Weekly News Scan: Unique Muscle Activation “Signatures”, Proposed Legislation on Surprise Medical Bills, CMS Fraud Prevention Efforts, New Hospital Price Transparency Requirements

This week in the news, we cover research on muscle activation “signatures” and their potential to identify future musculoskeletal problems, legislation to address surprise medical bills, how fraud prevention efforts at CMS are paying off, and new hospital price transparency requirements.

We hope you enjoy!

Does Everyone Have a Unique Muscle Activation ‘Fingerprint?’ Researchers Say Yes, PT in Motion, November 18, 2019:

It’s no secret that people move differently. However, this may go even deeper than variation in movement styles. According to recent research, humans possess muscle activation “signatures” that are as unique to each individual as fingerprints. Researchers believe that individual muscle activation signatures may have “specific mechanical effects on the musculoskeletal system” and could help identify individuals who are at greater risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Learn more about the research findings.

Surprise-billing Proposal Targets Provider Directories, Becker’s Hospital Review, November 18, 2019:

Legislation was introduced this week to address surprise medical bills by instituting requirements for health plan provider directories. The Insurance Accountability and Transparency Act would require private insurers to update their directories of physicians, hospitals or other in-network providers at least once every six months. Read more about the legislation here.

CMS: Medicare Improper Payment Rate Fell as New Fraud Prevention Efforts Take Hold, Fierce Healthcare, November 18, 2019:

According to CMS, thanks to aggressive fraud measures, the Medicare improper payment rate for fee-for-service fell declined by more than $7 billion from the fiscal year 2017 to 2019. Clarifications and documentation changes helped improve billing accuracy, according to the agency. Learn more about how these fraud prevention measures are paying off.

CMS Rule on Hospital Price Transparency Sets the Stage for Major Shift in Public Access to Charges for Services, PT in Motion, November 20, 2019:

Beginning January 1 in 2020, hospitals will face more stringent requirements to disclose charges for items and services—including physical therapy—in a consumer-friendly, online form. Hospitals aren’t happy about it and are challenging the final rule in court. Read this article to learn what services are included and other notable details in the CMS rule.

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