2015 Medicare Penalties for PQRS
NASW Practice Alert by Mirean Coleman, LICSW, CT Jan 14, 2015
In December 2014, clinical social workers who are Medicare providers may have received letters from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which informed them of a penalty in 2015 for not using the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2013. PQRS was established by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (TRHCA). It is a voluntary quality reporting program for Medicare which was first implemented during the period of July 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007.
Beginning in 2013, a penalty was established for clinical social workers and other Medicare providers who did not report performance measures. The penalty is 1.5 percent of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) in 2015 for not using measures in 2013. Clinical social workers who did not use PQRS in 2013 will receive a 1.5 percent reduction in reimbursement from Medicare during the period of January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. At this time, there is not an appeal program for the reduction if you did not use PQRS in 2013.
Follow this link to read the full alert.
Faith Leaders Call For Universal Health Care
VT Digger Jan. 15 2015
Faith leaders gathered at the Statehouse before the governor’s budget address Thursday, calling universal health care a moral imperative.
“Health care as a human right is basic compassion,” said Rabbi Joshua Chason from the Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington and president of Vermont Interfaith Action.
“Basic compassion is the essence of all religious and ethical traditions,” he added.
“The bottom line is that we are commanded by our faith and ethical traditions to have enough self respect and mutual respect to accord all of our neighbors the right to accessible affordable quality health care,” Chason said. The problem is not that it’s too expensive or complex, but a lack of political will to prioritize a “moral economy” that would afford health care to all, he said, condemning Gov. Peter Shumlin’s decision to sideline a public program as a failure.
The problem is not that it’s too expensive or complex, but a lack of political will to prioritize a “moral economy” that would afford health care to all, he said, condemning Gov. Peter Shumlin’s decision to sideline a public program as a failure.
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Kevin Mullin & Ann Pugh: Vermont needs an Office of Child Advocate
VT Digger Jan 2015
One of our community and state’s most essential responsibilities is protecting Vermont’s children. As members of the Legislative Committee on Child Protection, we have spent the summer and fall hearing from Vermonters from the four corners of the state with concerns about Vermont’s system for protecting our most vulnerable children from abuse and neglect. Many of those who testified called for more public accountability and oversight of our state’s child protection system. We agree
An Office of Child Advocate/Child Ombudsman would provide just the kind of nonbiased, public oversight we and others believe is needed — consistent monitoring of the work of the state agencies from the outside, while protecting the confidentiality of those involved in the system. Vermont is the only state in New England without such an Office of Child Advocate/Child Ombudsman and we believe that now is the time for our state to join our neighbors and create one too.
We will advocate for the Legislative Committee on Child Protection to add the establishment of an Office of Child Advocate/Child Ombudsman to its list of recommendations for legislative action this January...
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