CMS issues final rule on Medicare overpayments

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule that would require providers and suppliers who receive funds under the Medicare program to report and return overpayments no later than 60 days after the date the overpayment was identified or the date any corresponding cost report is due, if applicable, whichever is later.

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MagMutual declares largest dividend in company history

MagMutual Insurance Company, the Southeast’s largest medical professional liability insurer, today announced a 2016 dividend of $25 million. This is not only the largest return in MagMutual history, but also the biggest year-over-year dividend increase in the company’s 34-year history. MagMutual will credit the dividend starting June 1 to policyholders of record as of April 1.

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CMS extends EHR attestation deadline

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says that it has extended the attestation deadline for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs from February 29 to the end of the day on Friday, March 11.

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Leading attorneys to discuss HC fraud & abuse on ‘Top Docs’

Scott Grubman, who is a partner with the law firm of Chilivis, Cochran, Larkins & Bever LLP in Atlanta, will discuss health care fraud and abuse on the ‘Top Docs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23.

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Agreement means $70 million for Morehouse, Mercer med schools

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced [that Georgia] will invest an additional $70 million in two medical schools as a result of a settlement agreement offer from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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GAACP ABIM/SEP Modules

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Save the Date

03.19

SAMSHA releases revised ‘Opioid Overdose Toolkit’

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a revised version of its ‘Opioid Overdose Toolkit,” which is designed to “educate first responders, physicians, patients, family members, and community members on ways to prevent opioid overdose.”

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MAG 401(k) plan manager to appear on 'Top Docs'

Kevin Rainwater – a managing partner with the Atlanta Capital Group – will appear on the 'Top Docs Radio' program on the Business Radio-X Network at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9.

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MAG welcomes new legislative associate

Kimberly Ramseur recently joined MAG as a legislative associate. She will also manage GAMPAC, which is MAG’s non-partisan political action committee.

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MAG calling for insurers to take steps to improve patient billing

The leader of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is calling for health insurers in the state to take some important steps to improve the patient billing system.

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AMA announces support for telemedicine bill

The American Medical Association (AMA) today supported the bipartisan Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act to expand the use of telemedicine to achieve quality care for patients.

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‘Top Docs’ shows on BCBSGa, legislature & GPLA now online

Recordings of recent Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ shows that featured Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) President Jeff Fusile, Georgia Rep. Sharon Cooper, and the MAG Foundation’s Georgia Physicians Leadership Academy (GPLA) are now available online.

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Physicians Foundation calling for grant applications

The Physicians Foundation has announced that it will accept grant applications for “promising programs that provide for the ongoing professional development of physicians as leaders in health care” through Monday, March 7.

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DPH director thanks, applauds Ebola “team”

The World Health Organization recently declared the end of the global outbreak of the Ebola virus disease. The following is an open letter from J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D., the director of health protection for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

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AMA encouraging all EP to apply for EHR hardship

The American Medical Association (AMA) is encouraging every physician who is subject to the 2015 Medicare EHR ‘Meaningful Use’ program to apply for a hardship. AMA reports that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says that “it will broadly accept hardship exemptions because of the delayed publication of the program regulations.”

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CMS: Alternate EHR attestation option available for certain Medicaid EP

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it has finalized a proposal to allow certain Medicaid eligible professionals (EP) to use an alternate option of attesting through the EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System for the purpose of avoiding the Medicare payment adjustment (80 FR 62900 through 62901).

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‘Physicians’ Day at Capitol’ another big success

Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Government Relations Director Marcus Downs reports that the 2016 ‘Physicians’ Day at the Capitol’ in Georgia was another big success – as more than 40 physicians and 40 legislators were on hand for the event that took place on January 27.

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AMA promoting new ‘Zika Virus Resource Center’

The American Medical Association (AMA) is promoting its new ‘Zika Virus Resource Center.’

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Media Report: “CMS proposes changes to ACO benchmarks”

"The CMS is proposing changes to the way it evaluates whether accountable care organizations in the Medicare Shared Savings Program actually save money."

