Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

News & Analysis as of

Health Care Reform Implementation Update - July 2014

Last week the Senate debated a bill to reverse the Supreme Court’s contraception mandate decision, a group of House Republicans introduced a bill to replace Affordable Care Act (ACA) cuts to the Medicare home health benefit...more

CMS Seeking Comments Regarding Expanding Coverage for Secondary Interpretation of Images

In the proposed 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, CMS is seeking comments regarding expanding coverage for secondary interpretation of diagnostic imaging....more

CMS Proposes Update to 2015 Home Health Prospective Payment System for Comment

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its proposed update of the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) rates for calendar year (CY) 2015 in the July 7, 2014 Federal Register. In...more

D.C. Circuit Says CMS Doesn’t Know What’s New

On Tuesday of last week the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that the Provider Review Reimbursement Board doesn’t know what’s new. It reversed the PRRB’s decision, along with the District Court’s decision that upheld it. In doing...more

Teaching Hospitals and Physicians Must Take Action Now to Correct Erroneous Reports about them Submitted Under the Sunshine Act

On September 1, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will make public the reports submitted by pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers under the Sunshine Act. These reports will disclose...more

New Flexibility Under the Medicare Conditions of Participation: A Single Medical Staff Option for a Multi-Hospital System and...

As described in our prior alert, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has, for the past several years, been seeking ways to reduce its regulatory burden on health care providers. In furthering this initiative,...more

You Are Now on the Clock — Sunshine Act Dispute Window Now Open

Beginning Monday, July 14, 2014, the review, dispute and correction process outlined the National Physician Payment Transparency Program (also known as the "Sunshine Act") opens on CMS's Open Payments website. Physicians and...more

CMS Releases Proposed 2015 Physician Fee Schedule and Pojects 20.9% SGR Reduction

CMS has issued the Proposed 2015 Physician Fee Schedule and Fact Sheets for specific issues (ASC, ESRD, Home Health, Physician Quality Programs)....more

OMHA Announces Two New Programs to Address Appeals Backlog

The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA), which oversees the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) level of appeal, recently posted two important announcements regarding a new Statistical Sampling Initiative (SSI) and...more

Health Care Update - July 2014 #2

In This Issue: - Obama Administration Ramps up Efforts to Reduce Medicaid Spending - Senators Press Gilead on Sovaldi - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory...more

OIG Report Recommends Increased Scrutiny of Over 1000 Laboratories With Questionable Billing for Medicare Part B Clinical...

According to a recently released report by the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), over 1,000 labs had unusually high billing for Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Services for dates of service in 2010. Increased...more

CMS Releases New Resources, Schedules Teleconference for Sunshine Review and Dispute Process

As we informed you last week, the Open Payments review, dispute and correction process started today and will continue through September 11, 2014. This is the process that allows physicians and teaching hospitals to review...more

AMA Issues Telemedicine Guidelines

On June 11, 2014, the American Medical Association (AMA) released a new set of telemedicine principles, which emerged from its policy report addressing “Coverage and Payment for Telemedicine.” The AMA report details the...more

CMS Releases Proposed 2015 Physician Fee Schedule and Outpatient Prospective Payment System Rules

On July 3, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released its proposed Calendar Year (“CY”) 2015 Physician Fee Schedule (“PFS”) Proposed Rule, to be published in the Federal Register on July 11, 2014....more

CMS Announces Dates for Sunshine Payment Review, Dispute & Correction Process

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that the Open Payments review, dispute and correction process will begin on Monday, July 14, 2014 and continue through September 11, 2014. ...more

CMS Proposes Relief for HH Face-to-Face and Therapy Reassessment Requirements

In the last issue, we reported on the difficulties faced by home health agencies (HHAs) in complying with the documentation requirements for the face-to-face (F2F) encounter between a patient and a physician before or shortly...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update - July 2014

On June 30, in one of the most highly anticipated cases affecting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Supreme Court ruled that closely held companies could assert a “religious objection” to the ACA contraceptive coverage...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - July 2014

New ACO Rules Sent to OMB for Review – On June 26, 2014, a proposed Accountable Care Organization (ACO) rule that would make changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program in advance of the second round of ACO contracts...more

OIG Report: Questionable Billing for Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Services

Perhaps not coincidentally, immediately following the release of the Questionable Laboratory Payments Special Fraud Alert by the OIG, posted yesterday on the Med Law Blog, the OIG has followed up with Audit Report OIG –...more

New OIG Special Fraud Alert Focuses on Suspect Practices of Labs and Referring Physicians - Certain Payment Arrangements May Be a...

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a new Special Fraud Alert on June 25, 2014, that focuses on certain compensation arrangements between laboratories and referring...more

Medicare's Proposed Home Health Rule for 2015: CMS Suggests Only Limited Relief to the Face-to-Face Encounter Documentation...

On July 7, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") published proposed changes to the Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System ("HH PPS") for calendar year 2015 ("Proposed Rule"). The Proposed Rule...more

Recent Employee Benefits Developments

Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S....more

CMS Announces Provider Relations Coordinator for RAC and MAC Issues

CMS recently announced that it has established a CMS Provider Relations Coordinator, Latesha Walker, to assist providers in resolution of issues with Recovery Auditor Contractors (RACs) and Medicare Administrative Contractors...more

CMS Wants To Shine Light On CME Payments To Physicians

It’s a question CMS has been wrestling with since the enactment of the Sunshine Act (sometimes called the Open Payments Program) as part of the Affordable Care Act. The Sunshine Act generally requires a manufacturer to...more

Maintaining Privilege for Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) Documents and Reports*

Introduction to QAPI - Pursuant to § 6201(c) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued interim guidance governing the implementation of...more

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