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OIG Unveils New Work Plan Process: Assessing the Impact on Compliance Risk Assessment

On June and July 17, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) released new Work Plan initiatives and, in doing so, announced its intent to update its Work Plan monthly, in lieu of a...more

CMS Finalizes New SRDP Disclosure Form and Process

Parties disclosing actual or potential violations of the Stark law will use a new series of forms under CMS's Voluntary Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP) process as of June 1, 2017. According to CMS, the new forms...more

OIG Approves Free Lodging and Meals Under "Promotes Access to Care" Exception to Beneficiary Inducement CMP

In Advisory Opinion 17-01, published March 10, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) approved an academic medical center's proposal to provide free or reduced-cost lodging and...more

Despite Uncertain Future of ACA, OIG Issues Final Rule Revising Permissive Exclusion Authority

On January 12, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a final rule expanding its permissive exclusion authority while also codifying certain statutory changes made...more

OIG Finalizes CMP Regulations, Largely as Proposed

On December 7, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) finalized [PDF] its proposal to update the civil monetary penalty (CMP) regulations – namely, incorporate new CMP authorities...more

OIG Approves Free Vaccine Refrigeration Systems in Physician Offices

On September 16, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) released Advisory Opinion 16-09, approving a refrigerator manufacturer’s proposal to install a vaccine storage and...more

CMS's Payment Suspensions Wreak Havoc: Understanding the Risks

CMS payment suspensions can cripple any provider's or supplier's operations. Yet, CMS has the authority to impose a payment suspension upon the mere existence of "reliable information" that an overpayment or fraud may exist....more

CMS Releases Final Rule Addressing Hospice FY 2017 Wage Index, Payment Rates, and Quality Reporting

On August 5, 2016, CMS released a final rule addressing fiscal year (FY) 2017 updates to the hospice wage index, payment rates, and quality reporting requirements. Of note, the final rule increases hospice payments by 2.1...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

Senate Finance Committee Report Concludes Stark Law Change Is Necessary to Drive Health Care Reform

In its report, Why Stark, Why Now? [PDF], released June 30, 2016, the Senate Committee on Finance outlines suggested changes to the physician self-referral law, 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn, (the Stark law) in order to facilitate and...more

CMS Announces Plans to Streamline the Stark Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol

On May 6, 2016, CMS published a notice (Notice), required under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), seeking public comment on its plans to revise the information collected under the Medicare Self-referral Disclosure Protocol...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

All Right Stop, Collaborate and Listen! CMS Is Back with Its Brand New Invention, Preparing for CJR Gainsharing

Understandably, there is anticipation surrounding the April 1st start date for CMS’s newest bundled payment program, the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program. As participant hospitals consider gainsharing...more

OIG Approves Free Transportation and Lodging for Certain, Low-Income Pregnant Women - Advisory Opinion 16-02

On March 1, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 16-02 [PDF], approving an academic medical center's (AMC's) provision of free transportation and lodging...more

Charity's Patient Assistance Program Passes OIG Muster in Advisory Opinion 15-17

On December 28, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued OIG Advisory Opinion 15-17, approving a charity’s proposal to unveil a new patient assistance program dedicated to...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

CMS Proposes Significant Revisions to Hospital Discharge Planning Process: How Patient Choice May be Impacted

On November 3, 2015, CMS released a proposed rule revising existing discharge planning requirements for hospitals, critical access hospitals (CAHs) and home health agencies (HHA). CMS stated impetus for doing so is to both...more

OIG Approves Limited, Free Drug Program

On August 12, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 15-11, approving two pharmaceutical manufacturers’ free starter drug program. Citing the limited scope...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

Key Ingredients of CMS' Proposed Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model

On July 14, 2015, CMS released a proposed rule regarding a new, alternative payment model: the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CCJR) program. Modeled in large part on the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI)...more

Proposed 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Would Impact Medicare Shared Savings Program

The proposed Physician Fee Schedule for 2016 [PDF] contains several provisions that are likely to have an impact on the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). These provisions focus in large part on quality measures and the...more

Medigap Insurer's Contract with Preferred Hospital Network Approved (Yet Again)

On April 22, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 15-05 [PDF], approving a Medigap insurer’s proposed contract with a preferred hospital network. The...more

"Next Generation" ACO Model Announced by CMS

In a March 10, 2015 press release, CMS announced a new addition to its existing Accountable Care Model (ACO) portfolio: Next Generation ACOs. As stated by CMS in its press release, this new ACO model will allow for already...more

Highlights of the 2015 Home Health Prospective Payment Rule

On November 6, 2014, CMS published its final Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) rule for calendar year (CY) 2015. As highlighted below, notable changes in the HH PPS final rule [PDF] include: (1) a...more

OIG Again Approves Medicap Insurer's Contract with Preferred Hospital Network

On October 21, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 14-10, approving a Medigap insurer’s proposed contract with a preferred hospital network. Similar to...more

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