Healthcare Medicare

News & Analysis as of

President Signs MACRA: Permanently Reforms Medicare Physician Reimbursement Framework, Includes Other Medicare Payment, Program...

On April 16, 2015” (MACRA), which reforms Medicare payment policy for physician services and adopts a series of policy changes affecting a wide range of providers and suppliers. Most notably, MACRA permanently repeals...more

Special Alert: Congress Passes One of the Most Significant Pieces of Health Care Legislation Since the Affordable Care Act

The Senate on April 14 passed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which eliminates the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) physician payment system and transitions it away from fee-for-service...more

Senate Approves Medicare “Doc Fix” Legislation

We wrote in late March about the U.S. House of Representatives passing SGR legislation intended to be a permanent cure to Medicare’s “doc fix” legislation. ...more

Congress Repeals Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)

MGMA has published the following alert: Congress repeals SGR! In a significant victory for physician group practices and MGMA, late last night the Senate voted (92-8) to approve the Medicare Access and CHIP...more

CMS Issues Proposed Modifications to Meaningful Use Rule

On Friday, April 10, 2015, CMS issued a proposed rule containing several important modifications to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Among the most notable proposals is to move eligible hospitals from a...more

Five Key Elements of Transitional Care Management

Similar to rules providing billing opportunities for chronic care management, relatively new Medicare funds for Transitional Care Management (“TCM”) provide a new path for providers to supplement their Medicare practice with...more

Health Care Update - April 2015

In This Issue: - SGR Bill Facing Final Hurdles This Week - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Congressional Initiatives - Other Health Care...more

CMS Takes Initial Steps to Address Medicare & Medicaid Coverage for Biosimilars

On March 30, 2015, CMS released guidance addressing Medicare and Medicaid coverage for biosimilar drug products. The Medicare/Medicaid coverage guidance comes on the heels of the FDA’s landmark approval of a biosimilar...more

Legislation to Curb Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Would Increase Cost and Compliance Burdens on Health Care Providers

On March 25, 2015, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators reintroduced the Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures Act (“PRIME Act” or “Act”) following the lead of the U.S. House of Representatives,...more

DOJ and HHS Annual Report Highlights $3.3 Billion in Settlements and Judgments in FY 2014

On March 19, 2015, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued their annual Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) Program report highlighting that the HCFAC Program obtained...more

Developments in White Collar Criminal Enforcement: The Government Remains Aggressive, and the Courts' Reaction Is Mixed

The first quarter of 2015 witnessed a continuing effort by government lawyers to push the boundaries of criminal statutes in white collar cases—from health care fraud to corporate misconduct and beyond. Two recent cases...more

3 Key Take Aways from AHLA’s Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Payment Issues

Last week I attended the American Health Lawyers Association Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Payment Issues in Baltimore, Maryland. Taking a comprehensive approach to reimbursement issues, the program offered a variety of...more

Important Recommendations from the MedPAC March Report to Congress, Part Two

Tuesday’s post discussed the recommendations of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (“MedPAC” or the “Commission”) with regard to fee-for-service (“FFS”) payment systems. ...more

Senate Vows to Address Medicare Physician Reimbursement Cut in Mid-April

The Senate adjourned around 3:30 a.m. Friday, March 27, 2015 without passing legislation to hold off a scheduled 21 percent cut in Medicare physician payment rates. Senate leadership was unable to get all 100 senators to...more

Behavioral Health Billing Alert

Providers of behavioral health services should be aware that the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), released in May 2013 after more than ten years in...more

Permanent Doc Fix Bill Approved by House; Senate to Vote in Coming Weeks

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted 392-37 to approve the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2), a bill that would, among other things, permanently replace the sustainable...more

Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) Program Reports $3.3 Billion in Recoveries

According to the FY 2014 HCFAC program report, more than $3.3 billion was recovered in FY 2014 as a result of the government’s health care fraud judgments and settlements, including $2.3 billion won or negotiated by the...more

OIG: Exclusive laboratory arrangement may violate Antikickback Statute and result in exclusion for excessive charges

On March 25, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued Advisory Opinion 15-04, which found that an exclusive arrangement between a laboratory and its referring physician practices could violate the Federal...more

HHS Publishes Proposed Stage 3 EHR Incentive Program, Health IT Certification Rules

On March 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its proposed rule on Stage 3 meaningful use criteria, which focus on the advanced use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology to promote...more

CMS Launches Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network

On March 25, 2015, CMS formally launched the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, a public-private partnership intended to support HHS’s goal of moving Medicare and the broader health industry from a...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: House Approves FY 2016 Budget Proposal... House Passes Permanent SGR Reform and Two-Year CHIP Reauthorization... Senate Passes FY 2016 Budget Plan... HHS Report: ACA Led to $7.4 Billion Decline in Uncompensated...more

MedPAC Meeting on Medicare Policy (April 2-3, 2015)

On April 2-3, 2015, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is meeting to discuss various Medicare policy issues, including...more

GAO Calls for Changes to Medicare Payments to PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospitals

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “Medicare: Payment Methods for Certain Cancer Hospitals Should Be Revised to Promote Efficiency,” examines the Medicare reimbursement methodology for cancer hospitals...more

Senate Recesses Without Taking up House-Approved SGR Fix Legislation

The Senate has adjourned until April 13, 2015 without taking action on the House-approved Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which would repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, reform Medicare physician...more

CMS Publishes Update to DME Items Subject to Face-to-Face Encounter, Written Order Prior to Delivery Requirements

Today CMS published a notice updating the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes on the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) List of “Specified Covered Items” that require a face-to-face encounter and a written...more

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