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News & Analysis as of

Williams Mullen On Call Q&A: Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel Talks Health Care Issues

Williams Mullen recently interviewed Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel to discuss the current health care system and health care forum. Secretary Hazel’s thoughts are set out below...more

The MACRA Final Rule: 10 Things You Need to Know

The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the much-anticipated Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) final rule this month. The rule makes extensive changes to traditional Medicare Part B...more

Congress Continues to Focus on Integrating Telehealth Solutions into Healthcare Delivery

On December 6, 2016, the House passed the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes Act (S. 2873) (the ECHO Act), which was unanimously passed by the Senate on November 29, 2016. The ECHO Act seeks to expand the use of health...more

Deciphering Florida’s New Laws on ARNP and PA Controlled Substance Prescribing

During the 2016 legislative session, Florida granted authority to both advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) and physician assistants (PAs) to prescribe controlled substances, subject to approval by their...more

21st Century Cures Act Includes Prohibition on Information Blocking and Mandates for Additional HIPAA Guidance

On November 30, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives voted strongly in favor of the 21st Century Cures Act (the Act), an expansive health bill that addresses the discovery and development of new medical therapies as well...more

OCR Alerts Listservs About Fake Phishing Email to Covered Entities and Business Associates

On November 28, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued an Alert to its listservs that a phishing email is being circulated on “mock HHS Departmental letterhead under the signature of OCR”s Director, Jocelyn Samuels”...more

Beware of Phishing Email Disguised as Official OCR Audit Communication

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has posted an alert (and a follow-up alert) warning health plans, health care providers, and their vendors of a mock communication...more

Could Possible Healthcare Repeal Efforts Extend to Physician Payments Under Medicare?

Now that the 2016 presidential election is over, many patients are asking whether Congress will repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or parts of the legislation. Yet, many doctors are asking (or should be asking) whether...more

OPPS Provider-Based Final Rule — A More Practical Approach From CMS

CMS recently finalized sweeping changes to the way Medicare pays hospitals for services furnished in “new” off-campus provider-based departments (referred to as “off-campus PBDs”). CMS revealed the changes on November 1...more

New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General Releases Guidance on Compliance Program Reviews

In the 1990s, as part of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the U.S. Sentencing Commission developed for the first time the criteria upon which it will view an organization’s compliance program to be “effective.” In October...more

Tennessee Health Services and Facilities Report: November 2016 Newsletter

The Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency ("HSDA") is responsible for regulating the health care industry in Tennessee through the Certificate of Need Program. A Certificate of Need ("CON") is a permit for the...more

CMS Continues Efforts to Improve Patient Care, Spending, and Population Health

On November 2, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), released the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule, which finalized a number of new policies designed to improve Medicare payment for...more

Now is the Time to Prepare for MACRA: 2017 Will Bring Major Changes to Physician Medicare Reimbursement

MACRA (the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) is bi-partisan legislation that was enacted to change Medicare reimbursement from being based on the current system of volume of services provided to...more

OCR Stresses Importance of Authentication in Newsletter

In a recent newsletter, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) encourages health care organizations to review their procedures around authentication and “ensure that they have the appropriate safeguards in place.”...more

Federal Judge Blocks CMS Rule Banning Arbitration In Nursing Home Disputes

In September, CMS announced a final rule that bans pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements related to care received in long-term care facilities. Among other things, the rule preserves the right of patients and their...more

Health Care E-Note - November 2016

You just formed your medical practice inAlabama, and you either chose a professional corporation (a “PC”) or an LLC. If you went with a PC, you got to choose between an “S” corporation (“S corp”) or a “C” corporation (“C...more

Critical Cyber-Attack on Hospitals Now A Reality- A View From ‘Across the Pond’

Serious trouble for all health and care providers looms large. High risk women in labour and major trauma cases are being diverted to other hospitals after a cyber-attack recently shut down services at a hospital in the...more

Mississippi District Court Halts Implementation of New CMS Rule Banning Use of Arbitration Agreements in Long-Term Care Facilities

Anyone familiar with long-term care litigation knows that the number of disputes regarding the use and enforcement of arbitration agreements in the context of assisted living/nursing home admissions has risen sharply over the...more

HIPAA Audits – Phase 2: On-Site Audits Scheduled for First Quarter of 2017

Covered Entities and Business Associates may be ringing in the New Year with the prospect of responding to on-site HIPAA audits by federal regulators. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights...more

2017 OPPS Final Rule: Payment to Off-Campus Provider-Based Departments

On November 1, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the 2017 Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) Final Rule. One aspect of this rule is the implementation of payment decreases for...more

Federal Court Blocks CMS Ban on Pre-Dispute Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements Pending Legal Challenge: What the Ruling Means for...

Earlier this week, a federal court enjoined the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) from enforcing a rule, promulgated on September 28, 2016, which barred pre-dispute arbitration agreements between...more

Federal Court Enjoins U.S. Agency’s Nursing Home Arbitration Agreement Ban

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency within the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, recently issued a final rule prohibiting nursing homes and other long-term care facilities from utilizing...more

FTC's Winning Streak Restored: Seventh Circuit Reverses Denial of Preliminary Injunction in Chicago Hospital Merger, Competition...

Recent appellate decisions confirm the uphill battle hospitals face when merging with other hospitals. On October 31, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overturned the district court’s ruling in Federal Trade...more

Making Sense of the MACRA Final Rule – Part 3 of 3: Merit Based Payment Incentive System (MIPS)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its final rule with comment period implementing the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Among its numerous changes,...more

Proposed Rule to Strengthen State Medicaid Fraud Control Units

A recently published proposed rule expands the functions and responsibilities of state Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs). The rule was issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of...more

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