Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hands on Surgical Training (HoST)

Read the latest on a new surgical simulator that can physically guide the hands of novice surgeons and provides scenarios that traditional VR can not replicate: http://www.fastcompany.com/1755317/robo-simulator-gives-shaky-new-surgeons-the-strokes-of-smooth-operators.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

TJC Launches Primary Care Medical Home Option

The Joint Commission (TJC) is now accepting applications from accredited ambulatory care organizations for a Primary Care Medical Home option (PCMH) that will launch in July 2011.

The PCMH is a delivery model that provides patients with coordinated care by a primary care physician and team of healthcare professionals. The model emphasizes improved communication among clinics, facilities, and healthcare professionals to improve patient satisfaction and health outcomes.

To learn more about the PCMH option and to see TJC's PCMH standards for ambulatory care organizations, click here:

Source: The Joint Commission

State Spotlight: Missouri

MoAMSS Advocacy Efforts - House Bill 347, "The Prompt Credentialing Act"

In March of 2011, House Bill 347 the “Prompt Credentialing Act” was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives. The Bill stated that every health carrier shall complete the process of verifying health care professional’s credentialing information and make a final determination to credential the health care provider within 60 calendar days of receipt of a complete application. It also stated that immediately after becoming credentialed, every health carrier shall retroactively compensate health care professionals for services rendered from the date of the application. Working with NAMSS, we sent a letter to the bill's sponsor, Representative Kirkton, outlining our concerns if the legislation was passed in its written form. Our letter also proposed revisions that would preserve the bill's purpose without diminishing the value of proper credentialing.

The Bill did not make it through the Missouri Legislative session which ended May 13, 2011. House Bill 347 was rolled into another Bill, House Bill 863 and MoAMSS will continue to monitor any progress that it may have in the future.

NAMSS thanks the Missouri Association of Medical Staff Services for sharing this update. To learn more about MoAMSS, visit: http://www.moamss.org/

Does your state have news that you would like to share on the State Spotlight section of the NAMSS Blog? E-mail
news@namss.org with a summary of your news item, and your contact information.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Register for a NAMSS Webinar on the New Telemedicine Rule!

What You Need to Know About the Telemedicine Credentialing Rule
A Live Webinar Brought to You by NAMSS
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 1:00 PM EDT
Presented by Commander Scott J. Cooper, MMSc, PA-C

On May 5, 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule for hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) that will allow for a new credentialing and privileging process for physicians and practitioners providing telemedicine services. The new rule has a 60-day implementation window. This final rule gives hospitals and CAHs more flexibility in credentialing and privileging telemedicine providers. Starting July 5, 2011, the governing body of a hospital or CAH will be allowed to rely on the credentialing and privileging decisions of a distant-site hospital or telemedicine entity when making its own credentialing and privileging decisions. The rule also allows hospitals and CAHs to rely on information from non-hospital telemedicine providers such as teleradiology and other telehealth centers.

The revision is intended to make it easier for hospitals to adopt and implement telemedicine, providing patients with access to a greater range of services. But what does this mean for medical staff departments and your current credentialing and privileging practices?

Join Commander Scott J. Cooper, MMSc, PA-C of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Wednesday, June 15 from 1:00 to 2:30 PM Eastern as he walks through the final rule and answers questions.

Webinar participants will have the opportunity to ask the speaker additional questions following the presentation.

What You Will Learn:

  • What is new about the revised Conditions of Participation?

  • What is the difference between telemedicine, telehealth, and teleradiology?

  • What should the written agreement between the hospital and telemedicine provider look like?

  • What specific information must be received in order for a hospital to rely on the credentialing and privileging decisions of another entity?


Commander Scott J. Cooper, MMsc, PA-C is a member of the United States Public Health Service. He currently serves as a Senior Health Insurance and Policy Analyst with the Clinical Standards Group in the Office of Clinical Standards and Quality at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Commander Cooper and his team at CMS are responsible for the development of CMS standards and policies, including the latest telemedicine final rule.

Who Should Attend:

All MSPs are invited to attend.


Webinar participants will receive 1.5 CE credits.

NAMSS members: $49 Non-members: $69
You will have the opportunity to purchase additional CE certificates for $10 each. A multi-registrant form will be included with your registration information.

To Register:
Visit the NAMSS Online Store to purchase this course.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New NPSG Targeted at Reducing CAUTIs

One Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) has been approved for 2012. NPSG 07.06.01 states that hospitals and critical access hospitals should: "implement evidence-based practices to prevent indwelling catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). (This goal is not applicable to pediatric populations). "

The CAUTI NPSG comes from The Joint Commission's ongoing effort to reduce hospital-acquired infections. No other NPSGs were approved for 2012.

For more information, visit:

Source: The Joint Commission

NAMSS Extends Our Thoughts to Joplin, Missouri

NAMSS would like to extend our thoughts and condolences to all those affected by the severe weather that has hit our country this season. Our thoughts lie especially with the town of Joplin, Missouri, which was devastated by a tornado this past weekend.

We especially would like to recognize the staff of St. John’s Regional Medical Center. As the storm approached, they acted quickly to move patients to safety; now, they are working to implement their disaster plan while accounting for colleagues in the area.

Our thoughts will continue to lie with those who are working tirelessly to help the community to recover and rebuild.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Optometrists' Surgery Rights, Physician Dress Code Rules

Today's edition of American Medical News highlights two legislative developments in Kentucky and New York.