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CMS: Deadline for 2015 EHR/PQRS is 2/29

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the “2015 data submission timeframe for the electronic health record (EHR) direct and EHR data submission vendor reporting mechanisms…must be submitted via the quality data reporting architecture (QRDA) I or III between now and February 29, 2016 at 8 p.m.”

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CMS updates Open Payments data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it has updated the ‘Open Payments’ dataset to reflect the values it published on June 30, 2015.

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CMS rule creates PA for certain equipment, supplies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule that establishes a prior authorization process for certain durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) items that are “frequently subject to unnecessary utilization.”

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RCMS Meeting

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02.23

MAA Dinner Meeting

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02.03

DCMS Riverfront Run

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Save the Date

10.01

Rep. Cooper, MAG executive director to appear on ‘Top Docs’

Georgia Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) – who chairs the Georgia House of Representatives Health and Human Services Committee – will join Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Executive Director Donald J. Palmisano Jr. on the 'Top Docs Radio' program on the Business Radio-X Network at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26.

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‘Top Docs Radio’ to air special GPLA edition on Wednesday

The Medical Association of Georgia’s ‘Top Docs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network will air a special episode on the Georgia Physicians Leadership Academy (GPLA) at 2 p.m. this Wednesday, January 27.

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AMA unveils ‘Block the Mergers’ campaign

The American Medical Association’s (AMA) Advocacy Resource Center is promoting a new ‘Block the Mergers’ (i.e., Antitrust Reform) campaign, which addresses the proposed Aetna-Humana and Anthem-CIGNA mergers. The Medical Association of Georgia and AMA have both urged the U.S. Department of Justice to block the mergers.

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CMS releases EHR hardship exception update

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released information that addresses the changes that have been made to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program hardship exception process.

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CMS to host HC innovation meeting in Atlanta on 1/26

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) is encouraging health care providers to register for a special health care innovation meeting that it will host at the Sam Nunn Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta (across the street from the 5 Points MARTA station) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26.

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CMS to host HC innovation meeting in Atlanta on 1/26

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MAG subsidiary EVP installed as ACEhp president

The Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions distributed the following press release on January 19.

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CHOA Pediatric Obesity Webcast

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02.25

CHOA promoting ‘Evidence/Trends in Pediatric Obesity’ webcast

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is promoting a ‘Latest Evidence and Trends in Pediatric Obesity’ webcast that will take place at 9 a.m. on February 25.

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MAG Physicians’ Day at the Capitol

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01.27

GCT2 Quality Improvement Webinar

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01.27

GCT2 to host quality improvement webinar

The Georgia Clinical Transformation Team (GCT2) is encouraging physicians to register for a ‘Top 10 Practices to Avoid: Choosing Wisely Initiative®’ webinar that will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27.

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‘Top Docs’ show with BCBSGa president now online

A recording of the recent Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show that featured Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia’s new president, Jeff Fusile, is now online.

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Media Report: "WHO declares Ebola outbreak over"

"The world breathed a sigh of relief Thursday as a two-year Ebola epidemic that killed 11,000 and triggered a global health alert was declared over, with Liberia the last country given the all-clear."

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Media Report: "Senate Republican Caucus releases 2016 priorities"

“In this year’s legislative session, the Republican majority will focus its efforts on protecting Georgia’s status as the best state in the nation to live, work, and worship.”

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Media Report: "CMS promises Meaningful Use replacement this year"

"For physicians clicked off by Medicare's meaningful use incentive program for electronic health record (EHR) systems, a tweet by a senior official in the Obama administration on January 11 sounded like sweet music."

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Classified: Physicians needed to perform physicals at multiple sites in Georgia

A private disability company is seeking physicians as independent contractors who have a Georgia medical license and board certification in family or internal medicine to perform physicals in Brunswick, Athens, Gainesville or Calhoun on Saturdays and/or Macon on Thursdays and Saturdays.

