Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services started a Accelerated and Advance Payment Program when the pandemic hit as admissions and office visits dropped. Big industry groups are advocating for more relief as hospitals and providers continue to struggle during COVID-19. Provider Medicare payments extensions and relief continues as President Trump signed a continuing resolution on Thursday, October 1st to extend the advanced payments during the pandemic. The new law will give providers a year before CMS will recoup the advanced payments paid during the emergency period with lower interest rates, and more favorable repayment terms aiming to preserve quality of care.
While lawmakers are looking to loan forgiveness as a long term solution to the repayments, CMS is unlikely to budge. Some of the funds used to assist hospitals and providers were from Medicare trust funds unlike the Provider Relief Funds which were paid from the federal government. With a depleted trust fund, Medicare is unlikely to allow loan forgiveness and many providers are encouraged to pay off they advanced payments before they turn into overpayments and begin accruing interest. Once this happens, the Department of Treasury can get involved to recoup on providers unwilling to pay what is owed via their tax refunds, for example.
While large healthcare industry groups advocate for further relief, Congress has stalled on make progress on a bill since the CARES Act. Talks will continue admits the Presidential election and pandemic developments.
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Neurosurgeons fight Medicare’s payment cuts to preserve quality and access to care in an already stressed health care system due to COVID-19.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) are fighting the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The uproar from the neurosurgery community comes from the estimated 7% payment cuts they will face at a time that our health care system is already under stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The reductions come from new policies for office and outpatient visits that the CMS will put into motion on January 1, 2021. The neurosurgery community argues that any cuts or changes to evaluation and management codes will compromise patient access to care and longer wait times.
According to Ann R. Stoink, MD, FAANS, a practicing neurosurgeon from Bloomington, Illinois, and chair for the AANS/CNS Washington Committee, states, “Now is not the time to reduce payments for surgical care, and if implemented as is, the Medicare payment rule will challenge an already fragile health care system.” Members from the Surgical Care Coalition and other groups are asking Congress to waive Medicare’s budget neutrality to prevent these cuts and to require that CMS apply an increase to the evaluation and management payments.
A survey conducted by the coalition found that: 74% of neurosurgeons are concerned about the finances of their practice. 38% have cut their own salary and 24% have taken on debt just to keep their doors open as a result of COVID-19. Over 76% are worried that they will have to cut employee’s salaries or permanently layoff employees.
“This was an ill-informed and dangerous policy for patients even before the pandemic started but could be even more detrimental as our health care system continues to weaken under COVID-19. If finalized, this proposal could result in neurosurgeons taking fewer Medicare patients leading to longer wait times and reduced access to care for older Americans, so Congress must act now to prevent this from happening,” Dr. Stroink concluded.
Source: Katie O. Orrico – American Association of Neurological Surgeons
MD Staff Pointe
For the latest opportunities in Neurosurgery go to our Jobs Page!
For more about MD Staff Pointe go to: About MDSP
MD Staff Pointe has been placing physicians and mid-levels in locum and permanent positions throughout the United States since 2007. What sets them apart is their primary focus on sub-specialties. Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Critical Care, Gastroenterology, Infectious Disease, Neurology, Pediatrics, Pulmonology, Surgery (across disciplines) and Urology are some of the core specialties to name a few.
Two of the leaders at MD Staff Pointe shared some of their experience working with clients in the Q&A below; with efforts to help the healthcare staffing industry and provide a look inside MD Staff Pointe.
Q: In your own words describe your role and its purpose.
- A1: I am one of the bus drivers. My duty is to generate as many opportunities possible for MDSP to staff and help with physician shortages nationwide.
- A2: Oversee and lead the team to partner with clients around the US who utilize our services.
Q: How long have you been in business development for Healthcare Staffing?
Q: What is your approach to getting to know the key players in the healthcare industry?
- A1: I begin with Medical Staff Office. The MSO handle credentialing and typically know the department contacts.
- A2: Storytelling, sharing experiences working with clients and specific placements at facilities.
Q: What are the kinds of clients you are looking to partner with?
- A1: I work from the top down approach. I start with the health systems that feed into others. This type of partnership holds value with smaller sites.
- A2: Single specialty and multi-specialty groups based in suburban areas. Our core specialties cater to helping support these physicians and provide access to patients in their community.
Q: Describe the ideal client
- A1: The ideal client utilizes most specialties and are not restricted to work with any one group. They also demonstrate favorable responsiveness.
