NOTE: All in-article links open in a new tab.

December 2022 Medicare Compliance Education and Other Updates

Published on 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Compliance Education Updates

Biosimilars & Interchangeable Products: Free Continuing Education Courses from FDA

CMS reminded providers in the December 8, 2022 edition of MLN Connects (link) that the FDA has free accredited continuing education courses for health care providers on biosimilars and interchangeable products.

Other Updates

December 2, 2022: Letter to U.S. Governors from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on COVID-19, Flu, and RSV Resources

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra noted in a letter to U.S. Governors (link) that “I write today to reinforce that the Biden-Harris Administration stands ready to continue assisting you with resources, supplies, and personnel, as it has throughout our fight against COVID-19.”

December 6, 2022: CMS Proposed Rule to Expand Access to Health Information and Improve the Prior Authorization Process

CMS provided the following information in the December 8, 2022 MLN Connects Newsletter (link):

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to increasing health data exchange and investing in interoperability, CMS issued a proposed rule that would improve patient and provider access to health information and streamline processes related to prior authorization for medical items and services. CMS proposes to modernize the health care system by requiring certain payers to implement an electronic prior authorization process, shorten the time frames for certain payers to respond to prior authorization requests, and establish policies to make the prior authorization process more efficient and transparent. The rule also proposes to require certain payers to implement standards that would enable data exchange from one payer to another payer when a patient changes payers or has concurrent coverage, which is expected to help ensure that complete patient records would be available throughout patient transitions between payers.

Medicare National Correct Coding Initiative: Annual Policy Manual Update for 2023

On December 1st, CMS posted the updated Medicare National Correct Coding Initiative Policy Manual effective January 1, 2023. Additions and revisions to the manual are noted in red font.

National Correct Coding Initiative: January Update

You can find the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) fourth quarter edit files, effective January 1, 2023, on these Medicare NCCI webpages:

  • Procedure-to-Procedure Edits
  • Medically Unlikely Edits
  • Add-on Code Edits
December 14, 2022: Guidelines for Achieving a Compliant Query Practice (2022 Update)

In December, the final version of the 2022 update to the Guidelines for Achieving a Compliant Query Practice was released. This document is a joint effort of the Association of Clinical Documentation Integrity Specialists (ACDIS) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This document supersedes all previous versions of this document. As noted in this practice brief, it “should be used to guide organizational policy and process development for a compliant query practice.” You can read more about this document in a related AHIMA press release (link).

December 15, 2022: OIG’s Top Unimplemented Recommendations 2022 Report

The OIG announced the publication of their 2022 Top Unimplemented Recommendations: Solutions to Reduce Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in the HHS Programs report (link). Specific to Medicare Parts A and B and in keeping with the 2020 and 2021 reports, unimplemented recommendation for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) and a call for CMS to seek legislative authority to comprehensively reform the hospital wage index system remains on the list. The third unimplemented recommendation was also in the 2021 report and calls for CMS to recover overpayment of $1 billion resulting from incorrectly assigning severe malnutrition diagnosis codes to inpatient hospital claims.

December 21, 2022 Joint Commission Announces Major Standard Reductions and Freezes Hospital Accreditation Fees

On Wednesday, December 21st, the Joint Commission announced (link) the elimination of 168 standards (14%), the revision of 14 other standards and that they would not be “raising its accreditation fees for domestic hospitals in 2023 in recognition of the many financially challenges hospitals and health systems continue to face.”

December 23, 2022: First Generic Drug Approvals

The FDA has published a list of First-Time Generic Drug Approvals in 2022 (link). They note that first generics “are just what they sound like – the first approval by FDA which permits a manufacturer to market a generic drug product in the United States.”

PAMA Regulations Update

On December 30, 2022, CMS updated their PAMA (Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014) CMS webpage (link) with the following information:

DELAY!!! IMPORTANT UPDATE: The next data reporting period is January 1, 2024 through March 31, 2024, will be based on the original data collection period of January 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019.

On December 29, 2022, Section 4114 of Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 revised the next data reporting period for CDLTs that are not ADLTs and the phase-in of payment reductions under the Medicare private payor rate-based CLFS. The next data reporting period of January 1, 2024 through March 31, 2024 will be based on the original data collection period of January 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019. After the next data reporting period, there is a three-year data reporting cycle for CDLTs that are not ADLTs (that is 2027, 2030, etc.).

Article Author: Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS
Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS, is the Manager of Clinical Analytics at Medical Management Plus, Inc. Beth has over twenty-five years of experience in healthcare including eleven years in Case Management at a large multi-facility health system. In her current position, Beth is a principle writer for MMP’s Wednesday@One weekly e-newsletter, an active member of our HIPAA Compliance Committee, MMP’s Education Department Program Director and co-developer of MMP’s proprietary Compliance Protection Assessment Tool.

This material was compiled to share information.  MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice. Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.