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Media Report: “Blue Cross softening its approach” (features MAG CEO)

"For years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia has maintained its dominance as the state’s No. 1 health insurer. Its membership now approaches 3 million members — in a state with slightly more than 10 million people."

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PAI calls for DOJ to block insurer mergers

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) is urging the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to use its authority to block the pending Aetna/Humana and Anthem/Cigna health insurer mergers.

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Cahaba promoting ‘Medicare 101’ webinars

Cahaba, LLC is encouraging physicians and applicable practice staff to register for three ‘Medicare 101’ webinars.

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CMS seeks comments on HIT certification

CMS has published a ‘Request for Information: Certification Frequency and Requirements for the Reporting of Quality Measures under CMS Programs.’

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AMA & AHA promoting free leadership webinar

The American Medical Association (AMA) and American Hospital Association (AHA) are promoting a free, one-hour ‘Integrated Leadership for Hospitals and Health Systems: Principles for Success’ webinar that will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12.

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Speaker Ryan website: “Obamacare repeal to hit president's desk for first time”

U.S. Speaker Paul Ryan’s website features a number of media reports that address a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

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CMS: 2015 EHR program attestation now underway

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it has updated its “EHR Incentive Programs Attestation Batch Upload [web] page with the Attestation Batch Upload Specifications for 2015 program year attestation…specifications include both CSV and XML data mapping options for the batch upload of the attestation information.”

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DCH updates billing instructions for 340B drug claims

The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) has announced that, “Effective April 1, [it] will change the way that it identifies 340B drugs for exclusion from rebates. DCH will stop utilizing the HRSA exclusion list, and all 340B drugs identified on pharmacy and medical claims must be billed using the following information per applicable Category of Service (COS).”

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MAG & AMA applaud Rep. Price for leadership in passing EHR bill

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) and the American Medical Association (AMA) are applauding MAG member and U.S. Rep. Tom Price, M.D., for the critical role he played in passing the "Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act" (S. 2425) before the end of the 2015 legislative session.

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CHOA offering free child abuse & neglect recognition/reporting webinar

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) is encouraging physicians and applicable practice staff in the Atlanta area to sign up for a free “Child Abuse & Neglect Educational Program” webinar, which will be offered on four dates in January.

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MAG encouraging Georgians to oppose health insurer mergers

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging Georgians to contact Courtney Faust at cfaust@oci.ga.gov or 404.463.2825 or Scott Sanders at ssanders@oci.ga.gov or 404.657.7742 to urge Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens to oppose the pending Aetna/Humana and Anthem/Cigna mergers.

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AMA highlights key provisions in FY 2016 omnibus package

Just before midnight on December 15, House leaders revealed the details of two legislative packages for passage before Congress adjourns for the holidays.

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S.R. 561 committee passes preliminary report

The Georgia Consumer and Provider Protection Act Study Committee (S.R. 561) has unanimously passed a preliminary report that contains a number of recommendations to address key health insurance issues – including rental networks, narrow networks, all-products clauses, and contractual practices – that the General Assembly will consider during the 2016 legislative session.

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Recording of ‘Top Docs’ show on ERISA, claims now online

A recording of a recent Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show that featured former Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine is available online. He discussed ERISA – which is the federal law that sets the minimum standards for most health insurance plans – and what rights physicians and their practices have has once they have submitted a claim.

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CDC seeks comments on opioids prescribing draft

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is seeking comments on a proposed draft opioid prescribing guideline that was designed to “help primary care providers offer safer, more effective care for patients with chronic pain and help reduce misuse, abuse, and overdose from these drugs.”

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National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit

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Save the Date

03.28

AMDA promoting free ‘Care for Younger Adults in Long-Term Care’ training session

The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA) will host a free ‘Improving the Quality of Care and Life for Younger Adults in Long-Term Care’ training session at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Convention Center on Thursday, January 21.

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The Physicians Foundation president weighs in on key issues

The Physicians Foundation President Walker Ray, M.D., addresses a number of key issues in the organization’s December, 2015 e-newsletter, including evidenced-based regulation, the health insurance industry consolidation, and value-based care.

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DCH CVO to assume non-CMO credentialing role

The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) has announced that its Centralized Credentialing Verification Organization (CVO) will become responsible for credentialing and re-credentialing Fee-for-Service Medicaid/PeachCare for Kids® providers that aren’t affiliated with a care management organization (CMO) beginning on January 7.

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Settlement reached in lawsuit between physician and provider associations and Anthem, Inc.

Seven associations representing physicians, chiropractors, podiatrists and psychologists agreed today with Anthem, Inc., to resolve almost seven years of litigation that challenged the validity of how the health insurer determined payments for certain medical claims.

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MAG members encouraged to check profiles, open emails

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging its members to review their member profile by going to the “Login” page at the top of the www.mag.org website to confirm that the email address they have on file is accurate.

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GA-HITEC effort designed to increase depression/alcohol screening

The Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center (GA-HITEC) is promoting an ‘Improving Identification of Depression and Alcohol Use Disorder in Primary Care’ program that is designed to “increase the annual screening rate for the identification of depression (G0444) and alcohol use disorders (G0442) in Medicare beneficiaries.”

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MAG promoting bill to repeal ban on new physician-owned hospitals

The Medical Association of Georgia was one of more than 40 state and national physician advocacy organizations that signed a letter that encouraged Congressional leaders to support H.R. 2513 – the ‘Promoting Access, Competition, and Equity Act of 2015.

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GCMB releases 2015 newsletter/annual report

The Georgia Composite Medical Board has released its 2015 newsletter and annual report.

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CMS extends value modifier, PQRS deadlines

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the informal review period for the 2016 Value Modifier, stating that “All requests must [now] be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on December 16, 2015.”

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‘Top Docs’ show on mergers, “balance billing” now online

A recording of a recent Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show discussing how the pending Aetna Inc./Humana Inc. and Anthem Inc./Cigna Corporation mergers and “balance billing” is now available online.

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Macon Volunteer Clinic seeking medical director

The Macon Volunteer Clinic is seeking a medical director.

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AMA promoting new payment models guide

The American Medical Association (AMA) is promoting the availability of a free ‘Guide to Physician-Focused Alternative Payment Models (APM)’ that it developed with the Centers for Healthcare Quality & Payment Reform.

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Recording of MAG call on key health insurance bill now online

A recording of a 30-minute town hall conference call that the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) hosted on November 18 that addressed a key health care reform bill (S.B. 158) is now available online.

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MAG one of 100+ to weigh in on MACRA

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is one of more than 100 state and national medical societies that signed a letter that was sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that outlines the principles CMS should adopt when it designs the regulations that will be used to implement the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

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AMA honors Georgia physician with Distinguished Service Award

The American Medical Association (AMA) presented Joseph P. Bailey Jr., M.D., Leon Henri Charbonnier professor, emeritus, and associate dean for clinical sciences, emeritus at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, with the 2015 Distinguished Service Award.

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CMS: No need to revise physician orders written before 10/1

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new FAQ that says that addresses physician orders that were written before the October 1 ICD-10 compliance date.

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AMA flags actions on pending insurer mergers

The American Medical Association (AMA) has released a summary of the steps that it has taken to address the pending Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana mergers.

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AMA releases 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule summary

The American Medical Association has released a summary of the 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule.

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State promoting mental health resource for older adults

The Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services is promoting the availability of a new ‘Older Adults & Mental Health: How to Find Help’ web page.

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MAG, AMA calling for support for Rep. Price's MU hardship/relief bill

The American Medical Association (AMA) is reporting that Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) member U.S. Rep. Tom Price, M.D., has introduced H.R. 3940, the “Meaningful Use Hardship Relief Act of 2015.”

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CMS: 2014 QRURs now available

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that, “The 2014 Annual Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) are now available for every group practice and solo practitioner nationwide.”

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CMS issues reminder on e-ICD-10 claims

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reminding medical practices that when they submit electronic claims for services that, “Claims with ICD-10 diagnosis codes must use ICD-10 qualifiers; all claims for services on or after October 1, 2015, must use ICD-10” and “Claims with ICD-9 diagnosis codes must use ICD-9 qualifiers; only claims for services before October 1, 2015, can use ICD-9.”

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Media Report: “Medicare to cover end-of-life counseling”

'Medicare said Friday it will pay doctors to help patients plan what kind of care they want at the end of life, an idea more broadly accepted than six years ago when it touched off a political uproar about "death panels."'

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HHS releases report on ACA insurance plans

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) has released a report that addresses the health insurance plans that were available on the “federal exchange” that were established as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

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AMA to host forum on ‘entrepreneurship’ in Atlanta

The American Medical Association (AMA) will host a ‘Physician entrepreneurship: Transform the future of health care’ forum at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis on Wednesday, November 11.

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MAG among 90+ to call for Congress to “refocus” Stage 3 program

The Medical Association of Georgia was one of more than 90 groups to sign a letter that was sent to Congressional leaders to oppose the decision to proceed with Stage 3 of the Medicare/Medicaid Electronic Health Records Meaningful Use program.

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Sponsor Profile: Nudelman & Associates

Nudelman & Associates, LTD is a specialty law firm that was established by your MAG colleague Mitchell S. Nudelman, M.D., JD, FCLM in 1997.

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HHS releases final rules on Stage 3, HIT certification

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released two final rules, including one on the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program Stage 3 and one on the Health Information Technology Certification Program.

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Longstreet Clinic celebrates 20th anniversary

The Longstreet Clinic, P.C. (TLC), a primary care and multi-specialty medical group devoted to providing high quality care, celebrates its twentieth anniversary today. Since its founding in 1995, TLC has been recognized for demonstrating clinical excellence and best practices along with numerous certifications and awards.

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CMS says ICD-10 claims “processing normally”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says that it has been “carefully monitoring the [ID-10 billing codes] transition [that went into effect on October 1] and is pleased to report that claims are processing normally.”

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MAG CEO calls for DOJ to scrutinize pending mergers

On October 27, Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Executive Director Donald J. Palmisano Jr. sent a letter to the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to call for it to scrutinize the pending Aetna Inc./Humana Inc. and Anthem Inc./Cigna Corporation mergers for antitrust violations.

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Dougherty CMS "Riverfront Run"

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Save the Date

02.13

North Atlanta surgeon sworn into office as MAG's president

John S. Harvey, M.D., was sworn into office as the president of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) during a ceremony that took place in Savannah on October 17 in concert with the organization's 161st House of Delegates meeting.

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Physicians reminding Georgians to get vaccinated for flu

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is reminding Georgians to get vaccinated for influenza, and its president says that November is the ideal time of year.

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MAG one of 80+ M.D. groups to sign letter on MACRA funding

The Medical Association of Georgia was one of more than 80 state and national physicians’ organizations that signed a letter that was sent to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) to address funding for the development of quality measures and technical assistance for small practices under the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015” (MACRA).

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MAG receives "rarely-given" award from Georgia Nurses Association

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) was honored with the "rarely-given" Georgia Nurses Association (GNA) Partnership in Excellence with Nursing Award during a ceremony that took place in Columbus on October 3. More than 100 nurses from across the state were on hand for the event.

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MAG Foundation gets $280K+ to fight Rx drug abuse

The Northeast Georgia Medical Center Foundation hosted an October 1 golf tournament that raised nearly $282,000 that the Medical Association of Georgia of Foundation (MAG Foundation) will use to fund ‘Project Dan’ (deaths avoided by naloxone) in 13 counties in northeast Georgia.

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AMA: Physicians “still watching, waiting” for 2015 EHR requirements

Because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has yet to issue the so-called “modification rule” for the electronic health record (EHR) Meaningful Use program for 2015, the AMA is calling on the agency to create an automatic hardship exemption for physicians who did not have the opportunity to report successfully this year.

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