News & Analysis as of

Proposed Federal Legislation Will Provide Relief to Hospitals and Medicare Patients in Need of Post-Acute Care

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced that the new RAC contracts in North Carolina should be ready by the end of the year. This means that, next year, RAC audits on hospitals and other providers will...more

Health Care Update - November 2014 #3

In This Issue: - 21st Century Cures Remains Top Bi-Partisan Priority for 2015 - Senate Passes Critical Access Hospital Direct Supervision Bill - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other...more

Orthopedic Patient Doesn’t Have a Leg to Stand On

It’s well known that Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers hate the ever-increasing trend of hospitals buying facilities and practices and then charging provider-based (i.e., higher) rates than the facilities and...more

ACO Participation By Tax-Exempt Healthcare Organizations – Is Tax-Exempt Financing at Stake?

Does A Tax-Exempt Healthcare Organization’s Participation in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Adversely Affect Its Tax-Exempt Financing? IRS Notice 2014-67 Provides Guidance....more

HHS OIG Announces Information Security Initiatives in 2015 Work Plan

The 2015 Work Plan of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) posted on Friday, October 31, 2014, includes initiatives focused on testing information security controls related to...more

CMS Releases CY 2015 Outpatient PPS/Ambulatory Surgical Center Final Rule

On October 31, 2014, CMS issued its CY 2015 outpatient and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) PPS final rule. CMS finalized a net payment rate increase of 2.2 percent under the OPPS. This figure includes a 2.9 percent market...more

IRS Releases Guidance on Private Business Use, and ACOs and Management Contracts

On October 25, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) released Notice 2014-67 that provides interim guidance on (i) participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program through an accountable care organization (ACO) and...more

Health Care Update - November 2014

In This Issue: - CMS Releases Final Medicare Payment Rules - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Other Congressional Initiatives - Other Health...more

Key Takeaways from OIG’s 2015 Work Plan

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its Fiscal Year 2015 Work Plan on October 31. The Work Plan provides the OIG’s planned reviews and activities with respect to...more

CMS Proposes Major Update of Home Health Agency Conditions of Participation Focusing on Care and Quality Standards

Proposed Revisions to HHA Conditions of Participation - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its proposed update to the home health agency (HHA) Conditions of Participation (CoPs) in the October...more

Another Halloween Treat: the OIG’s 2015 Work Plan

On Halloween the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of Health & Human Services released its “Work Plan Fiscal 2015.” The 90-page document is meant to tell the public, and especially health care providers paid by Medicare and...more

Health Law Pulse - October 2014 # 2

In This Issue: - OIG Releases Proposed Rule Revising the Anti-Kickback Statute Safe Harbors and Civil Monetary Penalty Rules ..AKS Safe Harbors ..Revisions to the Civil Monetary Penalty...more

CMS Releases the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (Medicare PFS) on October 31, 2014. The final rule updates payment policies and payment rates for services furnished to...more

Getting the Best Medical Care: a Newsletter from Patrick Malone - November 2014

In This Issue: - Time Equals Money - What Are They Talking About? - Medicare Is Not Free - The Period of "Open Enrollment" Might Be Limited - Get Additional Help - Excerpt from...more

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

CMS Reopens the Medicare Payment Adjustment Hardship Exception Application Submission Period for Certain Providers and Hospitals

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced the reopening of the submission period for hardship exception applications for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals that have been unable to fully...more

Deadline Approaching to Secure Health Plan Identifier (“HPID”)

Certain group health plans are required to obtain a 10-digit Health Plan Identifier ("HPID") from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") by November 5, 2014. Currently various users of the health care system...more

Notice 2014-67 ?? Safe Harbors for ACOs and a New Management Contract Safe Harbor for Everyone

On Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service released interim guidance, Notice 2014-67, on whether a state or local government entity or an organization described in §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986,...more

IRS Releases Private Business Use Guidelines for ACO Participants

On Friday, October 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2014-67, providing guidance regarding the circumstances under which participation by a hospital in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) will...more

Fraud and Abuse Waivers for MSSP ACOs Extended Another Year

Fridays are for fraud and abuse news-related releases, yet again. Last Friday, the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a notice (Notice) informing the public that it has delayed the release of a final rule...more

Do You Offer or Accept Copayment Coupons? OIG says YOU are Responsible for Compliance with Federal Law

In recent years, copayment coupon programs have become standard promotional practices for both large and small pharmaceutical manufacturers. Copayment coupons are typically offered to commercially insured patients in order...more

Blurring the Lines between False Claims Act Litigation and Putative Federal Malpractice Law: The DOJ Quietly Invokes “Worthless...

On October 10, 2014, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a civil settlement agreement (the “Settlement”) with Extendicare Heath Services, Inc. and its subsidiary Progress Step Corporation (collectively,...more

Provider of Physical, Speech, and Occupational Therapy Services Agrees to $38,000,000 False Claims Act Settlement

As announced in an recent press release, Extended Care Health Services, Inc. (“Extendicare”), an operator of skilled nursing facilities, and its subsidiary Progressive Step Corporation (“Pro Step”), a provider of physical,...more

Medicare Shared Saving Program Interim Final Rule Extended

On October 17, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) published in the Federal Register (79 FR 62356 et seq) a notice...more

Big Changes to Administrative Law Hearings for Medicare Providers

Effective October 27, 2014, the Medicare Program Integrity Manual (“Manual”) will require Medicare Administrative Contractors (“MACs”) to participate in administrative hearings concerning medical review decisions. ...more

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