NASL wrapped up April by submitting comments on the latest Draft US Core for Data Interoperability Version 3 (USCDI v3), which is a standardized set of health data comprised of groupings of data (i.e., data classes) and a more granular level of data (i.e., data elements) within each grouping. Read NASL’s comments.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Xavier Becerra, extended the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) for an additional 90 days, effective Saturday, April 16th, 2022, the date that the current PHE is set to expire. The new expiration date for the COVID-19 PHE is now set for Friday, July 15th, 2022. Read the official HHS announcement here.
CMS issued the FY2023 Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS) Proposed Rule, which will be published in the April 15 edition of the Federal Register and, when finalized, will take effect on October 1, 2023. The deadline for submitting comments on this Proposed Rule is June 10, 2022. (4/11/22)
In seven years, ALL baby boomers will be older than age 65 and for the first time in US history, seniors will outnumber children. Read the OpEd in McKnight's by NASL Exective Vice President Cynthia Morton and NASL Board member and Kno2 Chief Technology Officer Therasa Bell on overcoming challenges ahead for an already overburdened healthcare sector.
CMS issued updated guidance to State Survey Agency Directors (QSO-22-09-ALL) related to the federal vaccine mandate following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last week. According to the updated guidance, health care workers in the states affected by the Supreme Court’s decision to allow CMS to implement its COVID-19 vaccine mandate will now have until February 14th to receive their first dose, and March 15th to receive their second. CMS also says that a facility that has more than 80% of staff vaccinated and has a plan to achieve a 100% staff vaccination rate within 60 days of Feb. 14 will not be subject to enforcement actions. (1/14/22)
HHS Secretary extended the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency for an additional 90 days, through April 16, 2022. Read the official HHS announcement. (1/14/22)
The US Supreme Court issued a mixed ruling, holding that the CMS COVID-19 vaccine mandate should stand but blocking the OSHA vaccine mandate for private companies with over 100 employees. As a result of the ruling, the 24 states that issued temporary injunctions blocking the mandate must now move forward with its implementation while the matter plays out in the Court of Appeals for both the Eastern District of Missouri and the Western District of Louisiana. In all states, the mandate stands for now. (1/13/22)
The US Senate passed S. 610, the Protecting Medicare & American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act with a 59-35 vote. The provider relief legislation is now on its waty to the President's desk for final signature into law. (12/9/21)
CMS issued a memo (QSO-22-04-ALL) to State Survey Agency Directors that suspends enforcement of CMS’ Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) while court-ordered injunctions are in effect. (12/2/21)
The US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued a ruling in the latest of a string of State court filings seeking injunctions against implementation of the CMS Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC). The judge’s ruling in the case of Louisiana vs. Becerra places the CMS vaccine mandate on hold pending resolution of the case or until further orders are issued from that US District Court, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, or the United States Supreme Court. (12/1/21)
CMS' Medicare & Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) is available in the Federal Register and takes effect November 5, 2021. Read NASL's Summary of the IFC.
CMS is requiring more than 17 million health care workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, 2022, according to an agency emergency rule released on November 4, 2021, that grants medical and religious exemptions but does not offer a way to test out of the vaccination requirement. (11/4/21)
CMS issued the CY 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Final Rule (CMS-1751-F), which will take effect January 1, 2022. In this Final Rule, CMS is finalizing updated payment policies, payment rates, telehealth policies, and quality provisions furnished under the PFS on or after January 1, 2022. (11/2/21)
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Jason Smith (R-MO) introduced the Stabilizing Medicare Access to Rehabilitation and Therapy (SMART) Act of 2021 (H.R.5536), bipartisan legislation that would provide for a temporary legislative fix to a major portion of the CY 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule cuts. The goal of the legislation is to protect beneficiary access to therapy services by mitigating the impact of the impending Medicare 15% payment differential for services furnished by physical therapist assistants (PTAs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) beginning on Jan. 1, 2022 by delaying the implementation date to January 1, 2023. (10/14/21)
NASL, along with the American Physical Therapy Association, the American Occupational Therapy Association and the National Association of Rehabilitation Providers and Agencies, submitted a letter to Capitol Hill regarding the 15% cut to services furnished by physical therapy assistants and occupational therapy assistants which is scheduled to take effect in January 2022. (8/3/21)
Reimbursement Slashes Cut Deeper for Rural, Small Therapy Providers, Amy Stulick, Skilled Nursing News, August 3, 2021. “Providers are already experiencing high costs as a result of COVID-19’s detrimental impact on the long-term care settings we serve,” says NASL. “These cuts join a current cascade of compounding reimbursement reductions that are detrimental to patient care.” (NASL President Martha Schram, NASL Medical Services Committee Chair Mike Capstick and NASL member Mark Besch are also quoted.)
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