Healthcare Reform

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Health Headlines: Also in the News

340B “Mega-Reg” Under Review by OMB – The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), Office of Pharmacy Affairs sent the long-awaited 340B Proposed Rule to the Office of Budget and Management Affairs (OMB) last week...more

The Affordable Care Act - Understanding The Employer Mandate: An Overview

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Affordable Care Act”) was enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010. The Affordable Care Act is a 2,409 page statute regulating virtually every...more

Happy National Healthcare Decisions Day: Why An Advance Directive Is A Crucial Part Of Estate Planning

Today is a day that, until recently, I wasn't aware had any independent significance other than being April 16. However, April 16 is – and has been for the past seven years – National Healthcare Decisions Day. ...more

"ObamaCare" Open Enrollment Period Passes: What This Means For Consumers

The Affordable Care Act (the health care reform law also known as “ObamaCare”) created a nationwide open enrollment period to purchase individual and family health insurance. For fully-reformed, 2014 health insurance plans,...more

CMS Releases Rate Announcement and Final Call Letter for Medicare Advantage and Part D Programs

On April 7, 2014, CMS issued the 2015 rate announcement and final call letter for the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs. Notably, CMS reversed planned rate cuts to Medicare Advantage plans, and is instead replacing those...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update - April 2014

Last Thursday Kathleen Sebelius resigned from her post as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). On Friday President Obama nominated Sylvia Matthews Burwell, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director. As...more

Don't Be Left On The Sidelines: CMS Is Seeking Applications For A New Hospice Demonstration Program

Currently, Medicare patients that wish to receive palliative hospice care have a tough choice to make—forgo any curative treatment or incur all hospice care costs. This could change, however, with the recent launch of CMS's...more

If It’s Broken, Fix It (At Least Temporarily): New “Doc Fix” Law Prevents Automatic Medicare Pay Cuts to Physicians

Were you worried that your physician pay rate would plummet come March 31 due to Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (“SGR”) formula? You can stop pulling out your hair, at least until next year. On April 1, 2014, President...more

Also in the News

CMS to Provide Public Access to Physician Payment Data – In a recent post on its official blog, CMS announced it will provide “unprecedented access” to information on services delivered by individual physicians and certain...more

The Assault on the ACA Continues in the Federal Appeals Courts

Combative oral arguments were seen in two high profile federal court challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). The Supreme Court of the United States heard a vigorous oral argument...more

New Jersey Healthcare Regulatory Update - April 2014

As a service to our healthcare clients, the following is provided as a brief summary of regulatory changes published in the New Jersey Register during March 2014. This summary is provided for informational purposes only and...more

The Elevator Speech Overview

The House and Senate were both in session this week. The White House reported Tuesday that 7.1 million people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, meeting their original target for enrollment before...more

Post-DOMA, IRS and CMS issue further guidance regarding same-sex spouses

Last September, three months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in United States v. Windsor, the IRS issued some much-anticipated guidance regarding the treatment of same-sex spouses. For employers who...more

Congress Passes Rare Bipartisan Amendment To Obamacare

There is not a lot that Democrats and Republicans can agree on with respect to Obamacare, but on April 1, 2014 the President signed into law a Medicare bill which had a provision tucked inside that will bring some important...more

Health Care Update

In This Issue: - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Other Congressional and State Initiatives - Other Health Care News - Upcoming Hearings and...more

Health Care Reform: Who is a Full-Time Employee?

Determining who is a full-time employee is an essential task under health care reform’s employer mandate, which generally imposes significant penalties on large employers who fail to offer their full-time employees affordable...more

ACA Open Enrollment #1 in the Books

With the first annual Affordable Care Act open enrollment in the books (although the end of open enrollment is still something of a moving target – more on that later), everyone is examining, discussing, applauding and...more

Health Reform + Related Health Policy News - April 2014

In This Issue: - Top News ..Sebelius: No More Health Law Delays; No Enrollment Extension ..CMS Announces Innovative Hospice Care Model - State News ..17 States and D.C. Implementing SHOP Health Insurance...more

ICD-10 Delayed Again

While I didn’t intend for the theme of my Health Care Law Today posts to be delays, there is no shortage of postponements to write about lately. The House and Senate passed H.R. 4302, Protecting Access to Medicare Act of...more

President Obama Signs the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014

On April 1, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. This new law prevents a scheduled payment reduction for physicians and other practitioners who treat Medicare patients from...more

Sweeping Changes to Medicare Payment for Clinical Laboratory Services

On March 31, 2014, the Senate gave final approval to the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (the Act), which includes significant reforms to the way Medicare pays for clinical diagnostic laboratory services. The House...more

Congress Approves Legislation Extending and Changing Medicare Programs

On March 31, 2014, the U.S. Senate approved comprehensive Medicare legislation reauthorizing and extending dozens of Medicare payment enhancements, but also making several substantive changes that will profoundly impact...more

The Elevator Speech Overview

The House and Senate were both in session this week, the President was traveling overseas. President Obama announced his backing for an overhaul of the NSA bulk phone data collection program, a plan that differs from the...more

Health Care on the Hill: April 2014

House Committee on Energy and Commerce – Subcommittee on Health - “Examining Concerns Regarding FDA’s Proposed Changes to Generic Drug Labeling” - April 1, 2014 – 3:00pm - 2322 Rayburn House Office...more

Can FSAs Survive Healthcare Reform?

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) or Health FSAs have for years enabled employers to offer employees the opportunity to spend non-taxable compensation on eligible medical expenses. FSAs could not only be used to pay for...more

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