On January 17, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its biggest set of modifications to the HIPAA privacy and security rules. The final rule includes significant enhancements to patient privacy protections and strengthens the government's enforcement abilities.
On January 10, the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers (SMART) Act was signed into law after receiving only three "no" votes in the House of Representatives and enjoying unanimous passage through the Senate. In essence, the new law will improve the MSP system by forcing CMS to streamline its claim settlement process.
Although most facilities don't submit Medicare Part B claims associated with diagnostic tests, laboratory tests, and radiology, billing departments still need to have a working relationship with vendors in order to ensure invoices are accurate and claims are billed through the primary coverage provider of the resident.