Major Legislative Wins for CSMS Members & Patients of Connecticut

HUGE Step Forward on High Deductible Health Plan Fight!  We’re thrilled that our tireless efforts to get the legislature to address HDHPs paid off.  The budget includes the establishment of a task force, as specially requested by our HDHP coalition, to study high deductible health plans. The task force will include members of CSMS, Connecticut College […]

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Updates from NGS Listening Session

CSMS EVP/CEO Matthew Katz, recently participated in a National Government Services (NGS) listening session and would like to share some insight, tips, and tools with members.  See the list below to learn about the NGS updated website, Medicare identification cards, duplicate claims, annual wellness visits, and updates on revalidation. The NGS website has been updated […]

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Helpful Links from CMS

https://qpp.cms.gov/about/resource-library –  Quality Payment Program https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/story-page/patients-over-paperwork.html – Patients Over Paperwork https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-NetworkMLN/MLNGenInfo/Continuing-Education.html – Medicare Learning Network Continuing Education https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Look-Up-Topics/Medicare/New-Medicare-CardMessage.html  – New Medicare Card https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/medicare-diabetes-prevention-program/  – Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-ServicePayment/DMEPOSCompetitiveBid/index.html  – DMEPOS Competitive Bidding https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/PhysicianFeeSched/index.html  – Physician Fee Schedule/Care Management https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-andReports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/OpioidMap.html  – Opioids https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-AssessmentInstruments/HospitalQualityInits/HospitalCompare.html – Hospital Compare Star Ratings https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-andGuidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/2019ProgramRequirementsMedicare.html  – Interoperability of Electronic Health Information

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CSMS Is One of 120+ Groups Calling for Congress to Refine & Improve MACRA

CSMS is one of more than 120 physicians’ advocacy organizations that signed a letter that was sent to congressional leaders to urge them to refine and improve the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), including replacing the 2020-2025 physician payment update freeze with positive payment adjustments, extending the Advanced APM bonus payments by six […]

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CSMS Comments on Interoperability Proposed Rules to ONC Health IT and CMS

On June 3, CSMS and the Physician’s Advocacy Institute (PAI) submitted comments to Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC Health IT) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the 21st Century Interoperability Proposed Rule. Click here to read the letter sent to CMS. Click here to read the letter […]

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Connecticut State Medical Society Joins Coalition to Demand Legislators “Say No” to Recreational Marijuana Legalization

Group comprises 7 State Medical Associations with more than 180,000 physician and student members NORTH HAVEN, CT — With pressure mounting on state legislatures across the country to legalize recreational marijuana, a coalition of eight* state Medical Societies is calling for thoughtful and thorough consideration before rushing to legislate. “This is a public health issue, […]

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Connecticut State Medical Society Backs Bipartisan Surprise Billing Measure

Proposal backed by Congressional Physician-Members Would Protect Patients, Hold Insurers Accountable and Avoid Costly Legal Battles NORTH HAVEN, CT. — The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) applauds the announcement of bipartisan legislation authored by physician representatives Raul Ruiz, MD, (D-CA), Phil Roe, MD, (R-TN), Ami Bera, MD (D-CA), Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) and Joseph Morelle […]

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Regional Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Education Increases Provider Knowledge

The May issue of Connecticut Medicine, the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), “Finding Hope in the Battle Against the Opioid Overdose Crisis,” highlights some of the innovative strategies Connecticut’s medical community is forging to tackle this public health crisis and features dozens of experts from across the state, including: Regional […]

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Recommendations for Adult Measles Vaccination

Due to the current increase in measles cases in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed the following summary for vaccination of adults against measles with measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. Recommendations for vaccination and assessing immunity in adults have not changed since publication of the Advisory Committee on Immunization […]

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The Opioid Overdose Crisis in Connecticut – J. CRAIG ALLEN, MD

The May issue of Connecticut Medicine, the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), “Finding Hope in the Battle Against the Opioid Overdose Crisis,” highlights some of the innovative strategies Connecticut’s medical community is forging to tackle this public health crisis and features dozens of experts from across the state. Guest editor, […]

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The Connecticut State Medical Society Joins Fund to Improve Health Information Exchange

State participates in the largest investment of private funds to assist physicians with sharing health information across medical practices The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) in association with five other state medical societies and The Physicians Foundation, today announced the formation of the first of its kind $500,000 interoperability fund, known as The Physicians Foundation […]

