In This Issue:

- Top News

..Congress Approves Budget Deal with Short-Term ‘Doc Fix'

..CMS “Two-Midnight” Rule delayed until March 31, 2014

..Individuals with Canceled Insurance Policies May Apply for Exemption From Fines and May be Eligible for Catastrophic Plan Options

..HHS and Insurers Offer Extra Help and Extensions in Last-Minute Rush for January Coverage Under the ACA

..Public Hospitals Push to Voluntarily Relinquish Tax- Exempt Status, Avoid ACA

..CMS Announces New 2014 Participants in Medicare Shared Savings Program

..New OIG Report Questions Adequacy of the OCR's Oversight of HIPAA Security Rule

- State News

..Tennessee Cancer Clinic Owners Convicted in Misbranded Drugs Case

..Seventh Circuit Affirms Challenge to Constitutionality of Wisconsin's Admitting Privileges Statute

..California Peer Review Panel Makeup Clarified by Court

..Medicaid Expansion Plan In Pennsylvania Under Scrutiny

..Delays In Medicaid Expansion Plan In Wisconsin Create Controversy

- Regulatory News

..Meaningful Use Stage 3 Delayed

..OIG Report Announces Significant Recoveries and Program Exclusions During FY 2013

..OIG Issues Final Rule Amending Electronic Health Records Safe Harbor under the Anti-Kickback Statute

..OIG Report Says Hospitals Should Do More To Protect Against Fraud Linked to EHR Use

..DOJ Alleges Illegal Upcoding By National Physician Group Practice

..CMS Manuals Updated to Reflect Jimmo Settlement Changes

..Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Role in $10.5M Medicare Fraud Scheme

..Massachusetts Pharmacy Appears to be Nearing Settlement Over Tainted Injections

- Additional Reading

- Federal Register

- For More Information

- Excerpt from Congress Approves Budget Deal with Short-Term ‘Doc Fix':

My a vote of 64-36, the Senate passed a two-year budget agreement on December 18, 2013 that includes an extension of Medicare physician payment reimbursement rates through March 2014, as well as “extenders” for several other health programs set to expire on January 1, 2014. The Senate action followed the House of Representative’s December 12, 2013 approval of the budget measure. President Obama has already stated that he will sign the agreement.

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