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OIG Finds Continued Procedural Errors in Hospital Outlier Payment Reconciliations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a report concluding that there are vulnerabilities in the process of reconciling Medicare hospital outlier payments....more

OIG Finds Acute Care Hospitals Improperly Billed for Outpatient Services Provided to Inpatients of Other Hospitals

Acute care hospitals that provide Medicare outpatient services to inpatients of other hospitals should be billing and collecting payment from the other inpatient hospitals and not from Medicare....more

Court of Appeals Reverses D.D.C. Order Requiring HHS to Eliminate Medicare Appeals Backlog by December 31, 2020

Hopes were dashed for sooner relief from the backlog of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) appeals. With the backlog of Medicare reimbursement appeals steadily growing, a reversal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of...more

CMS Implements Uniform Provider-Based Checklist

CMS recently instructed its Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to use CMS's electronic provider-based (PB) checklist. In a One-Time Notification, CMS advised that it had been receiving different PB checklists from its...more

CMS Proposes to Reduce Facility Payment for Non-Excepted Provider-Based Outpatient Department Services by 50 Percent

CMS recently proposed to reduce the facility fee for non-excepted off-campus provider-based hospital departments (OPBDs) from 50 percent of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) amount to 25 percent of the MPFS amount....more

Medicare Two-Midnight Rule and Observation Status Updates

What's new from Medicare in the areas of the Two-Midnight rule and observation services? CMS recently published updates to a Medicare manual reflecting clarifications to its Two-Midnight policy, a Medicare Quality Improvement...more

CMS Publishes the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice Form and Instructions

On December 8, 2016, CMS published the final version of the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON) that hospitals and critical access hospitals (referred collectively as "hospitals" herein) must use to provide notice...more

CMS Final Rule and 21st Century Cures Act Include Good and Bad News for Provider-Based Sites

CMS recently published its final outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) rule, which includes its new policies governing payment related to services furnished at off-campus provider-based departments (OPBDs). 81 Fed....more

Home Health Agency PPS Update for 2017: Quality, Quality, Quality

On November 3rd, CMS published the Final Prospective Payment System (PPS) Rule for Home Health Agencies (HHAs) for CY 2017 at 81 FR 76702 (Nov. 3, 2016). The rule implements annual changes to the PPS rate for HHAs and...more

Court Rules in Favor of Hospitals in Bad Debt Collection Effort

On July 25, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion favoring provider flexibility in the reasonable collection of Medicare bad debt. Winder HMA, LLC, et al. v. Sylvia Burwell. The...more

Court Upholds CMS's Inclusion of Part C Days in Medicare Fraction of DSH Calculation FYE 2012

On August 17, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the position of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) that Part C patients were to be considered as “entitled to...more

D.C. District Court Strikes Down PRRB's Application of "Self-Disallowance" Jurisdictional

In Banner Heart Hospital, et al. v. Burwell, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Court) held on August 19, 2016, that the Provider Reimbursement Review Board (PRRB) incorrectly declined to hear an...more

The MOON Notification is Coming: CMS Publishes Final Changes

CMS is moving forward with implementing the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON) as announced in its FY 2017 IPPS Final Rule [PDF] on August 2, 2016, and published in the Federal Register on August 22, 2016 (Final...more

D.C. District Ct Applies Prohibition on Administrative and Judicial Review to IRF PPS Rates

On July 25, 2016, Judge John D. Bates of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a memorandum opinion broadly construing 42 U.S.C. § 1395ww(j) to prohibit administrative or judicial review of a...more

CMS Releases the 2017 IPPS and LTCH PPS Final Rule, Including MOON Requirements

On August 2, 2016, CMS issued its final rule addressing new payment rates and policies under both the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System...more

Proposed Cardiac, Hip, and Femur Episode Payment Models Are Next Generation from BPCI and CJR

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule on July 25, 2016, entitled, Advancing Care Coordination Through Episode Payment Models (EPMs); Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model; and...more

Medicare Appeals Backlog: HHS' Response to the Decade-Long Delay in Reviewing Appeals

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its proposed rule [PDF] revamping the Medicare appeals process at the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) level on July 5, 2016. The proposed rule extensively revises...more

CMS's Proposed IPPS and LTCH FY 2017 Rule: Key Takeaways

On April 18, 2016, CMS released its proposed rule addressing new payment rates and policies under both the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS),...more

Medicare Appeals 10-Year Backlog: D.C. Circuit Signals Enough is Enough

Issued within a month of one another, two cases regarding the Medicare appeals backlog reached opposite conclusions, providing a circuit-split. The first case from the D.C. Circuit, signaling a major shift toward judicial...more

Court Allows 'Retroactive' Application of 2005 Wage Index Rule Limiting Reimbursement for Pension Plan Costs

On February 22, 2016, in Regents of the University of California v. Burwell, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted summary judgment in favor of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary)...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

Court Upholds HHA Face-to-Face Narrative Requirement

The Medicare statute requires that home health agency (HHA) patients must be homebound and in need of skilled nursing or therapy services in order to receive Medicare HHA services. 42 U.S.C. § 1395f(a)(2)(C). Historically,...more

The Bad Debt Moratorium Requires a Flexible Approach to Evaluating "Reasonable Collection Efforts"

On September 10, 2015, District Judge Randolph D. Moss of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion in Mountain States Health Alliance v. Burwell (Mountain States) involving Section 310 of the...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

Home Health, CY 2016 Proposed Rule: Emphasis on Value-Based Purchasing

On July 10, 2015, CMS published the calendar year (CY) 2016 home health prospective payment system (PPS) proposed rule [PDF]. While the proposed rule updates and revises certain payment rates and quality measures, it also...more

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