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Connecticut Physicians Applaud Attorney General Tong’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against Several Generic Drug Manufacturers

Connecticut Attorney General Tong is leading a 44-state coalition antitrust lawsuit against TEVA Pharmaceuticals, 19 other generic drug manufacturers, 15 individuals in conspiracy to fix prices and allocate markets for more than 100 different generic drugs. Today, the Connecticut State Medical Society joined several legislators and other key health care advocates for a press conference […]

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CSMS Scientific Journal Focuses on Opioid Crisis: “Finding Hope”

The May issue of Connecticut Medicine, the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS), “Finding Hope in the Battle Against the Opioid Overdose Crisis,” highlights some of the innovative strategies Connecticut’s medical community is forging to tackle this public health crisis and features dozens of experts from across the state. Since 2013, […]

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The Connecticut Physicians Respond to Department of Public Health Immunization Report

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) and the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (CT-AAP) are alarmed by the startling Department of Public Health (DPH) School Immunization Report that was released today. CSMS President Claudia Gruss, MD voiced concern over this newly released information: “the facts don’t lie, we know that immunizations are […]

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CSMS and State Specialty Societies Continue to Push Back on Ambulatory Surgery Centers Tax

This week CSMS joined forces with other state specialty societies (Connecticut Society of Plastic Surgeons, Connecticut Society of Eye Physicians, Connecticut Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery Society, Connecticut ENT Society, Connecticut Urology Society and the Fairfield County Medical Association) to encourage the Finance Committee to pass SB 1131 AN ACT CONCERNING THE AMBULATORY SURGICAL CENTERS TAX.  […]

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REMS-compliant Accredited Continuing Education Now Available

The Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) that is required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for opioid analgesic drug products used in the outpatient setting, and to provide two helpful resources that are a part of the Opioid Analgesic REMS. We ask you to consider the development and/or distribution of […]

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Reefer Madness

MICHAEL M. KRINSKY, MD, AND MYRON GENEL, MD From the Editors’ Desk, April 2019, Connecticut Medicine  There is a notion that marijuana is innocuous, and being relatively harmless, it should be legal for recreational use – that it is not really any more dangerous than, say, hula hoops. This idea is rampant, embraced by many […]

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QPP Roundup: April 2019

Providing monthly updates on PAI’s activities and QPP news for you and your practice. QPP Tip of the Month: Check Your Eligibility for 2019 With the close of the reporting period for submission of your 2018 MIPS performance data, physicians and groups should check their eligibility for the 2019 MIPS participation year using the QPP […]

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Register for April 10 Webinar on the MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category in 2019

Join CMS on April 10 for the 2019 MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category Webinar CMS is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, April 10 at 1:00 PM ET to provide information about the Promoting Interoperability (PI) performance category of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in Year 3 (2019) of the Quality Payment Program. During the […]

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Reminder: Nomination Period Open for MACRA Episode-Based Cost Measures Clinical Subcommittees

CMS has contracted with Acumen, LLC to develop care episode and patient condition groups for use in cost measures to meet the requirements of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). As part of the development and maintenance processes, Acumen is seeking nominations from clinicians to participate in Clinical Subcommittees that will […]

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MIPS 2018 Data Submission Period Has Closed; Preliminary Performance Feedback Data for MIPS Now Available

The data submission period for the 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) closed on April 2, 2019. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is currently in the process of reviewing all the data submitted. We would like to thank all of the clinicians who submitted their data, as well as the qualified clinical […]

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Four State Medical Society Presidents: No, No, No, No to Recreational Marijuana

We, the undersigned, as presidents of our state medical societies, have joined together to express our mutual opposition regarding our states’ approval of any policies that legalize recreational marijuana. We have serious concerns about the lack of scientific evidence that supports recreational marijuana use by adults and young adults. Most importantly, not enough research has […]

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Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) Website Retires in March 2019

  The PQRS program ended on December 31, 2018, and CMS is retiring the website on March 29, 2019. All of the posted resources currently on the website will no longer be available after March 29, 2019. Please download or read any educational materials on the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) website before it retires. […]

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Statement on Proposed Aid in Dying Legislation HB 5898: AN ACT CONCERNING AID IN DYING FOR TERMINALLY ILL PATIENTS.

