Government Affairs Update


November 14, 2019     Volume IX, Issue 44

 

2020 Final Rule Rate Documents Added to ASCA Resources

OCR Penalizes Texas Health and Human Services $1.6 Million for HIPAA Violation

Tentative Agreement on Government Funding

2020 Winter Seminar Session Highlight: ADA and FMLA Fundamentals 
 

2020 Final Rule Rate Documents Added to ASCA Resources

ASCA’s Medicare payment resources have been updated to reflect the changes finalized in the 2020 final payment rule for hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) and ASCs. The 2020 Final Rule Rate Calculator, which you can use to view rates with your local wage index applied, was uploaded last week. As a reminder, for codes not subject to geographic wage index adjustments such as drugs, biologicals, devices with OPPS transitional pass-through payment status and brachytherapy sources, the rate calculator will only display a national payment rate because that is the payment rate regardless of where you are in the country.

ASCA has also uploaded its 2020 Final Rule Payment Resources document, which provides separate worksheets for a number of code groups, including separately payable, packaged and office-based codes among others. These resources are available only to ASCA members; you can view all payment resources for 2020 and years past on ASCA's Medicare Payment Resources site.

You can learn more about the final rule and its impact on your facility by joining ASCA’s webinar “Understanding Medicare’s 2020 Final Payment Rule” on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at 1:00 pm ET.

For more information, contact Kara Newbury.

OCR Penalizes Texas Health and Human Services $1.6 Million for HIPAA Violation

On November 7, the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that the agency has imposed a $1.6 million civil penalty against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (TX HHSC) for HIPAA violations between 2013 and 2017. TX HHSC is the primary state health agency that operates supported living centers, provides mental health and substance use services, and administers supplemental nutrition benefits and Medicaid among many other programs. The penalty is the result of a 2015 breach report that stated that the electronic health information (EHI) of more than 6,000 individuals was viewable over the internet due to a software flaw. Exposed EHI included names, addresses, social security numbers and treatment information.

ASCA provides a number of resources to help ASCs learn about and avoid such HIPAA violations, including a free HIPAA workbook for members and biannual updates published in ASC Focus magazine that detail OCR breaches and what ASCs can learn from violations.

For more information, contact Alex Taira.

Tentative Agreement on Government Funding

On November 12, the US House and Senate Appropriations Committee chairs reached a tentative agreement to continue government funding through December 20, 2019. Current government funding expires on November 21. This agreement has not been formalized in legislative text but will likely take the same form as the previous continuing resolution, which financed federal government agencies and programs without making significant changes.

For more information, contact Steve Selde.

2020 Winter Seminar Session Highlight: ADA and FMLA Fundamentals

Master the basics of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act during the “ADA and FMLA Fundamentals” session offered at the ASCA 2020 Winter Seminar, taking place January 16–18 in New Orleans.

During this informative and interactive session, Casey Duhart, attorney with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, will review the basic definitions under each law and explain how the two laws work together. You will learn what steps employers should take to manage a request for leave, how to combat potential abuse by employees, ways to engage effectively in the interactive process and more.

The Winter Seminar features three ASC-specific tracks: ASC Management, Coding & Reimbursement and Finance & Accounting. You can move freely between the tracks and attend any of the sessions offered throughout the seminar. ASCA members receive a discount on each registration and can save even more by signing up two or more people at the same time.

The early bird registration rates for the Winter Seminar end this Friday, November 15, so check out the schedule and register today!