Debra McCurdy

Debra McCurdy

Reed Smith

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Latest Publications


GAO Assesses Availability of Data on Long-Term Care Workforce

In response to concerns about potential future shortages of direct-care workers to provide hands-on long-term services and supports (LTSS), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report examining federal and...more

10/5/2016 - GAO Health Care Providers HHS Long Term Care Facilities

OIG Examines Compliance with Hospice Election Statement, Terminal Illness Certification Requirements

A recent OIG report examined whether hospices are meeting all requirements associated with the election statement that Medicare beneficiaries sign when they choose hospice care, and whether physicians are meeting all...more

10/4/2016 - Hospice Medicare OIG Physicians

GAO Calls on HHS to Strengthen Electronic Health Info Security, Privacy Guidance and Oversight

In light of recent health information data breaches, the Government Accountability Office has issued a report examining whether HHS security and privacy guidance for electronic health records (EHRs) are consistent with...more

10/4/2016 - Covered Entities Cybersecurity Data Breach EHR GAO HHS NIST OCR

CMS Issues Preliminary 2017 Medicare Clinical Lab Payment Determinations, Final 2016 Gap Fill Amounts

CMS has released the preliminary 2017 Medicare clinical laboratory fee schedule (CLFS) payment determinations for new and reconsidered test codes, including determinations regarding whether CMS will use crosswalking or...more

10/4/2016 - CLFS Clinical Laboratories CMS Public Comment

CMS Corrects FY 2017 Medicare IPPS/LTCH Final Rule

CMS has corrected a series of technical and typographical errors in its final rule updating the Medicare acute hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system...more

10/3/2016 - CMS Final Rules Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Long Term Care Facilities Medicare Payment Systems

PTAC Announces Timeline for Submission of Physician-Focused Alternative Payment Model Proposals

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) established the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) to provide recommendations on arrangements that meet the criteria for a...more

10/3/2016 - CHIP Letters of Intent Medicare Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization (MACRA) Physician Fee Schedule Physician Payments Physicians PTAC

Public Health Bills Advance

On September 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law S 1878, the Advancing Hope Act, which modifies the FDA’s priority review voucher program for rare pediatric diseases and extends the program through December 31, 2016. In...more

10/3/2016 - Barack Obama Co-Op Controlled Substances Act FDA Mental Health Substance Abuse

SAMHSA Final Rule on Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders Reporting Requirements

On September 27, 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published a final rule establishing annual reporting requirements for certain practitioners who prescribe buprenorphine-based...more

10/3/2016 - Controlled Substances Act Final Rules Mental Health Opioid Reporting Requirements SAMHSA Substance Abuse

NIH Finalizes New Drug and Device Clinical Trial Reporting Requirements

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has finalized the requirements for submitting clinical trial information for applicable clinical trials of drug products (including biological products) and device products on...more

10/3/2016 - Clinical Trials CMS FDA Final Rules NIH Pharmaceutical Industry

CMS Call: How to Report Across 2016 Medicare Quality Programs (November 1)

CMS is hosting a call on November 1, 2016 to discuss how physicians and other providers can report quality measures during 2016 to maximize participation in Medicare quality programs, including the Physician Quality Reporting...more

10/3/2016 - CMS EHR Medicare Medicare Shared Savings Program Physicians PQRS Value-Based Payments

With Short-Term Government Funding Bill in Place, Congress Adjourns until after Elections

On September 29, 2016, President Obama signed into law HR 5325, which averts a government shutdown by continuing funding for the federal government through December 9, 2016. The legislation also includes $1.1 billion in...more

9/30/2016 - Funding Lame Duck Session Mental Health Obama Administration Zika

CMS Finalizes Major Changes to Medicare/Medicaid Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities

On September 28, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a highly-anticipated final rule to strengthen requirements that long-term care (LTC) facilities must meet to participate in the Medicare and...more

9/29/2016 - Arbitration Agreements CMS Final Rules Health Care Providers Long Term Care Facilities Medicaid Medicare Public Comment

CMS Call on New Medicare/Medicaid Emergency Preparedness Requirements (Oct. 5)