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) members have discussed and debated the issue of aid in dying for many years. CSMS does not take this issue or policy lightly, nor do we wish to impugn those who have opposing views on this important matter. We believe that our position reflects our strong commitment to the […]

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April 2: Submission Deadline for MIPS Year 2 (2018) Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has opened the data submission period for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians who participated in Year 2 (2018) of the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Data can be submitted and updated any time until 8:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. CMS Web Interface users […]

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The Deadline to Submit MIPS Year 2 (2018) Data is Less Than 1 Month Away

You Have Less than 1 Month to Submit MIPS Year 2 (2018) Data for the Quality Payment Program The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has officially opened the data submission period for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians who participated in Year 2 (2018) of the Quality Payment Program. Data can be […]

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CSMS Joins AMA and Others in Calling for More Targeted PA Requirements

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) was one of nearly 100 state and national physicians’ advocacy organizations that signed a letter that the American Medical Association (AMA) sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to urge it to “provide guidance to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans on prior authorization (PA) processes through its […]

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CSMS Forcefully Defends Pain Management Practices

CSMS sent a letter addressing key concerns and recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health regarding Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Draft Report.  The letter highlighted CSMS pain medicine specialists’ evaluation of the draft report and reflected the letter provided by the Connecticut Pain […]

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QPP Tip of the Month: Physicians Have Until March 31, 2019 to Submit 2018 MIPS Performance Data to Avoid a -5 Percent Payment Adjustment in 2020

Physicians may submit their 2018 MIPS performance data by using the CMS QPP submission portal through March 31 to avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2020. With the 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting deadline fast approaching, you may be unsure of or need additional information on the steps needed to submit your 2018 […]

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CSMS Joins AMA to Speak Out on Surprise Billing to Congress

CSMS, medical and specialty societies throughout the county, collaborated with the AMA to voice concern to the House Ways and Means Committee about the impact that unanticipated medical bills are having on patient out-of-pocket costs and the patient-physician relationship.  The problem of unanticipated out-of-network bills is complex, and requires a balanced approach to resolve. As […]

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Register for February 27 Webinar: Eligible Clinician eCQMs with Substantive Changes for the 2019 Performance Year

Webinar Details Title: Eligible Clinician eCQMs with Substantive Changes for the 2019 Performance Year Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST Registration Link: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/1894265/5BD0F208DD1DEB33D1A4775AE47FBE69 This one-hour session will provide an in-depth review of the following electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) with substantive changes for the 2019 performance year: Preventive Care and Screening: Body Mass […]

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Check Your Preliminary 2019 MIPS Eligibility on the QPP Website

You can now check the Quality Payment Program (QPP) Participation Status Tool to view your eligibility status for the 2019 performance period under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Enter your National Provider Identifier (NPI), to find out if you need to participate in MIPS during the 2019 performance year. How CMS Determines Your 2019 […]

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CSMS’ Top Priority Bill on High Deductible Health Plans Featured in Thursday’s Insurance Committee Hearing!

CSMS has been heavily advocating for the legislature to address the issue of High Deductible Health Plans and the impact they have on physicians and their patients.  This Thursday, February 7 we’re thrilled to be providing testimony at the public hearing of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee in SUPPORT of  Proposed S.B. No. 28 […]

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CMS Measure Development Education & Outreach Series Bulletin

New CMS Resources for eCQM Development: The Collaborative Measure Development Workspace. The Electronic Clinical Quality Measure (eCQM) Strategy Project is an ongoing effort of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and is part of an ongoing commitment to promote efficiency through health information technology while decreasing burden to providers. CMS has now expanded the […]

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Early CSMS Victories! HDHP & Physician Recruitment/Retainment Bills Introduced

We are just a few weeks into the 2019 Legislative Session, and we already have very positive news to share! In 2018, CSMS was the first medical society in the nation to foster legislative discussion on high deductible health plans, calling for legislation to protect physicians with patients in those plans. CSMS called for and […]

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New 2019 QPP Resources Available on QPP.CMS.GOV

To help you prepare for the 2019 performance year of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), CMS has posted the following new resources to the Quality Payment Program Resource Library. 2019 Medicare Part B Claims Measure Specifications and Supporting Documents – Provides comprehensive descriptions of the 2019 claims measures for the MIPS Quality performance category. […]

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Physician Networking Events

Monday, January 28, 2019 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. Willimantic Brewing Company/ Main Street Cafe   Tuesday, February 5, 2019 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. D’Amelio’s Restaurant, Waterbury   Attend one (or both) of our FREE networking events to learn more about CSMS, Windham County and New Haven County Medical Associations: advocacy, education, discounts/benefits, and our HIE, […]

