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January 2015 Archives

January 5, 2015

NY Missing From Leapfrog's 2014 'Top Hospitals' List

The Leapfrog Group has released its 'Top Hospitals' of 2014 and not one New York hospital made the list.

The Leapfrog Group is an employer-based coalition advocating for improved quality, transparency and safety in hospitals.

See the list an a brief accompanying article at Healthcare IT News.

January 7, 2015

New York Enacts Telehealth/Telemedicine Mandate

Governor Cuomo has signed into law the telehealth/telemedicine mandate passed by the legislature at the end of its June 2014 session.

Chapter 550 of the Laws of 2014, signed December 29, requires health insurers and Medicaid to cover health care services provided via electronic means by providers located at a "distant site" if the health care services would otherwise be covered services.

Read the full text of the law here.

For a good overview of the legal issues in telemedicine, see Frank Serbaroli's May 27, 2014 New York Law Journal Article, "Telemedicine: Legal and Practical Considerations."

January 14, 2015

Medicare Begins Paying Primary Care Docs for Care Coordination

An AP wire covers this development in Medicare reimbursement.

Starting this month, Medicare will pay primary care doctors a monthly fee to better coordinate care for the most vulnerable seniors -- those with multiple chronic illnesses -- even if they don't have a face-to-face exam.

The change was part of the final rule for the 2014 Medicare physician fee schedule issued in December 2013. Although supported in the physician community when first announced, the general reaction seemed to be that the amount offered - - about $40 per month - - was only halfway reasonable, as an article at MedPage suggested.

Here's a snippet from the Final Rule for the 2014 fee schedule, discussing the proposal:

[W]e believe that the resources required to furnish chronic care management services to beneficiaries with multiple (that is, two or more) chronic conditions are not adequately reflected in the existing E/M codes. Therefore, for CY 2015, we proposed to establish a separate payment under the PFS for chronic care management services furnished to patients with multiple chronic conditions that are expected to last at least 12 months or until the death of the patient, and that place the patient at significant risk of death, acute exacerbation/decompensation, or functional decline.

We also stated our intent to develop standards for furnishing
chronic care management services to ensure that the physicians and practitioners who bill for these services have the capability to provide them.

See 78 Fed. Reg. 74415 (Dec. 10, 2013). See also 79 Fed. Reg. 40364 (July 11, 2014).

January 20, 2015

NY AG Schneiderman Looks to Bolster State Privacy and Security Laws

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has called for an upgrade to the state's information security and privacy laws, according to a press release issued by the AG's office January 15th.

Given the prevalence and increase of data breaches over the past several years, it is clear that New York - and the United States as a whole - is in need of progressive legislation to protect consumers and businesses.

The AG intends to make New York's data protection laws the strongest in the nation.

About January 2015

This page contains all entries posted to HEALTH LAW SECTION BLOG in January 2015. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2014 is the previous archive.

February 2015 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.