Kentucky: A recently passed law that allows optometrists to perform certain surgeries, including postcataract and glaucoma procedures, has created a debate between physician organizations and the American Optometric Association. The physician groups argue that optometrists lack the necessary training and education necessary to perform surgeries and handle complications. The American Optometric Association argues that optometrists have a record of providing quality services and that the expanded scope of practice will improve access to eye care in underserved communities.

To read the full article, click here:

New York: A proposed bill in New York would require health professionals to adopt a "bare below the elbow" dress code when interacting with patients. The bill is an effort to reduce hospital-acquired infections resulting from bacteria that can travel on neckties, long sleeved clothing, watches, and jewelry. Opponents of the bill state that there is no clear evidence linking the presence of bacteria on clothing and jewelry to the rate of hospital-acquired infections.

To read the full article, click here:

Source: amednews.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New TJC Standards FAQ: Unlicensed Persons Acting as Scribes

The Joint Commission (TJC) has released new Standards FAQ information related to the use of unlicensed persons acting as scribes for physicians and licensed independent practitioners.

The FAQ clarifies TJC's position on who is considered a scribe, the use of scribes, and the definition of "verbal orders" related to entries by a scribe.

To read the FAQ, click here:

Source: The Joint Commission

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Submit News for the State Spotlight!

Does your state have a legislative victory to share? Is your workplace creating new credentialing policies and best practices due to regulatory changes? Has your state association made an impact on the development of any policies in your state?

If you answered "yes" to any of the questions above, we would like to feature your state on the NAMSS Blog as part of a "State Spotlight" series of posts. The State Spotlight will give you the opportunity to share news of your state's public policy and advocacy-focused activities with a national audience.

To be considered, submit the following information to news@namss.org:

  • Name

  • Address

  • E-mail Address

  • Phone Number

  • Whether or not you are a member of a state association, and if so, if you hold an officer or leadership position with the state association

  • A brief summary of the news that you would like to highlight on the blog.

Friday, May 6, 2011

NCQA Announces Completion of ACO Pilot Tests

NCQA has announced that 10 pilot programs in its Accreditation Program for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) has just been completed.

NCQA will use the feedback from the pilot program to create final ACO standards, which are expected to be released in July.

For NCQA's full press release, click here:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

North Carolina Expands Providers Subject to Proof of Licensure Requirements

On April 14, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue signed S.B. 505, which requires that podiatrists, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, psychologists, acupuncturists, and certified professional midwives wear identification with photo and licensing information when meeting with patients.

Chiropractors, dentists, practitioners of medicine and surgery, optometrists, and osteopathic physicians are already required to comply with the requirement under existing law. The purpose of the requirement is to ensure that the public can easily identify the qualifications of the providers they visit.

Source: BNA

Michigan Enacts "I'm Sorry" Law

On April 19, Michigan enacted Public Act 21, which provides that in civil lawsuits,

“a statement, writing or action expressing sympathy, compassion, commiseration, or a general sense of benevolence relating to the pain, suffering, or death of an individual, that was made to that individual or to his or her family, is inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability in a medical malpractice action.”

The law is intended to protect healthcare providers who are afraid to say "I'm sorry" to a patient or his or her family members out of fear that the statement may be used against them in a civil malpractice suit. It is also intended to reduce unnecessary suits.

36 states and the District of Columbia have "I'm Sorry" statutes.

Source: BNA

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Regulatory Alert: CMS Releases Final Rule on Telemedicine Credentialing and Privileging

WASHINGTON (May 2, 2011) -

On May 2, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule that will make it easier for hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) to credential and privilege telemedicine providers.

The rule allows hospitals and CAHs delivering telemedicine services to rely on the credentialing and privileging information of the distant-site facility. The distant-site facility is defined as the location where the provider is located. Members of the governing body of the hospital or CAH where the patient is located will still need to make their own privileging decision; however, the new rule allows them to rely on the credentialing information and privileging decision of the distant-site facility.

One major change from the May 26, 2010 proposed rule is that CMS will allow hospitals and CAHs to accept credentialing and privileging information from facilities other than Medicare-participating entities as long as there is a written agreement between facilities stating that the distant-site entity will “furnish services that permit the hospital to comply with all applicable conditions of participation and standards for contracted services.” This includes the credentialing and privileging requirements of the conditions of participation.

The proposed rule had originally been written to exclude non-Medicare participating telemedicine entities since CMS would have no oversight over them. These entities include teleradiology providers, telepathology providers, and others, including ambulatory surgery centers accredited by The Joint Commission. CMS realized that preventing hospitals and CAHs from applying the new rule to these providers would do little to increase patient access to services or to reduce the burden on small hospitals and CAHs that want to provide telemedicine services.

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on May 5. Hospitals and CAHs will be given 60 days from its publication date to implement the rule.

NAMSS is hosting an upcoming webinar with Lieutenant Commander Scott Cooper of the CMS Office of Clinical Standards and Quality. Lt. Cmdr. Cooper will give an overview of the final telemedicine rule and answer any questions you may have. Be sure to watch your e-mail and the NAMSS Homepage at www.namss.org for the date and registration information.

Read the final rule and see CMS’ responses to comments submitted

Read NAMSS’ comments submitted on the proposed rule in July 2010

Monday, May 2, 2011

Need Guidance on the New ACA Provider Screening Rule?

On March 25, a new CMS rule went into effect to strengthen provider and supplier screening requirements under Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP. The rule, which was ordered under the Affordable Care Act, is intended to crack down on waste and fraud.

The rule outlines various risk categories of providers and the screening methods that should be used for each category, such as checking for licensure and querying the NPDB.

In February, Reed Smith LLP published a comprehensive review of the rule. To read their summary and outline of the rule's requirements, click here: