Federal Flex Updates: October 2016

October 2016

October is almost over so I think I can say Happy Fall to everyone except Scott Daniels out in Hawaii. Fall also marks the start of flu season so it was great to see the influenza immunization measures in MBQIP Monthly last week. For the 2015 flu season, nearly 850 critical access hospitals (CAHs) reported IMM-2 and OP-27. With your hard work I’m sure even more CAHs will be reporting those measures this winter.  

Thank you to everyone who is working on the Performance Improvement Measurement System (PIMS) reports. I particularly want to thank Shellie Smith in Alaska, Kenny Doppenberg in South Dakota and Kathryn Miller in Wisconsin for being early users of the new PIMS and for sending me great questions for the FAQs. The PIMS Reporting Instructions, September 15 conference call and the new PIMS FAQs are all available in the Flex Program Forum. Start your report now so you have plenty of time to finish before it’s due on November 15. 

Congratulations to Pat Schou in Illinois for speaking at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Serivces (CMS) Rural Health Solutions Summit last week! Great job sharing the experience of rural hospitals in Illinois and your work developing an Accountable Care Organization. The summit recordings are online and Pat spoke in the last hour of the morning session.  

In other news, you’ve probably seen that CMS filed the final rule last Friday for the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). This rule affects everyone paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, including CAHs which use Method II billing. Watch for more information from the FORHP Policy Team about this important regulation and send any policy questions to at RuralPolicy@hrsa.gov

As always, please let me know if you have questions or suggestions for improving the Flex Program. 

Sarah Young

Flex Program Coordinator

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,009,121 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.