TMNews #40: June 11th, 2018: Medicare MIPS & Money Troubles, Higher Education Act Update, & the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact

Hello everyone, it’s Monday, June 11th, and here are some PT headlines from the week! PT Day of Service is looking for participants, an update on the Higher Education Act, which could change loan forgiveness, and Medicare changes, including MIPS and the new rumor that Medicare could run out of funds by 2026. Finally, Ian MacMurdie joins me to chat what you need to know about the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact as states gear up to hand out licensure privileges.

 

Reminders: 

  • PT Day of Service is October 13th this year! Sign up here.
  • Have feedback on the CMS proposed rule for SNFs? Submit your feedback by June 26th. You can check out our interview with Kara Gainer here and the Insider Intel on the subject here.

Medicare News

In other Medicare news, CMS just released data on the utilization of their Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, or MIPS, which claimed that 91% of required clinicians are utilizing the system. MIPS basically gives providers an annual score, based on several categories – quality, promoting interoperability, clinical improvement activities, and cost. Once tabulated, this score determines if providers get a payment incentive, a neutral payment, or a penalty. So, why is this important for PT? There are many indications that PTs could be required to join the program as early as 2019, but we are still waiting to hear.

You may have seen the dire headlines this past week– a report indicates that the Medicare trust fund is expected to run out of money in 2026 – 3 years earlier than expected. Note: the sky may not TOTALLY be falling. The trust fund only pays for Part A, which mostly includes hospital stays. Part B and D are paid for differently. Note – Part A is 40% of all Medicare funding. So…40% of the sky is falling? (Check out the Politico article here.)

State news:

A law on chronic pain clinic licensing, SB 273, passed in West Virginia this week. Health care practitioners in West Virginia will now be required to refer or prescribe pain patients alternative forms of treatment such as physical therapy. The bill also requires insurances to cover 20 visits of these alternative treatments.  

Higher Education Act Renewal (PROSPER Act) Stalls

  • We discussed the PROSPER Act with Joe Reinke of FitBUX in January of this year.
  • The PROSPER act would eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and place caps on federal loans.
  • Currently the act is opposed by several higher education groups, including the American Council on Education
  • The bill passed the House but has stopped in the Senate.
  • It is not likely the bill will progress.

The Physical Therapy Licensure Compact: Privileges Coming Soon! 

Check out ptcompact.org!

 

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