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    May 2022

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We ask for your help in making noise on the Hill to EDUCATE our representatives and the healthcare industry on Portable Diagnostics and its value (avoiding unnecessary hospital visits by bringing x-rays & diagnostics to the elderly-saving lives & money)FIGHT for fair and equal transportation reimbursement for ALL states and PUSH for Fair inclusion in COVID waivers and provider relief funds. 

APDA'S WORK FOR ITS MEMBERS AND THE INDUSTRY PAYS OFF! JOIN THE TEAM! 
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YOUR VOICE COUNTS!
It is your voice that matters, your voice that changes opinions, and your voice that moves legislators to support our industry and profession. 
 


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IMPORTANT CMS UPDATES:
Provider enrollment update - Effective December 5, 2022
IDTF Policy Update (see areas in red)
2023 Fee Schedule is now available - check your MAC website

11/29/2022 Multistate legal challenger targets "irrational" Covid 19 mandates

Opponents of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers are pursuing two fresh pathways to defeat it. Both challenges cite the pandemic’s current, less critical stage as a rationale to end an alleged imposition on healthcare workers and their employers.

11/29/2022 Steps for Radiology providers to fight ransomware

Manufacturing remains the industry most commonly targeted by ransomware criminals, but healthcare is gaining fast. One recent report showed attacks in the medical sector up 650% this year over last.

11/28/2022 Millions in Medicare Advantage overcharges revealed in Audits
Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have said they intend to extrapolate the payment error rates from those samples across the total membership of each plan -- and recoup an estimated $650 million as a result, according to KHN

11/28/2022 New AI model calculates risk of heart attack or stroke using a single chest x-ray

Researchers have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) model capable of predicting a patient’s 10-year risk of death from a heart attack or stroke—all with a single chest X-ray. The group behind this work, which includes radiologists, cardiologists and AI specialists, shared its findings at RSNA 2022 in Chicago. 
 

11/17/2022 New Post Graduate degree for Radiologic Technologists

A university in the Lone Star State is readying a master’s degree program that will prepare grad students to work as radiologic “techs” in all 50 states.The School of Health Professions at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio—aka UT Health San Antonio—says the advanced-degree program will launch in fall 2023.

11/16/2022 Amazon continues major move into Medical Imaging

Cloud giant Amazon Web Services is expanding its 1½ -year-old HealthLake data-management service in two imaging-specific directions. In the process it’s drawing vocal buy-in from healthcare providers as well as imaging vendors.

11/14/2022 COVID 19 public health emergency likely won't end in January

The most recent renewal of the PHE came in October and is set to expire Jan. 11. The federal government previously vowed to provide a 60-day notice of when it planned to end the PHE, but no notification came on Friday, which was the deadline for such an announcement.

11/06/2022 Independent Radiology champion to Congress: "We are in serious danger of losing local healthcare focus"

While independent and non-hospital based providers across the country now face significant cuts, hospitals will receive increased reimbursements of over $6 billion dollars,” RPAN states, adding that Medicare is already paying hospitals around 60% more than it pays independent doctors.

11/04/2022 Evident cyberattack brings Hawaii radiology practice to its knees
A multisite imaging operation in Hawaii has been turning away patients since Oct. 20 due to what its management initially described as unspecified “technical difficulties.”

10/27/2022 Baltimore Ravens, Autumn Health partner as SNF operators seek to rebuild Public Perception

As the skilled nursing industry strives to change public perception of itself, some operators are using unique marketing tactics to show a different side of the sector – including a new partnership between a provider and a NFL team.

10/27/2022 Class action follows data breach of multistate Radiology practice
Patients whose private data may have been stolen by a cyberprowler last December have filed a class action lawsuit against the radiology practice whose IT systems may have been hacked. 

10/26/2022 Growing demand for radiological technologists reflected in 2 educational endeavors
-helping radiologic technologists remotely prepare for, and stay current with, clinical, educational and licensure requirements.  Companies such as Pulse Radiology founded by an x-ray tech uses self paced online courses and pairs each tech-in-training with one of more than 1,1000 imaging centers & hospitals for local instruction - & possible employment. 

10/25/2022 OIG Launches investigation into SNF residents with preventable Hospitalizations - Portable Diagnostics play huge role -OIG will also look into how SNF are paying for services and reporting costs

OIG announced the addition of another investigation to its docket back in August, this one involving whether skilled nursing facilities are reporting related-party costs in accordance with federal regulations.

10/23/2022 Radiology Techs in especially high demand as 85% of hospitals seek Allied health professionals

Findings from a survey conducted by AMN healthcare showed more than four-fifths of healthcare provider organizations are shorthanded of allied health professionals, and the job title with the most unfilled positions in the category is radiologic technologist.

10/18/2022 With No Clear Plan in Sight to Wind down Pandemic Era policies, PHE is again extended another 90 days

Although President Biden expressed that the Covid 19 Pandemic is 'over', the PHE is extended another 90 days from October 18, 2022. 

