CMS granting regulatory waiver for ASC and HOPD facilities hit by hurricanes

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    Michael S. Morelli, MD, FACG
    Chair, ACG Practice Management Committee

    Due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the agency is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers located in affected areas.  Facilities will be granted exceptions without having to submit an Extraordinary Circumstances Exceptions (ECE) request if they are located in one of the Florida counties, Georgia counties, Puerto Rico, or U.S. Virgin Islands county-equivalents which have been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a major disaster area.   ACG is seeking clarity from CMS on whether these exemptions could also apply to individual providers and groups participating in MIPS.  Stay tuned for further updates.

    Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs): CMS is granting an exception to ASCs located in the counties described above for the following reporting requirements under the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program:

    • Data collection and submission requirements that apply for the remainder of Calendar Year (CY) 2017 and the 2017/2018 Influenza Season that relate to CY 2019 payment determinations are exempt. These exemptions apply to all data submitted via the QualityNet Secure Portal and the NHSN web-based measure collection tools that are due May 15, 2018, including claims-based measures calculated from submitted Quality Data Codes (QDCs). This exemption does not apply to claims-based measures that do not utilize QDCs for calculation purposes.

    Hospitals – Outpatient Services: CMS is granting an exception to subsection (d) hospitals located in the counties described above for the following reporting requirements under the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) Program:

    For the Influenza Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel (HCP) measure:

    • May 15, 2018 submission deadline for the 2017 – 2018 flu season: October 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018

    For all Hospital OQR Program chart-abstracted measures- November 2017 and February 2018 submission deadlines for encounter periods:

    • April 1, 2017 – June 30, 2017 (2nd Quarter 2017)
    • July 1, 2017 – September 30, 2017 (3rd Quarter 2017)

    For Hospital OQR Program chart-abstracted data validation, medical records are normally due to the CDAC within 45 days of the date identified on the written request letter. Hospitals in designated counties are exempt from these validation medical record submission requirements as follows- CDAC record requests for encounter periods:

    • January 1, 2017 – March 31, 2017 (1st Quarter 2017)
    • April 1, 2017 – June 30, 2017 (2nd Quarter 2017)

    Michael S. Morelli, MD, FACG
    Chair, ACG Practice Management Committee

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