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CMS Releases the 2016 OPPS Final Rule

On November 1, 2016, CMS published its final policy changes, quality provisions, and payment rates for 2017, as they relate to the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center...more

D.C. Circuit Precludes Review of DSH Uncompensated Care Data

On July 26, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided Fla. Health Sciences Ctr. v. Burwell. In that case, the Court analyzed a statutory bar against judicial review of estimates...more

Final FY 2017 Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities Payment and Policies Rule, Payment Matters

On August 1, 2016, CMS published the FY 2017 Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities (IPF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) – Rate Update notice. Some of the key changes are highlighted below....more

OIG Approves Hospice Payments to Nursing Facility for Dual Eligible Patients Under Medicaid Demonstration Project

On July 20, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a favorable Advisory Opinion (16-08) [PDF] regarding payments from a hospice to a nursing facility in which a dual...more

CMS Releases the 2016 OPPS Proposed Rule

On July 15, CMS published its proposed policy changes, quality provisions, and payment rates for 2017 as they relate to the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC)...more

OCR Clarifies Parameters of Covered Entities' Fees for PHI Copies

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released new guidance and FAQs (OCR Guidance) addressing individuals’ rights to access their protected health information (PHI) under the Health Insurance Portability and...more

Proposed Changes to the Part 2 Regulations: Another Example of Necessary Flexibility in the Wake of Changes to Health Care...

On February 9, 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published a proposed rule to update and modernize the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations governing...more

Wage Index Reclassification Rule Struck Down by Second Circuit

On February 4, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided Lawrence + Memorial Hospital v. Burwell. The case addressed a regulation, issued by the Secretary of Health and Human Services...more

OIG Approves Charitable Program Providing Financial Assistance for MRIs in Advisory Opinion 15-14

On November 13, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 15-14. The Arrangement at issue is a charitable program designed to assist financially needy...more

OIG Issues (Another) Favorable Advisory Opinion Regarding Medigap/Preferred Hospital Network Arrangement in Advisory Opinion 16-01

On January 7, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 16-01, approving yet another insurer’s proposed contract with a preferred hospital network. The...more

Stark Updates Included in Final 2016 Physician Fee Schedule

With the final Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) for 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made a series of updates to the Stark physician self-referral regulations. The final rule is largely...more

Uncertainty Continues for Two-Midnight Rule's Payment Reduction

In Shands Jacksonville v. Burwell [PDF], No. CV 14-1477, 2015 WL 5579653, (D.D.C. Sept. 21, 2015), the United States District Court for the District of Columbia gave the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human...more

Open Payments Update: End of CME Exception for Sunshine Reporting

On July 17, 2015, CMS announced updates to the Law and Policy page on the Open Payments website to provide additional guidance regarding the termination of the continuing medical education (CME) exception for reporting under...more

Stark Regulations: Proposed Physician-owned Hospitals Provisions

In the proposed Physician Fee Schedule for 2016 [PDF], CMS recommends amending several requirements related to the physician-owned hospital and rural provider exceptions to the Stark law. As discussed more fully below, CMS...more

Again, the OIG Approves a Medigap Policy Contract with Preferred Hospital Networks

On June 12, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 15-08. This opinion continues the well-established pattern of favorable advisory opinions which...more

CMS Pays $1.3 Billion to Hospitals for Settlements of Medicare Inpatient Appeals

On June 11, 2015, CMS announced that it had entered into settlements with over 1,900 hospitals for over 300,000 disputed inpatient billing claims. CMS updated its website dedicated to inpatient hospital reviews, noting that...more

Medicare Shared Savings Program - 2015: What's Changed, What's New, and What's to Come?

The most recent Shared Savings Program final rule, published in the Federal Register on June 9, 2015, finalizes a number of the revisions to the original November 2011 final rule that CMS proposed on December 8, 2014. In...more

Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act: Paving the Way for Broader Gainsharing Activities

On April 16, 2015, President Obama signed into law H.R.2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), a critical piece of health care legislation which represents significant movement towards a health...more

Excluded Individual Not Precluded from Payment for Pre-exclusion Services

In Advisory Opinion 15-02 [PDF], issued February 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) looked favorably on the Requestor’s inquiry as to whether receipt of Federal health...more

HHS Identifies Specific Goals to Move Toward Paying for Quality of Care

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new initiative to shift Medicare reimbursements from volume to value using new payment methodologies for physicians and hospitals. Such a...more

Guidance, Not Regulations, Expected for 340B Drug Pricing Program

The long-awaited 340B “mega rule,” promised by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to be published last summer, has now been officially nixed. HRSA recently announced that it will not release the...more

OIG's 2015 Work Plan Highlights Departmental Priorities

Each year the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issues its Work Plan to identify for the provider community the key fraud and abuse issues on which it will focus on in the coming...more

Highlights of the 2015 OPPS and ASC Final Rule

On October 31, 2014, CMS published its 2015 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Policy Changes and Payment Rates final rule. This annual rule affects the 4,000...more

Highlights of OIG's Proposal to Amend Safe Harbors to the Antikickback Statute and CMP Rules, and to Add New Safe Harbors

On October 3, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a proposed rule to establish new safe harbors under the antikickback statute and the civil monetary penalty (CMP) rules,...more

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