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In accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 section 3132 requires CMS to collect appropriate data and information to facilitate hospice payment reform. On August 20, 2014, CMS released their final ruling, wage index and payment updates entitled CMS-1609-F 42 CFR Parts 405 and 418. 

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With more than 2,000 entrepreneurs, investors, data scientists, researchers, policy experts, government employees and more in attendance, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is releasing new data and launching new initiatives at the annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C. 

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Effective July 18, 2014, the Division of Banks issued “Final Amendments to 209 CMR 43.00: Audit Requirements for Credit Unions”. The purpose of the amendment is to clarify the responsibilities of credit union audit committees, as well as to establish audit frequency and share verifications requirements. The amended regulation are as follows: 

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A technical termination of a partnership occurs when there is a sale or exchange of 50% or more of the total interest in the profits and capital of a partnership within a 12-month period.  

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The Medicare trustees recently announced that the latest projection on Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund indicates that the fund will remain solvent until 2030, which is a four year improvement from the prior year’s report. The Affordable Care Act is being credited with controlling per capita spending, which is projected to continue to grow slower than the overall economy for the next several years. 

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With the large number of new patients enrolled after the full ACA roll out, both Medical Assistance and some traditional carriers have experienced delays in fully enrolling some of the new participants causing delays in payments for services rendered. Practices need to keep this in mind and may need to modify the billing protocols to make certain the carrier has received and processed (even if the payment is on hold) the claim. If 60 days goes by and the practice has not received payment or a notification of a hold due to eligibility verification (even though the law generally requires a 30 day processing) the practice should consider resubmission to toll any time limits from expiring.

Close coordination with the MA carrier and with any other carrier of substance will go a long way to eliminating a later SNAFU on ultimate collection when all of the dust has settled (and we’re sure it will ultimately settle).


Published Date: June 10, 2014
By: Donna Marbury

 

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The IRS has recently issued final regulations that allow the use of truncated taxpayer identification numbers (TTINs) on payee statements and certain other documents.

An IRS TTIN is an individual's social security number (SSN), IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), IRS adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN), or IRS employer identification number (EIN) in which the first five digits of the nine-digit number are replaced with Xs or asterisks. The TTIN takes the same format of the identifying number it replaces, for example XXX-XX-0123 when replacing a SSN, or XX-XXX0123 when replacing an EIN. 

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While the attached Medical Economics article raises a caution for physicians and their office staff regarding E&M coding, there is often a significant difference between an initial reading by certain HHS staff and what is ultimately determined to be the actual documentation in the patient chart after a more in depth review with the Medicare examiner. None the less, it raises the need to take precautionary steps, such as we often do for clients, to make a test of the billing and charts for a period of time and see what the level of documentation supports.

Publish Date: June 2, 2014
By Daniel R. Verdon 

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Development Stage Companies

A development stage company was defined as an entity devoting substantially all of its efforts in establishing a new business for which either (a) operations have not commenced or (b) the operations have commenced, but there is no significant revenue yet being generated. Due to these companies being in a position where their cash flows and liquidity positions are extremely critical, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) has updated the accounting standards to ease the burden on these companies by passing Accounting Standards Update 2014-10 (the “ASU”). FASB Chairman Russell Golden recently discussed that the Board passed the ASU to address concerns about the cost and limited relevance of the previous presentation and disclosure requirements. The general goal of the FASB was to improve financial reporting for these early-stage companies by reducing the cost and complexity associated with the incremental reporting requirements. Mr. Golden was also quoted saying “The update should also help foster more consistent consolidation analyses and decisions among public and private development-stage entities.1"  

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The State of Connecticut is facing some difficult economic times in the near future. The state maintains its budgets on a biennial basis and the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 were approved during 2013. Due to a reduction in the projected budgeted surplus, together with a projected deficit of approximately $2.8 billion for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, the Income Tax Rebate program proposed by the Governor was withdrawn from consideration.

In an attempt to remedy the situation, the Connecticut Legislation enacted numerous tax collection and enforcement measures and delayed the effective dates of selected tax benefits. The following changes in Connecticut tax law have been signed into law by Governor Dannell Malloy on June 25th, 2014: 

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