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Dialing for Dollars Yields Conviction for Home Health Telemarketer

Sundae Williams, the owner of Serenity Marketing Inc., made unsolicited phone calls to recruit patients, including Medicare beneficiaries, for contracted home health agencies. Williams and Serenity then referred those...more

Obstruction of a Medicare Audit Doesn’t Require Direct Obstruction of a Federal Agent

A registered pharmacist, the owner of two Alabama pharmacies, pleaded guilty to obstructing a 2012 federal audit of Medicare claims and agreed to pay a $2.5 million penalty to the government. The submission of the false and...more

Medicare Advantage Plan Arbitration Clauses Preempted by Medicare Appeals Process

The Arizona Supreme Court, in an interesting case involving a Medicare-related coverage dispute between a Medicare Advantage plan administrator, United Behavioral Health (UBH), and two inpatient psychiatric care providers,...more

Does the Medical-School-to-Prison Pipeline Widen in Middle Age?

The trend of holding physicians personally responsible for healthcare crimes has continued unabated over the past year. As noted in a previous article, physicians are particularly attractive targets for federal prosecutors...more

I’ll Gladly Pay You 10 Years From Today for Care Already Provided

Most providers whose claims have been determined to be improper by the Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) under the Medicare Recovery Audit Program have discovered that the appeals backlog “is incontrovertibly grotesque.”...more

Drug Manufacturer Discount Cards: Accept With Caution

Pharmaceutical manufacturer discount card usage by government program beneficiaries has been an active area for government action in recent years. In a September 2014 Special Advisory Bulletin, the U.S. Department of Health...more

Medicare: Congress Ends 2015 With Some Last-Minute Reforms

Congress chose to end 2015 with some last-minute Medicare reforms impacting healthcare providers. Significantly, the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama on December 28, 2015,...more

The Deeper Dive: C-Suite to Prison Pipeline

In recent years, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has been criticized for failing to prosecute executives for fraud, particularly in the financial sector. In response, the DOJ has begun to more heavily emphasize...more

Five Things to Know About the Medicare SGR Fix

H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), was signed into law by President Obama on April 16, 2015. A broad bipartisan compromise measure, MACRA repeals the much-maligned sustainable growth rate (SGR)...more

2015 Medicare OPPS and ASC Final Rule

On November 10, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) final rule for 2015. The rule updates CMS’s payment rates and policies, value-based...more

Government Sues Hospital for Birthing Mama’s Babies

The Clinica de la Mama case could well serve as an instruction manual of what not to do to stay out of the government’s crosshairs. In this case, several hospitals entered into contracts for Clinica de la Mama to provide...more

IPPS Proposed Rule: Read Once, Then Take an Aspirin

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has set its sights on the quality of care during hospital inpatient stays and much, much more. On May 15, 2014, CMS published a proposed rule that would update Medicare...more

So Much for Stop, Drop and Roll: CMS Proposes New Fire Safety Update

CMS has announced a proposed rule updating Medicare/Medicaid fire safety standards. In particular, CMS proposes to adopt the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code (LSC) and the...more

5/8/2014  /  CMS , Medicaid , Medicare , Safety Precautions

Never Fear Regulatory Violations – Focus on Conditions to Payment

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently upheld the dismissal of a False Claims Act (FCA) suit against Omnicare, Inc., in which the relator alleged that certain drugs repackaged by Omnicare’s subsidiary were...more

CMS – Doc, if You Want a Free Book Go to the Library

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently denied a request from a bipartisan group of 23 members of congress to exempt the distribution of textbooks and scientific peer-reviewed medical journal materials...more

CMS Outpatient and Physician Payment Rules: Don't Miss the Efficient Quality of Care Reform Forest for the Dollar Trees

The final physician fee schedule (PFS) and hospital outpatient department payment rules for FY 2014 clearly signal the continued intent by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to transform the healthcare...more

Pay to Play Quickly — CMS's New Slow Motion Surveys for Acquirers Rejecting Assumption of Medicare Agreements

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a policy memorandum to state survey agency (SSA) directors regarding the effect of rejecting a Medicare agreement in connection with the acquisition of a...more

Physician Medicare Data: Has the Drought Ended?

After 34 years, a federal district court in Florida has overturned a 1979 injunction which prevented the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from releasing to the public Medicare data related to physician billing...more

Bringing Sunlight to Healthcare Pricing: The CMS Release of Hospital Charge Data

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis once said that "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." The release of charges billed by some 3,337 Medicare hospitals for 100 of the most common inpatient diagnosis related...more

No Sale -- Sales Commissions Violate Anti-Kickback Statute; Prevent Enforcement of Nonsolicitation

A durable medical equipment (DME) distributor, Joint Technology, Inc., entered into an agreement to pay a salesman commissions ranging from 18 to 22 percent on the volume of his sales. The court held that the salesman did not...more

Too Big to Exclude; Too Much Wrongdoing to Ignore

A 2007 audit initiated by a Medicare Program Safeguard Contractor (PSC) discovered that a North Carolina provider had a high incidence of inpatient billings for patients who did not stay in the hospital overnight. The PSC's...more

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