10/17/2022  Director of CMS division of Nursing Homes says 'We will not go back' to early pandemic restrictions
Evan Shulman, director of the CMS Division of Nursing Homes, told attendees at the 2022 LeadingAge Annual Meeting that recent revisions to resident rights guidance — going into effect later this month — intend to prevent isolation and its potential clinical and cognitive consequences.

10/11/2022 Labor proposal pushes employers on classification of hourly workers

A proposed rule issued Tuesday by the US Department of Labor would more strictly limit how healthcare and other employers classify workers paid on an hourly basis

10/5/2022 CMS Asks for Public Input on establishing First National Directory of Healthcare Providers and Services
CMS is seeking public input on a directory that could serve as a “centralized data hub” for all health care directory and digital contact information with accurate, up-to-date, and validated data in a publicly accessible index

10/3/2022 Ensign on Track to Overtake Genesis as the largest Nursing Home Operator
Ensign announced a series of SNF acquisitions and long-term leases on Monday, including one facility in Arizona, two in South Carolina and six in Texas. The deals bring Ensign’s growing portfolio to 268 health care operations across 13 states.

9/26/2022 More than 100 medical societies push congress to end destructive cycle of annual Medicare cuts
More than 120 medical societies have joined the American Medical Association (AMA) in a letter urging congressional leaders to work with the physician community to enact long-term solutions to the systemic problems in the Medicare physician payment system. The letter also called on Congress to take action to prevent scheduled Medicare payment cuts from going into effect in 2023

9/26/2022 CMS Releases Nursing Home Data on common Ownership in its latest Push for Transparency

Licensing officials, state and federal law enforcement, researchers and the public will, for the first time, be able to identify common owners of nursing homes across multiple locations.

9/26/2022 CDC: Some Nursing Homes can end indoor mask requirements
The CDC also made tweaks to other Covid-related guidance for health care providers in its latest batch of updates. Screening testing of asymptomatic health care personnel, including those in nursing homes, should be at the discretion of the facility. Separate guidance has been issued for residents admitted to nursing homes.

9/23/22 Industry Leaders split on Whether Skilled Nursing's future should seperate Long/Short term care

the big question is where long-term Medicaid beneficiaries would go if they’re not occupying beds in a nursing home.

9/20/2022‚Äč New CMS Data platform raises concerns about access, worker privacy
A technology change is raising concerns about data access and worker privacy as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services transitions to a new, more secure data-reporting process.

9/20/2022 OIG partly blames CMS for Life Care Centers of America deficencies

A federal watchdog said a lack of communication by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may have caused infection control deficiency citations at Life Care Centers of America nursing homes between Jan. 2019 and May 2020.

9/14/2022 HRSA sends more PRF money, still reviewing Phase 4 applications
The Health Resources and Services Administration disbursed $60 million in Phase 4 PRF funds to 293 providers, leaving approximately $1.6 billion still to be given out.
There are still 1% of Phase 4 applicants to be reviewed, the agency noted.

9/8/2022 RBMA presses CMS to amend 2023 physician fee schedule

Warning that proposed new cuts in Medicare reimbursement could afflict U.S. healthcare with “severe and permanent damage,” the Radiology Business Management Association has presented CMS with detailed recommendations for stopping such a dire scenario from arising.

9/7/2022 Imaging referrers respond to government issued overutilization of musculoskeletal imaging notices
It was sent through the mail to practices with at least one practitioner in the top 20% of referrers in Australia for 11 imaging tests (lumbosacral or cervical spine, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle/hind foot).

8/25/2022 OIG adds investigation into SNF Medicare payments to related parties to the 2022 workplan

The agency will also look into whether Medicare reimbursement is sufficient to cover beneficiary care – particularly if overhead costs have increased while allocations for patient care decreased. see workplan

8/24/2022 Senate Finance Chair targets deceptive marketing tactics of Advantage Plans 
But the plans have come under rising scrutiny for fraud, false billing and misleading marketing tactics, sparking Wyden’s inquiry. Wyden last week sent letters to 15 states, including California, New York and Texas, requesting they provide information by mid-September on complaints from people enrolled in MA, so lawmakers can better understand any advertising or enrollment issues in the coverage when crafting legislation.

8/19/2022 CMS releases roadmap to the end of Public Health Emergency
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released a roadmap to ending the COVID-19 public health emergency as health officials are expecting the Biden administration to extend the PHE for another 90 days after mid-October, according to Politico.
It is no surprise that the Biden administration will wait until after the November midterm elections to end the PHE.


8/18/2022 IDTF do's and don'ts when it comes to supervisory physician

So explained healthcare law specialist W. Kenneth Davis Jr., JD, in an online IDTF primer hosted by the Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) Aug. 16.
Davis focused largely on regulatory compliance issues that can affect whether or not a site enrolled with Medicare as an IDTF will get paid for its services. Operational supervision was one of these, and it emerged as one of the topics to which he paid special attention.

