Starting in fiscal year 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposes to no longer use the results from three pain management questions in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey in determining hospitals’ value-based purchasing program scores, the agency said today in the outpatient prospective payment system proposed rule for calendar year 2017. CMS would continue to collect and publicly report the results of the HCAHPS pain management questions, however. AHA has urged CMS to suspend the pain-related questions in the VBP program while the agency works to address concerns that the questions may create pressure to prescribe opioids. CMS also is field testing alternative pain management questions, which could be incorporated into the HCAHPS survey through future rulemaking. In addition, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration today issued a final rule that would allow qualified practitioners to request approval to treat up to 275 patients a year with buprenorphine if they have maintained an active waiver to treat up to 100 patients for a year and meet other criteria described in the rule. That’s up from an originally proposed 200 patients a year. Buprenorphine, a controlled substance, is one of three drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medication-assisted treatment of opioid dependence. Among other actions, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a request for information on the most promising approaches in prescriber education and training programs and effective ways to leverage HHS programs to implement or expand them.

Related News Articles

Headline
The three medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid use disorder — methadone, buprenorphine and extended-release naltrexone —…
Headline
About 80 percent of new HIV infections in the U.S. in 2016 were transmitted from the nearly 40 percent of people with HIV who either did not know they had HIV…
Headline
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Friday released its March report to Congress.
Headline
Historic flooding in parts of the Midwest caused a number of Nebraska hospitals to be inaccessible by ground transportation, the Nebraska Hospital Association…
Headline
In a study of Blue Cross and Blue Shield enrollees reported last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, initial opioid prescriptions declined 54 percent…
Perspective
As our country works to expand health coverage and improve access to care, “Medicare for All” is getting a lot of attention. There are many different flavors…