News & Analysis as of

Medicare RAC Program Improvements Delayed Until 2016 - Shorts on Long Term Care February 2015

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had planned to award new contracts to companies that act as Medicare’s recovery audit contractors (now referred to as recovery auditors) (RAs) for operation of the Medicare...more

Hospital Engagement Network Contract Solicitation

CMS is requesting proposals for Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) contracts from qualified entities to work on reducing preventable hospital acquired conditions and readmissions through the Partnership for Patients...more

Health Update - February 2015

Cyber Risk Insurance Policies: What You Need to Know - Editor’s Note: As data breach incidents and related cyber risks continue to increase and gain publicity—and government agencies become more actively involved in...more

Health Care Update - February 2015 #3

In This Issue: - IRS in the ACA Spotlight - DOJ and FTC Examine Competition - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Congressional Initiatives - Other...more

CMS Corrects 2015 Medicare OPPS/ASC Final Rule, Impacts Rates

Today CMS published a notice correcting its November 10, 2014 final rule updating the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and the Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System rates and policies...more

Healthcare Legal News: Volume 5, Number 1

CMS ANNOUNCES NEW RULES THAT MAKE OWNER DOCTORS LIABLE FOR ALL PRACTICE MEDICARE DEBTS - Even after they leave the Practice. CMS announced its final rules on "Medicare Provider Oversight" on December 3, 2014....more

OIG Questions Potentially Duplicative Hospital Quality Improvement Efforts

The OIG recently issued a report that examined the extent to which Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) duplicate other CMS hospital quality improvement efforts, particularly Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) and the...more

OIG Examines CMS Payments to Hospitals for Clinic Visits

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) estimates that CMS made $4.6 million in incorrect Medicare outpatient payments to hospitals for established patients’ clinic visits in 2012. ...more

Quality Over Quantity: The Shift from Fee-for-Service to Value-Based Payment Systems

The United States Department for Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently announced its intention to tie thirty percent of fee-for-service Medicare payments to alternative and value-based payment models by 2016. HHS hopes...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: President’s FY2016 Budget Request... FDA Commissioner Hamburg to step down... Tennessee Medicaid expansion plan rejected by legislature. 1. Congress House House Ways and Means Committee Hosts Hearing...more

CMS Intends to Modify EHR "Meaningful Use" Program Requirements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced its intent to engage in rulemaking to update the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs (commonly referred to as the...more

New Rule on Medicare Reimbursement for Chronic Care Management Services

In November 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a final regulation with changes intended to ensure Medicare’s payment system “reflect[s] changes in medical practice and the relative value of...more

HHS Announces First Timeline For Medicare Pay Reforms

On Monday, January 26, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") announced a timeline for moving physicians and hospitals into new payment systems and tying Medicare reimbursements to quality of care....more

Aggressive New Cms Pre-Payment Review Initiative Threatens Physician Practices And Hospitals

According to a recent report in the American Medical News, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published plans to increase the number of pre-payment reviews of hospital and physician claims from 1.2 million...more

OIG Reports Lack of Oversight on Hospital Use of Compounded Drugs

On January 22, 2015, the HHS OIG released a report regarding CMS’s oversight of compounded sterile preparations (CSPs) used in hospitals. After reviewing oversight efforts at CMS and the entities that accredit hospitals to...more

New Limitations on RAC Program

In March 2014, CMS temporarily suspended the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program until it secured new contracts. The contracts for the program expired in June 2014, and in August, CMS said that it would restart the...more

Children’s Hospitals Obtain Temporary Injunction Against CMS

Challenging actions by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), Texas Children’s Hospital and Seattle Children’s Hospital obtained a preliminary injunction that enjoins...more

CMS Announces 20 Repairs to RAC Program

Ever face the choice between trading in your old car or paying for multiple repairs? CMS faced that kind of choice with its Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program. Under the RAC program, contract auditors audit hospitals...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - January 2015

MACS to Hold Certain 2015 Date-of-Service Claims – CMS announced on December 29, 2014, that Medicare Administrative Contractors will hold claims containing 2015 services paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS)...more

Health Reform + Related Health Policy News - December 2014, Issue 1

In This Issue: - Top News ..Congress Passes Omnibus Spending Package ..HRSA Cancels Plan for 340B ‘Mega Reg’; Congress Weighs Options ..Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to ACA...more

Recent Changes to Stark Law's Whole Hospital Exception

The federal physician self-referral law, or Stark Law, provides a number of exceptions to the law's prohibition of physician referrals of designated health services to an entity in which the physician has an ownership or...more

How to Prepare Your Hospital or Medical Practice for a Meaningful Use Audit

For the past several years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has incentivized hospitals and eligible professionals to adopt and make “meaningful use” of certified electronic health records (“EHR”)...more

CMS Releases Final Rule That Increases Difficulty of Medicare Enrollment

In early December, CMS released a final rule that implements certain provider (i.e., Hospitals, SNFs, physicians, etc.) and supplier (i.e., DME companies, etc.) enrollment requirements (“Rule”). The goal of CMS’...more

CMS Final Rule Adds More Arrows but also Demonstrates Restraint

CMS reconsiders $10 million bounties for reporting of regulatory violations. On December 5, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule (the Final Rule) that expands its program integrity and...more

CMS Defines “Uninsured” for Medicaid DSH Payments But Leaves Impact on Hospital-Specific Payments Undefined

CMS’ Final Rule, “Medicaid; Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments – Uninsured Definition”, published on December 3, 2014, may offer relief to some hospitals receiving Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments...more

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