who have residual invasive disease after neoadjuvant taxane and trastuzumab based treatment. May 3, 2019. FDA Announcement: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/resources-information-approved-drugs/fda-approves-ado-trastuzumab-emtansine-earlybreast-cancer. KADCYLA was granted breakthrough therapy designation for the adjuvant treatment of patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer who have residual disease after pre-operative systemic treatment. A description of FDA expedited programs is in the Guidance for Industry: Expedited Programs for Serious Conditions-Drugs and Biologics.  

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ONE WEEK LEFT TO REVIEW/DISPUTE PRE-PUBLICATION CMS OPEN PAYMENTS

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Open Payments is a national disclosure program that promotes a more transparent and accountable health care system by making the financial relationships between applicable manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) and health care providers (physicians and teaching hospitals) available to the public. Pre-publication review and dispute for program year 2018 Open Payments data is available through May 15. CMS will publish program year 2018 data and updates to the previous program years’ data in June 2019. Physician and teaching hospital review of the data is voluntary, but strongly encouraged. Resources: • Open Payments website • An audio recording and transcript for the March 13 Medicare Learning Network call on Open Payments: Transparency and You. • Records eligible for review and dispute: All records submitted during the submission period of the current calendar year, including newly edited, submitted, and re-attested records from previous calendar years; See the Physician and Teaching Hospital…

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CMS RELEASES PHYSICIAN FEE SCHEDULE FINAL RULE FOR 2019

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On November 1, 2018, CMS released the CY 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) rule. In the final rule, CMS postpones most of the documentation and payment changes to evaluation and management (E/M) codes until calendar year (CY) 2021. CY 2019 & 2020 – E/M documentation rules finalized for CY 2019 & 2020 will allow providers to continue to document based on 1995 or 1997 documentation guidelines. Changes to documentation for CY 2019 & CY 2020 include the following: History and Exam – for established patients, providers are only required to focus on what has changed since the last visit or pertinent items that have not changed. Providers must still review prior data, update the information as necessary, and indicate in the medical record that they have done so. Chief Complaint and History – for both new and established patients, practitioners may review and verify the chief complaint and history entered by ancillary staff…

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CMS Releases Proposed 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule

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CMS RELEASES 2019 PROPOSED PHYSICIAN FEE SCHEDULE RULE On Thursday, July 12, CMS released the 2019 Proposed Physician Fee Schedule Rule. Below are a few of the proposed changes of interest to oncologists. https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-14985.pdf Streamlining Evaluation and Management (E/M) Payment and Reducing Clinician Burden In the Proposed Policy, Payment, and Quality Provisions Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Calendar Year 2019 Fact Sheet, CMS states they are proposing to streamline E/M payment through their proposals: • To allow practitioners to choose to document office/outpatient E/M visits using medical decision-making or time instead of applying the current 1995 or 1997 E/M documentation guidelines, or alternatively practitioners could continue using the current framework; • To expand current options by allowing practitioners to use time as the governing factor in selecting visit level and documenting the E/M visit, regardless of whether counseling or care coordination dominate the visit; • To expand…

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SNF SERVICES DENIED IN ERROR TO BE REPROSSED AUTOMATICALLY BY THE MACs

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On March 1, 2018 CMS notified MACs of a Common Working File (CWF) issue causing certain allowable services with dates of service January 1, 2018 through February 27, 2018 to deny incorrectly indicating the service is part of Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Consolidated Billing (CB). In some cases overpayment demand letters were issued for claims that were previously paid. The CWF issue was corrected on February 27, 2018. CMS says no provider action is necessary at this time. Affected claims will be reprocessed and recoupment of any money demanded for previously paid claims due to this issue will be halted and/or returned to providers.

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MEDICALLY UNLIKELY EDIT DENIALS REPORTED

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On March 6, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a supplemental biologics license application updating the nivolumab (Opdivo®) dosing schedule to include 480 mg infused every four weeks (Q4W). If you are using the new Q4W dosing schedule be aware that HCPCS J9299 nivolumab, 1 mg has a current Medically Unlikely Edit (MUE) value of 440 units. An MUE for a HCPCS/CPT code is the maximum units of service that a provider would report under most circumstances for a single beneficiary on a single date of service. MUEs are designed to prevent billing errors by denying items billed above the established number of units. In this case, J9299 would deny for units billed over the established MUE value of 440 (based on previous prescribing information). The MUE files are updated quarterly, in the meantime, MUE denials for J9299 claims of more than 440mgs should…

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