On October 5, 2016, CMS is hosting a call to discuss its September 16, 2016 final rule establishing emergency preparedness requirements for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating providers and suppliers to ensure that they can...more

9/29/2016 - CMS Emergency Management Plans Final Rules Health Care Providers Medicaid Medicare

OIG Report Highlights MFCU Achievements

The OIG has released its Medicaid Fraud Control Units Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report, which compiles data on investigations and prosecutions by the 50 MFCUs. According to the OIG, MFCUs attained 1,553 convictions in FY 2015,...more

9/23/2016 - Fraud OIG Pharmaceutical Industry

Energy and Commerce Committee Clears Public Health Bills - September 2016

On September 21, 2016, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved the following public health bills: ..H.R. 4365, Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act – to amend the Controlled...more

9/23/2016 - Controlled Substances Act Mental Health Nurses Public Health

House Approves Medicare ESRD Coverage, Rural Hospital Supervision Bills

On September 21, 2016, the House of Representatives approved HR 5659, the Expanding Seniors Receiving Dialysis Choice Act of 2016, which would allow Medicare beneficiaries with end stage renal disease (ESRD) to enroll in...more

9/23/2016 - CMS ESRD Hospitals Medicare Medicare Advantage Physicians

Congressional Hearings Focus on Health Policy Issues - September 2016

A number of recent Congressional hearings have focused on health policy issues, including: ..Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearings on laboratory testing in the era of precision medicine, and...more

9/23/2016 - Affordable Care Act Congressional Investigations & Hearings Cosmetics FDA Opioid Pharmaceutical Industry Right to Try

HHS Proposes Changes to State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Rules

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) have proposed amendments to the regulations governing State Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs). The proposed rule would reflect...more

9/23/2016 - CMS Fraud HHS Medicaid Medicare OIG Proposed Amendments

CMS Ends Temporary Suspension of Hospital “Two-Midnight” Short Stay Reviews

CMS has announced that it is allowing Beneficiary and Family Centered Care (BFCC) Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) to resume initial patient status reviews to determine the appropriateness of Part A payment for short...more

9/14/2016 - CMS Health Care Providers QIOs Two-Midnight Rule

CMS Announces Flexibility for Physician First-Year Participation in MACRA Quality Payment Program

In a recent blog post, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt announced CMS’s plans to give physicians more options for complying with significant upcoming changes to Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) rules – which will...more

9/13/2016 - Alternative Payment Models (APM) CMS Medicare Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization (MACRA) MIPS MPFS Physicians

CMS Posts PAMA Clinical Lab Fee Schedule Data Reporting Template and User Guide

In order to assist the clinical laboratory community in meeting new Medicare reporting requirements under the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA), CMS has posted a Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule Data Reporting...more

9/13/2016 - CLFS Clinical Laboratories Clinical Laboratory Testing CMS Data Collection Medicare PAMA Reporting Requirements

GAO, OIG Issue Reports on Medicare Part B Drug Payment Issues

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued several reports on various Medicare Part B drug reimbursement issues. In a report entitled “Medicare Part B: Data on...more

9/13/2016 - Discount Pricing Drug Pricing GAO HHS Manufacturers Medicare Medicare Part B OIG Pharmaceutical Industry Reimbursements

OIG Updates Corporate Integrity Agreement Independent Review Organization Guidance

The OIG has updated its guidance for providers under Corporate Integrity Agreements regarding the circumstances that might affect the independence and objectivity of independent review organizations (IROs). ...more

9/13/2016 - Corporate Integrity Agreement GAO Guidance Update Health Care Providers OIG

CMS Finalizes Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare/Medicaid Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a long-awaited final rule establishing emergency preparedness requirements for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating providers and suppliers to ensure that they...more

9/12/2016 - CMS Emergency Management Plans Health Care Providers Medicaid Medicare

DMEPOS Bidding Round 1 2017 Single Payment Amounts Announced

CMS has announced the single payment amounts for Round 1 2017 of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program. As previously reported, this round...more

9/12/2016 - CMS Competitive Bidding DMEPOS Medicare

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