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CMS Streamlines Systems for QPP Data Submission and Access

If you’re participating in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) or are a representative of an Alternative Payment Model (APM) that reports data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through the QPP website (such as a Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organization (ACO)), you can sign in to the QPP website to […]

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Physician Compare Preview Period Extended to January 7th

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) opened the Physician Compare preview period on November 30, 2018 at 10 AM ET (7 AM PT). The 30-day preview period provides an opportunity for clinicians and groups to review their 2017 Quality Payment Program performance information before it is publicly reported on Physician Compare profile pages and in the […]

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Efficiency and Reliability: CSMS/DrFirst Offer Mobile eRx and CPMRS Access

The Connecticut State Medical Society is pleased to highlight our partnership with DrFirst and to offer their iPrescribe mobile e-prescribing solution to CSMS members. DrFirst is the industry leader in medication management and is the trusted partner to over 350 EHRs. We partnered with DrFirst because their applications, like iPrescribe, consistently pass stringent audits and […]

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CSMS Encourages Members to Weigh in on Draft MOC Recommendations

CSMS is encouraging our members to weigh in on the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission’s draft recommendations for continuing certification programs by 12 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15. The Vision Commission says that it “considered the input received from key stakeholders reflected in the more than 21 hours of testimony and results […]

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Physician Fee Schedule for 2019 Includes Changes to Evaluation-and-Management Services

The 2019 Medicare physician fee schedule final rule included several changes when it comes to payment for evaluation-and-management (E/M) services. Physicians should make note about three things in next year’s fee schedule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS has postponed the E/M coding “collapse” for at least two years. CMS will […]

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KAMMCO Develops New Tool to Assist Healthcare Providers Combating Opioid Epidemic

Physicians, hospitals and behavioral health providers participating in the CTHealthLink health information exchange will appreciate access to a new analytic dashboard—Opioid/Controlled Substances.   Developed by physicians in response to the widespread opioid crisis in this country, the new tool supplements the currently available Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). The tool builds upon a more comprehensive set […]

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A Prescriber’s Guide to the New Medicare Part D Opioid Overutilization Policies for 2019

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a roadmap with details of their three-pronged approach to combating the opioid epidemic going forward: 1) prevention of new cases of opioid use disorder (OUD); 2) treatment of patients who have already become dependent on or addicted to opioids; and 3) utilization of data from across […]

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CMS Updates Electronic Clinical Quality Measure (eCQM) Resources for the 2019 Performance Period for Eligible Clinicians and Eligible Professionals

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated the list of Electronic Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs) that are fully specified and are available to be used for the 2019 performance period in the Quality Payment Program, which were finalized in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Final Rule. Updated list of eCQMs and […]

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Avoiding the 2020 MIPS Payment Adjustment – The Minimum You Need to Report for 2018

QPP Tip of the Month The “test” and “partial” participation options that were available for the CY 2017 MIPS participation period are no longer available for the CY 2018 MIPS participation period. To avoid the 2020 MIPS payment adjustment, based on 2018 MIPS participation, physicians will need a minimum of 15 points across all four […]

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HIEs Valuable During Times of Natural Disasters

It is heartbreaking to see the destruction caused by the current wild fires devastating California.  We thank the brave fire fighters and medical professionals who are doing whatever they can to preserve life.  Click here to learn more about how you can help. Healthcare demands rise dramatically when threatened with a natural disaster such as […]

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Just Released from CMS: Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program

CSMS will review/examine these changes and report back to our members. Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized bold proposals that address provider burnout and provide clinicians immediate relief from excessive paperwork tied to outdated billing practices. The final 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the Quality Payment Program (QPP) rule released […]

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Physician I.T. Leaders Say Recent Improvements to Medication Management in Hospitals Make Patients Safer – A DrFirst Article

Nearly 100% of chief medical information officers (CMIOs) in US hospitals believe medication management improvement initiatives are having a positive impact and that patient safety issues are less likely to occur today, as compared to five years ago, according to a new survey from the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS). The survey […]

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CSMS Significantly Contributes to Response to CMS Regarding Anti-Kickback Law

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI), of which CSMS is a part of, recently sent a letter in response to CMS’ request for information on the need for modernization of “anti-kickback” laws. CSMS contributed significantly to the development of this letter and it is consistent with our previous comments to CMS regarding CMMI, APMs, stark and self-referral […]

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