6 Features of CMS’s Redesigned Medicare Summary Notice

Monday, March 12th, 2012
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

In light of ongoing healthcare reform there is a push for clarity, as several of our stories illustrate this week. Medicare claims forms have been redesigned so that beneficiaries and their caregivers can better understand them, check for important facts and potential fraud. The subject of fraud is particularly timely given the story that has been circulating for the last week involving the arrest of a physician, the office manager of his medical practice, and five owners of home health agencies. They’ve been charged with allegedly participating in a nearly $375 million healthcare fraud scheme involving fraudulent claims for home health services.

When given the option of choosing a high or low cost health plan, consumers will most likely choose the higher cost plan because they associate it with better quality, says a new study funded by the AHRQ. But researchers caution that this isn’t necessarily true: higher costs could be attributed to unnecessary services or inefficiencies. A push is underway to simplify public physician and hospital report cards, and make them clearer for consumers to understand (not unlike the redesigned Medicare claim forms) so consumers can make better informed decisions about their health coverage.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Group Health Research Institute have launched a new national project intended to shed light on what makes a successful health practice tick. Designed in response to the burgeoning shortage of primary care practices, the project will identify successful practices that improve patient and practice outcomes, and share the information so they can be replicated.

And lastly, a study debunks the long held belief that HIT will improve cost savings by reducing the need for diagnostic testing; instead, the study shows that having computerized access to EHRs in the ambulatory setting could result in a 40 to 70 percent increase in testing.

Don’t forget to take our latest survey: Physician Reimbursement Models. Describe the physician reimbursement models in place at your organization by April 15th and you will receive a free summary of survey results once it is compiled.

These stories and more in this week’s Healthcare Business Weekly Update.

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One Response to “6 Features of CMS’s Redesigned Medicare Summary Notice”

  1. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was signed into law in February 2009 by President Obama. The Stimulus or the Recovery Act, as the ARRA is also known as, was intended to promote investment and consumer spending and create jobs during the recession. Provisions of the Recovery Act include improving affordable health care, modernizing the United States’ infrastructure, furthering energy independence and relieving education costs, among other provisions.