Category Archives: Medical Blog

Making All Copays Count Will Help Kentuckians Afford Their Medications and Increase Adherence

Posted July 23, 2021 Kentuckians are facing rising out-of-pocket costs for the medications they need. A recent study published in JAMA Network Open found that among commercially insured patients who paid a drug deductible or coinsurance, median out-of-pocket spending for 79 brand-name drugs increased 15 percent between January 2015 and December 2017. As a result, patients are increasingly turning to copay assistance programs and manufacturer coupons to help cover their out-of-pocket prescription costs. In response, some insurance companies are refusing

OSHA Releases New COVID-19 Rules for Healthcare Industry

Posted July 14, 2021 The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) with the stated goal of protecting healthcare workers who come into regular contact with COVID-19. The ETS applies only to healthcare employers and includes any setting where an employee is providing healthcare services or support, such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and also includes emergency responders and home healthcare workers. The rule, which has an effective

CGS Medicare Provider Survey on Preventive Services and Chronic Care Management Initiatives

CGS Medicare is requesting providers take this brief survey to share their insights and opinions on preventive and chronic care management services available through the Medicare Fee-For-Service Programs. Feedback from the survey will help shape education and outreach strategies to increase awareness and participation in these helpful services aimed at keeping Medicare patients healthy. The survey should take 5-10 minutes to complete.

HHS Revises Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements and Timeline

On June 11, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released revised reporting requirements for health care providers who received Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments. These revisions expand the amount of time providers have to report information and extend key deadlines for expending PRF payments for recipients who received payments after June 30, 2020. The revised reporting requirements are applicable to providers who received one or more payments exceeding $10,000, in the aggregate, during a single Payment Received

June 2021 President’s Message: The New Normal

by Dale Toney, M.D., 2020-2021 KMA President While there are certainly still remnants visible, society is starting to return to what life looked like before the COVID-19 pandemic. Capacity restrictions and mask mandates in Kentucky expired just over a week ago, and stores, restaurants, and travel looks much like it did pre-pandemic. For physicians, however, things aren’t back to ‘normal’ just yet. There are still many protocols in place in our hospitals and clinics to keep our staff and patients

May 2021 President’s Message: “Leading the Way to End the Pandemic”

Posted May 14, 2021 There’s a saying that great leaders don’t set out to be leaders at all. They simply set out to make a difference. I’d argue that most physicians went into medicine to make a difference. We are inherently called to serve and called to care for others. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we unfortunately knew little in the beginning about how to treat this deadly virus. Our knowledge was constantly evolving and there were more questions than answers.

Member News Alert April 19, 2021: Gov. Beshear Rescinds Previous Requirements for Healthcare Facilities

On Monday, Gov. Beshear rescinded Executive Order 2020-215, which outlined requirements for healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The order has been replaced with new Healthy at Work documents, available here. Healthcare facilities are asked to refer to both the minimum requirements document and the healthcare facilities supplemental document. Medicare FFS Claims: 2% Payment Adjustment (Sequestration) Suspended Through December An Act to Prevent Across-the-Board Direct Spending Cuts, and for Other Purposes, signed into law on April 14, 2021,

KMA Wraps Historically Successful 2021 Legislative Session

Posted April 13, 2021 Thanks to the advocacy of engaged physicians from across the state, the Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) completed one of its most successful legislative sessions in recent history. Despite challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and several inclement weather delays, five KMA priority issues were sent to the Governor’s desk and became law. These include: Telehealth Expansion: Expands the definition of telehealth to include remote patient monitoring, allows telehealth services to continue through audio-only encounters, and removes

William Thornbury, M.D., To Discuss Advances of Telehealth in Kentucky on KET

Posted April 9, 2021 William C. Thornbury, M.D., medical director and CEO of Medical Associates Clinic in Glasgow, Kentucky, and chief of family medicine at T.J. Samson Community Hospital, will talk about advances in telehealth in Kentucky on KET’s Kentucky Health. Following is a schedule of air dates: Sunday April 18, 2021 12:30 pm ET on KET Sunday April 18, 2021 5:30 pm ET on KETKY Monday April 19, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KET2 Friday April 23, 2021 1:30

New Information Blocking Rules Now in Effect: What You Need to Know

Posted April 9, 2021 The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released a final rule on the implementation of the new “information blocking” rules put in place as a result of the 21st Century Cures Act, which requires physicians to comply with new regulations on the access, exchange, and use of patients’ electronic health information (EHI). Information blocking is defined as practices that are likely to interfere with, prevent, or materially discourage the access, exchange,

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