- A2: The ideal client would allow us to solve their staffing shortages first.
Q: Name 3 benefits clients can expect when they partner with you/MD Staff Pointe.
- A1: Responsiveness, Integrity, Work ethic
- A2: One point of contact throughout the search/placement process, full disclosure presentations, up-to-date communication
Q: What sets MD Staff Pointe apart?
- A1: We are specialized and have a robust pipeline of subspecialty physicians and surgeons across the US.
- A2: MDSP focuses on searching/placing hospital based specialties, consultants, and surgery
From small critical access hospitals, rural hospitals to large health system MD Staff Pointe is here for the expected, unexpected, and everything in between and strives to provide superior service during the search, placement, credentialing, and logistics phases of healthcare staffing.
For more information about how MD Staff Pointe can help your facility go to: Request Coverage page.
Or to find out more about us go to: About MDSP page
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With summer in full swing, finding fun activities to do can be daunting. Regardless of where you live there are countless ways to have fun at-home, in your community, or in your state. Here 20 amazing summer stay-cation ideas to make it a blast.
Set some ground rules: (optional)
No phones, computers, or TV – Test yourself and get creative with a no phones, computers, or TV rule for a day.
Out and About
Visit a Nearby Tourist Spot- Be a tourist in your on hometown.
Take a day trip – get out in your state and explore places you have never been before. Pull out a map and go! Who knows you just might find some cool places you have never been in your own backyard.
Stay at a hometown hotel for a night or two. Or Airbnb it. – When we think vacation, we typically dream of tropical get away or scenic journeys to far away lands, but who says you can’t stay local and try out a nice hotel near you? Better yet, Airbnb a eclectic home, yurt or tiny house in your state and get out of Dodge for a weekend.
Take your camera for an adventure – Our phones have cameras. Take yours for a field trip, day trip, or weekend getaway. Make memories! You will be glad you did.
Tour a Local Factory, Winery, or Brewery – Taste your way to a fun day out with friends!
Go out for ice cream – I know the ice cream aisle at the grocery store may have some appeal, but nothing replaces the special trip to get ice cream our parents took us on.
Themed dinner and movie night – Go out to a great Italian place, have a glass of Chianti, and follow it up with the Godfather series. You pick your food and movie combo!
Fun in the sun
Get Wet – Spend the day at a river, lake, local pool or water park, or just head to the beach! If that sounds like too much effort, simply set up a slip & slide in the backyard. Kiddie pools can be for adults too. Set up a cool down tank in your back yard to fight the hot summer days.
Go Golfing – If dad is into real golf, consider spending an afternoon doing a family golf lesson; otherwise, stick to mini golf at a local novelty course!
Play Outside – Go fly a kite, take a walk, go for a bike ride, or take a hike–most state and national parks have at least a few walking, hiking, or biking trails to choose from.
Explore The Great Indoors
Finish a jig saw puzzle – If its to hot to go outside, buy a jigsaw puzzle, throw on some music and challenge yourself to complete it in one day! Or two. Get your friends to help out, the more help the better.
Stay in bed or take as many nappy poo’s as you want! – Rest and good quality sleep are sometimes hard to come by. Take a day and spoil your body and mind with some rest and recovery.
Buy a bunch of magazines – Tired of reading books, try picking up some magazines and lounge at-home or at park.
Make a collage – Got too many magazines? Create a vision board or dream collage of the things that matter to you or that you want in your life. Collages are a great way to get creative again. No experience necessary. Just glue, poster board and scissors.
Find a easy Read, Romance, fantasy, fiction – When was the last time you read a book for fun? Maybe high school, grade school? Go to a local library, amazon or used book store and find a tantalizing book to get lost in.
Camp in Your Own Backyard-Why not enjoy the great outdoors in your own backyard? Set up a tent and sleeping bags, build a fire (or use the grill) to cook s’mores, and camp out.
Picnic – This could be a full basket retreat to the park or a brown bag lunch in the grass. Just a change in scenery with some good simple food could brighten your day.
Hang up a hammock – Aiming for a low key day? Hang up a hammock inside or outside. Give yourself a nook to lay back, relax and enjoy a nap or a good book.
Break out some cards and board games – Dust them off everyone! Or go out and find one you and some friends can have a blast with over cocktails and small eats.
Got an itch to work and play?
Check out our recent blog Summer Fun Travel Destinations for Locums and our Job Page for new locum opportunities!