Marilyn Tavenner, MHA, BSN, RN, cleared the first hurdle on her path to being the first Center for Medicaid and Medicare Administrator in six years. On April 23rd, she was approved, by a strong margin, by the Senate Finance Committee. Unfortunately, the last step, a vote by the full Senate, has been held up due to “a hold” being placed on her vote by Senator Harkin (D-IA). Ms. Tavenner was nominated to head CMS by President Obama in early February. Tavenner joined CMS in February 2010 and became acting administrator in December 2011.
The ANA-PAC Board of Trustees will elect five new members during their meeting in June. The term of office for members of the ANA-PAC Board of Trustees elected during this time frame begins on July 1, 2013 and runs until June 30, 2015. Applications must be received by Friday, May 31, 2013.
There’s only one day in Congress where members actually get along and everyone seems to be in a great mood; Swearing-In day. This is a day where both Senators and Representatives put aside political bickering and celebrate what they love most, winning and the end of long and exhausting days on the campaign trail. On January 3rd the ANA Government Affairs (GOVA) team welcomed the 113th Congress by attending several open house events which honored newly elected members on Capitol Hill.
The end of 2012 brought some good news for providers of mental health services. Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that included language to allow P-APRNs to do PTSD pre-separation medical examination. Additionally new coding and reimbursement policies will allow providers to get paid for psychiatric/mental health services.
Implementation of the health insurance exchanges (Exchange), a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, is less than nine months away. The deadline for notifying the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) as to the proposed design of a state health insurance exchange is history. Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia (DC) have received conditional approval from HHS to run their own Exchange. Those states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, and Washington. If not planning to operate a state based exchange, states have until February 15th to notify HHS of the desire for a state-federal partnership. Arkansas and Delaware have already been conditionally approved for the partnership model as others wait to hear. Any states not having submitted a request to HHS for either of the two models will be subject to a federally run Exchange with the ability to amend their decision in the future. Regardless of the decision as to the type of Exchange, there remains allot of work yet to do by all involved parties.
The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule, issued November 1, and effective January 1, 2013, could have a major impact for many RNs and APRNs, especially those working in primary care and care coordination. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved new CPT codes and payments for transitional care management and complex chronic care coordination. ANA represents the nursing profession for the CPT Editorial Panel and the RUC (Relative Value System Update Committee), and we helped develop and value these codes.