Monday, September 22, 2008

HHS News

  • Last year, Congress paid for avoiding a statutorily prescribed reduction in Medicare Part B reimbursement to physicians by mandating that insurers and other payers report Medicare related coordination of benefits information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Payers generally had been providing this information to CMS under Voluntary Data Sharing Agreements with CMS. The new mandate is effective January 1, 2009. CMS has posted a timeline for implementation of this mandate and a paper explaining how payers with VDSAs will be affected by the new mandate. 
  • The HHS Office for Civil Rights, which is responsible for enforcing the HIPAA Privacy Rule, has posted guidance for consumers/patients and health care providers on the extent to which the Privacy Rule allows providers to share protected health information with the patient's family members and friends.

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