8/16/2022 4% cut to Home Health Providers for 2023

“What is particularly disheartening about the proposed rule is home health is one of the least costly settings and is often the preferred settings for patients, and yet Medicare is choosing this moment [to] disinvest in it, when others are choosing to double in home-based care,” wrote the hospital system Mass General Brigham in comments

8/10/2022 AHCA/NCAL urges COVID emergency extension beyond October 13, 2022

“This pandemic is not over, but that does not mean our nation is dealing with the same situation as in 2020 nor even in 2021,” Parkinson (President & CEO of AHCA/NCAL) allowed in a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra. Parkinson also observed “the virus continues to mutate into typically more contagious yet less severe variants.

8/8/2022 Scrutiny of Nursing Home corporation ownership fires up again on Multiple Fronts
Do you know who owns the nursing homes you service? Who do you go to for delinquent invoices? per Mcknights news, A chairman of a private equity firm defends the practice of chopping up nursing home ownership into separate companies as a “crucial legal maneuver that rehabilitated a struggling industry.”

8/5/2022 Introduction of the Linking Investors and Nursing Home Quality (LINHQ) Act. 

This legislation brings long-overdue transparency into nursing home ownership and financial activity. As private equity firms continue to move into the nursing home space, this legislation will shed light on whether Medicare and Medicaid funds are truly being directed to care for our nation’s seniors and individuals with disabilities. The bill requires nursing homes and parties with ownership interests to disclose ownership and financial information each year, down to the 5% ownership level, with penalties for non-reporting.

8/5/2022 New York queues up $3000 bonuses to hands on healthcare workers statewide
It offers bonuses to workers providing hands on healthcare (including technicians) at medicaid participating provider organizations. Qualified employees must be "front line health care and mental hygiene practitioners, technicians, assistants and aides that provide hands on health or care services to individuals". An employee is only qualified if they work for a qualified employer (as described above) and under an Eligible Worker Title . 

8/2/2022 Could CMS be listening to Provider complaints about Advantage Plans?
Until now, no one at CMS has publicly agreed to do more than monitor some of these issues. That could be changing. Maybe. 
Last week, in near lockstep with the CMS request for comment, a key House panel advanced legislation to reform the Medicare Advantage prior authorization process. The bill would force  MA plans to report to CMS how often they use prior authorization and their denial rates.

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Congratulations   
Ryan Kingrey
Recipient of 2022 Thomas Wuerstle Award!




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COVID INFORMATION & UPDATES
APDA encourages members to stay vigilant and monitor this Website Daily along with these sites:

CDC NEWS AND UPDATES, CMS NEWS AND UPDATES HHS News Releases, and Cares Act Provider Relief Fund updates
 

Click HERE for FAQs, updates & links to helpful resources.

Important Dates for Reporting

Recipients who received one or more payments exceeding $10,000, in the aggregate, during a Payment Received Period are required to report in each applicable Reporting Time Period as outlined in the table below. LEARN MORE

Reporting Period 2 Is Open

Providers who are required to report in Reporting Period 2:

  • The PRF Reporting Portal opened for Reporting Period 2 on January 1, 2022 & will remain open through March 31, 2022 11:59PM ET
  • Providers who received one or more General and/or Targeted PRF payments exceeding $10,000, in the aggregate, from July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 must report on their use of funds in Reporting Period 2.
  • The deadline to use funds for Payment Received Period 2 was December 31, 2021.
Upcoming Reporting Periods
  • Reporting Period 3 opens July 1, 2022
  • Reporting Period 4 opens January 1, 2023
 

Blog

    APDA Announces 2021 Tom Wuerstle Award

    • Monday, October 25, 2021
    • Admin

    CONGRATULATIONS, JOHN COOKE AS 2021 TOM WUERSTLE AWARD RECEPIENT! WELL DESERVED

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    APDA Announces 2020 Tom Wuerstle Founders Award

    • Tuesday, October 27, 2020
    • Admin

    Congratulations Will Irwin! Will Irwin received an unexpected visit during Day 3 of the APDA Virtual Conference Member Business meeting. Michael Straecke, APDA Emeritus, Sharon Reilley, APDA Administrator and Ken Andrews APDA member from K & A X-ray showed up at Will's office (while he was on Live during the Virtual meeting) to present him with the engraved Waterford Crystal Decanter Tom Wuerstle Founders Award, commemorating Will's years of dedicated service. Michael gave a very warm and well deserved speech thanking Will for his years of dedication and tireless service to APDA. Congratulations WILL, Well Deserved!

    Read More »

    APDA COVID-19 Information, Updates and Resources

    • Saturday, March 7, 2020
    • Admin

    Stay informed with APDA Covid 19 Updates Read More and Leave a Comment  

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