News & Analysis as of

Outsourcing Ambulatory and Outpatient Services: What Hospitals Need to Know

We are in the midst of a trend involving the “outsourcing” of certain outpatient and ambulatory services by hospitals and health systems. These outsourcing transactions often involve partnerships with for-profit, specialty ...more

A Primer on Medicare Requirements for Physician Supervision of "Incident to" Services

Services provided by a physician’s auxiliary staff that are “incident to” the physician’s services are paid under the physician fee schedule at a higher rate, as though the physician had personally furnished the services....more

Insurance carrier ending coverage of physicians under Medicare Advantage contracts

Physicians, healthcare providers, insurers and other interested parties should be aware that a large insurance carrier operating Medicare Advantage plans in Missouri and Illinois recently has begun terminating its...more

Healthcare Providers Face Increasing Financial Pressure and Bankruptcy Risk

The health of the healthcare industry can be summarized as follows: as go federal reimbursement rates, so goes the financial viability of healthcare providers, whether hospitals, nursing homes or medical practices. These...more

Quantifying and addressing improper payments for Medicare evaluation and management services

A review of Medicare Part B claims for evaluation and management (E/M) services conducted by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has found that the program paid $6.7 billion in improper payments in 2010. This figure...more

New CMS Rules Reduce Role of Medical Staff

The American Health Lawyers Association Regulatory Accreditation and Payment Practice Group (RAPPG) has issued an email alert regarding the issuance of a final rule by CMS intending to streamline Medicare regulatory...more

Rule Overhaul to Save Health Industry Up To $640 Million, Medicare Says

On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a long-awaited final rule in response to President Obama’s Executive Order (EO) 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” which set as...more

OIG Reports Limited Compliance with Face-to-Face Certification Requirement for Home Health

The OIG recently released a report summarizing the details of its study regarding compliance with the requirement that physicians (or certain practitioners working with them) who certify beneficiaries as eligible for Medicare...more

CMS Proposes Adoption of Updated Life Safety Code

Wednesday morning, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule regarding adopting the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code (LSC). CMS states the updated code contains new provisions that are...more

Also in the News

President Obama Signs Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013 – On December 26, 2013, President Obama signed the Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013 (the “Act”), preventing the scheduled payment reduction for...more

SGR-Driven Payment Reduction Postponed Again

As part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA), Congress enacted a number of payment reforms designed to curb the growth of expenditures under Medicare Part B. One of the more notable of those provisions was the Sustainable...more

President Obama Signs the Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013

On December 26, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013. This new law prevents a scheduled payment reduction for physicians and other practitioners who treat Medicare patients from taking...more

Congress Passes 3 Month SGR Reprieve: .5% Medicare Physician Increase

The AMA Wire reports action on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The payment increase staves off a 24 percent cut required by the failed SGR formula and buys three months for Congress to complete its work on SGR repeal...more

CMS Announces Plans to Modernize and Update the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule

On November 27, 2013, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services posted the final 2014 Medicare physician fee schedule and, in it, announced plans to change how and how much Medicare pays for clinical diagnostic laboratory...more

Operative Reports May Lead to False Statement Prosecution

You are a hardworking surgeon who is committed to providing quality care to all of your patients, including your Medicare beneficiaries. Because you are so busy, you routinely dictate your pre-operative and post-operative...more

CMS Proposes Changes to Modernize and Update the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule

On July 8, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a pre-publication version of the 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and the 2014 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Notices...more

DME Face-to-Face Encounter Final Rule Effective October 1, 2013

The 2013 Final Physician Fee Schedule included final regulations for the durable medical equipment (DME) face-to-face encounter requirement for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries....more

CMS Releases Proposed Calendar Year 2014 Updates to Home Health Prospective Payment System

On June 27, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed Calendar Year 2014 rate update to the Home Health Prospective Payment System. In addition to reducing reimbursement rates, CMS is...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

United States Senate Committee on Finance Holds Hearing Regarding Oversight of Recovery Audit Contractors

On June 25, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to address the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) Program. Committee members expressed concern that the RAC program creates unreasonable administrative burdens...more

Health Care Fraud Schemes To Defraud Medicare

Recent news agencies in the Chicago areas have reported that area physicians and health clinic owners are among defendants charged in health care fraud schemes to defraud the Medicare program and/or private health insurers of...more

Health Care E-Note - June 19,2013

In This Issue: - FTC Hospital Merger Investigation Highlights Cost of Health Care - Survey Finds Doctors Warming to Health Information Exchanges - Health Insurance Markets Seeing More Competition from New...more

Is Filling an Off-Label Prescription an Invitation to False Claims Act Liability?

On May 17, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued an order that joins an unsettling line of decisions suggesting that before filling prescriptions, pharmacies must serve as the arbiters of...more

CMS Issues Proposed Rule to Reform "Unnecessary, Obsolete, or Excessively Burdensome" Medicare Participation Standards

On February 4, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule to reform Medicare regulations that CMS views as unnecessary, obsolete, and/or excessively burdensome on hospitals and health care...more

Attestation Deadline is February 28, 2013 for Medicare Eligible Professionals Who Participated in the 2012 EHR Incentive Program

Eligible professionals (EPs) who participated in the 2012 EHR Incentive Program must attest by February 28, 2013, to receive their Medicare incentive payments. ...more

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