United Healthcare Agrees to Delay Lab Billing Requirement

United Healthcare (UHC) announced it will delay implementation of a controversial hospital lab billing policy until April 1, 2021. UHC had notified hospitals of a new requirement that they register and bill hospital lab services to UHC using hospital-specific lab codes, rather than the standard CPT codes required by CMS and other carriers. The proposed... Read More >>

OIC Releases Final Rule on Balance Billing Protection Act

November 2, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) finalized additional rulemaking and a concise explanatory statement related to the Balance Billing Protection Act (BBPA), which prohibits balance billing for certain out of network services and provides an arbitration process between carriers and providers for payment disputes. While the basic structure of the BBPA has... Read More >>

HHS Revises Cares Provider Relief Fund Reporting Policies, Still Accepting Applications for Phase III

On October 22 HHS announced a new revision to the guidance regarding Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting policies. The new change limits lost revenue to the difference between current and 2019 net patient revenue, but allows hospitals to apply the grant amounts to COVID expenses and revenue losses occurring the first 6 months of 2021,... Read More >>

CMS Announces Coverage for COVID-19 Vaccine

On October 28 CMS announced new policies aimed at ensuring that all patients will be able to access the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to them. However, as with earlier policies for COVID testing, it doesn’t guarantee that vaccination will be covered at rates that over the full cost of care. The Medicare payment rates... Read More >>

Free flu vaccine for uninsured adults

The Washington State Department of Social & Health Services announced yesterday that the flu vaccine is now available to uninsured adults at no cost.... Read More >>

Health Workforce Sentinel Network – Send input by Nov. 6

The Health Workforce Sentinel Network seeks your input on health workforce challenges and suggested solutions. ... Read More >>

Federal Pharmaceutical Waste Standards Effective October 31, 2020

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform hospitals that the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals will take effect in Washington state on October 31, 2020. The Department of Ecology (Ecology) adopted the EPA’s standards in new WAC 173-303-555 to provide clarity and ensure consistency between state and federal regulations. The EPA’s regulations first took effect August 21, 2019, and Ecology’s subsequent adoption may require modifications to your current dangerous waste management practices if your hospital is out of compliance with the federal standards.... Read More >>

HCA Finalizes Contracts with Five Carriers for Cascade Care (Public Option) Health Plans

The Washington Health Care Authority announced that it has finalized contracts with five carriers that will offer newly created Cascade Care public option plans, starting on January 1, 2021.... Read More >>

Provider Relief Fund Requirements – Hospital Should Ask Congressional Members to Sign Dear Colleague Letter

We encourage hospitals to contact their representatives, asking them to sign on to the “Dear Colleague” letter circulated by Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia. ... Read More >>

Health Plans Commit to Primary Care Model

The Washington State Health Care Authority announced that eight Washington health plans have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing to support and make good faith efforts to implement the state’s multi-payer primary care model.... Read More >>

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