News & Analysis as of

What Employer Shared Responsibility Does Not Say

So much energy has been spent on what the final regulations on the employer shared responsibility tax and the related final reporting regulations (the “ESRR”), that some of the most significant considerations have been missed...more

Want To Complain About The 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule? Take A Number.

Apparently Americans feel that way about Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service physician compensation schedule. Everybody complains about it, but nobody likes any proposed changes. That’s clear from the reaction to the...more

What's the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid in the Context of Long-Term Care?

Although their names are confusingly alike, Medicaid and Medicare are quite different programs. Both programs provide health coverage, but Medicare is an “entitlement” program, meaning that everyone who reaches age 65 and is...more

OIG Advisory Opinion Approves Medigap Insurer’s Plan to Use Preferred Hospital Network

On August 25, 2014, the OIG released an advisory opinion declining to impose civil monetary penalties on a Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance – or Medigap – insurer that planned to discount inpatient hospital deductibles...more

Efforts to Stop Health Insurance Fraud Through Use of Contractors Under Fire

In recent reports, from June 25, 2014 and August 13, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlights the mixed results achieved by the federal government's increased efforts to crack down on health insurance fraud...more

Bundling Gains Momentum, Even as New Study Raises Questions

Health care cost bundling—the aggregating of all the costs of an episode of medical care into a single bill—seems to be here to stay. After all, it’s the way most all other billing is done. When your car is serviced, you...more

Does Medicare NOTICE Bill Miss the Point?

The bill would require hospitals to give meaningful notice to patients who have been assigned “observation” status for over 24 hours. Observation status is different from inpatient status under the rules of Medicare and other...more

Health Update - July 2014

Avoiding the Regulatory Land Mines of Commercial ACOs - While providers are showing great interest in creating ACOs to participate in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), they are showing even greater enthusiasm...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™: July 2014

Survey of ACA Navigators Finds 10.6 Million People Sought Enrollment Help — In a survey released this week, the Kaiser Family Foundation (“Kaiser”) estimates that approximately 10.6 million people received assistance...more

The ACA’s Bumpy Ride

From the monumental failure of the initial government website for the federal health insurance marketplace (healthcare.gov) to the looming employer mandate, the Affordable Care Act has garnered its fair share of criticism....more

Health Systems Continue To Acquire Insurers

The wall between health care providers and health insurers continues to erode, as Ascension Health’s CEO acknowledges Ascension is in talks to acquire WellCare Health Plans. Ascension is the nation’s largest nonprofit health...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update - April 21, 2014

On April 14, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) reported their findings that show a smaller rise in insurance premium costs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) than previously...more

Health Care Providers May Waive Patients' Copayment Obligations, But...

In a difficult economic environment, many health care providers are actively trying to increase cash flow and reduce administrative expenses. One potential way for providers to accomplish these goals is to discount their...more

Private Health Insurance Fraud — Billions And Billions

When it comes to health insurance fraud, Carl Sagan’s obsession with the words – billions and billions — are particularly accurate. As the government’s role in health care increases, it is inevitable that fraud against...more

OIG Advisory Opinions Provide Some Helpful Guidance

In spite of a slow start, the OIG has issued a number of interesting advisory opinions to date in 2013. Here are a few of the highlights. The OIG reiterated its long-standing concern about arrangements which “carve out”...more

Pathology Lab That Cannot Demonstrate Adequate Physician Orders Suffers Medicare Loss

Much has been written regarding various Medicare policies that may cause a clinical laboratory to suffer the resulting financial consequences when a test requested by a physician is found to be not medically necessary, most...more

Federal Government Aggressively Pursuing Health Care Fraud

Proactive self-audits help providers identify potential problems - The Federal Government is using every tool available to fight health care fraud and recover overpayments from health care providers. According to the...more

OIG Publishes Audit of Outpatient Therapy Services Seeking Return of $3.1 Million in Reimbursements

In June 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Investigator General (OIG) published a review of its audit of an outpatient therapy services provider. The OIG concluded that the outpatient therapy...more

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling: Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA")

While the U.S. Supreme Court(the “Court”) ruled section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) unconstitutional, that does not mean that the changes for human resources departments and employee benefits plans can be...more

2013 and 2014 under the Affordable Care Act - Updated as of May 14, 2013

This is an update on an earlier Client Advisory on this subject, with updates to reflect recently issued guidance. Employers should consider the following checklist of new requirements as the nation moves ahead with...more

Court of Appeals Rules for Government in DSH Exhausted Benefit Day Appeal

For the last several years, hospitals and the government have fought hard over where days associated with certain “dual eligible” patients should be placed in the Medicare disproportionate share hospital (DSH) calculation. At...more

New HIPAA Rules Regarding Genetic Information Affect Employers, Group Health Plans, Health Insurers and Healthcare Providers

Genetic Information Under HIPAA - While the final rule supplementing and modifying the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, Breach Reporting and Enforcement Rules—78 Fed. Reg....more

CMS Announces Proposed Rule Implementing the ACA's MLR Requirements for MA and Prescription Drug Plans

On February 15, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Proposed Rule, effective calendar year (CY) 2014, implementing the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) requirements for Medicare Advantage (MA)...more

To Waive or Not to Waive, That is the Question

A burgeoning problem is developing for out of-network healthcare providers that systemically fail to collect deductibles and coinsurance from patients. Insurance companies often seek to deny insurance coverage to subscribers...more

The SMART Act: A Bipartisan Attempt to Make the MSP Act Workable

On January 10, 2013, President Obama signed into law H.R. 1845, which includes the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act of 2011 (SMART Act). The SMART Act amends several portions of the Medicare Secondary Payer...more

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