Breaking News: No Vote On Fiscal Cliff

Though a deal to avert the fiscal cliff was reportedly in sight, but not yet finalized, NBC News is reporting there will not be a vote tonight. The emerging deal was said to raise tax rates on family income over $450,000 and individual income over $400,000 a year, increase the estate tax rate and extend unemployment benefits for one year.

Stay tuned to the HMS blog for more details as they emerge.

Top Healthcare Story Of 2012

By far, the number one health care news story of 2012 was the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the individual mandate outlined by the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

In a split decision, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. casting the deciding vote, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the cornerstone of President Obama’s healthcare reform law and signature domestic initiative. Roberts joined liberals on the court in upholding the mandate at the heart of the underlying law, saying the mandate could survive as a tax.

Following three days of oral arguments on the law’s constitutionality in March, insiders widely believed the individual mandate, and perhaps the entire healthcare law, was very much in jeopardy. However, the Justice Department argued the mandate does not force people to participate in the market for health insurance, but rather regulates participation in the market for healthcare services.

The high court rejected Medicaid expansion provisions in the new healthcare law. The court ruled that Congress overstepped its authority when it said states must go along with the Medicaid insurance program for low-income people, providing expanded coverage to about 17 million over the next decade.  Connecticut was the first state to participate in the provision which will be funded by the federal government beginning in 2014.

The HMS Blog posted two series on health reform: Understanding Health Reform  and The Impact of Federal Health Reform as well as a Post Election Guide to Health Reform to help sift through the confusion and clarify provisions of the PPACA.

Meaningful Use Monday: Changes To Stage 2 Rule

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule which made changes to the Stage 2 electronic health records meaningful use program. The changes involve replacing some standards with more recent versions and changing or exempting some meaningful use measures to provide more flexibility. This interim final rule with comment period is effective January 7, 2013.

Click here to read more.

New Year’s Resolution: Improved Revenue Cycles

HMS Healthcare Management SolutionsPhysician practices are seeking more efficient ways to improve revenue cycles, reduce expenditures and decrease billing errors. That’s where HMS Healthcare Management Solutions can help. For more than 25 years, HMS has helped our clients optimize their revenue by improving cash flow, increasing operational efficiencies and identifying opportunities for profitable lines of business. Our  services include:

  • Outsourced Billing (U.S. Based Only)
  • Credentialing
  • Consulting & Strategic Services
  • Affordable EHR
  • Social Media Services
  • Revenue & Cash Flow Improvement
  • Increased Claims Accuracy & Payment Rates
  • Decreased Denials and more!

Contact us to see how we can help you maximize your potential by increasing your financial performance today!

Connecticut Health Council Launches,HMS Founding Partner

Earlier this month, the Connecticut Health Council launched at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.  The council is an association of health sector leaders working together to promote Connecticut as a premier center for the development of business, initiatives and technology that improve healthcare and wellness throughout the state and beyond.  In addition, the council will host programs focused on health sector topics including the impact of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the future of healthcare and an overview of the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange.

HMS Healthcare Management Solutions is proud to be among the list of distinguished founding partners of the Connecticut Health Council. For a full list of initiative partners, click here.