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Health Care Update - December 2014 #2

In This Issue: - SGR Replacement Odds Not Likely to Increase Ahead of Upcoming Deadline - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Congressional...more

New CMS Enrollment Rules Strengthen Oversight of Medicare Providers

On December 5, 2014, CMS published a final rule to strengthen its oversight of Medicare providers. The rule includes safeguards designed to prevent providers with unpaid debt from re-entering Medicare and to remove providers...more

HHS to Audit Hospital Reporting of GPO Payments: GAO Report Suggests Further Scrutiny of GPO Shareback with Hospitals

On November 24, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) published a report examining the contracting practices and funding structures of health care group purchasing organizations (“GPOs”) and their potential...more

OIG Again Approves Medicap Insurer's Contract with Preferred Hospital Network

On October 21, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 14-10, approving a Medigap insurer’s proposed contract with a preferred hospital network. Similar to...more

CMS Releases New Proposed Medicare Shared Savings Program Regulations

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released proposed regulations for the Medicare Shared Savings Program (“MSSP”) on Monday December 1, 2014. The proposed regulations are scheduled to be published in the...more

Global Surgery and 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On July 21, 2014, I posted the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and described the intent by CMS to eliminate global surgery. On November 13, 2014, CMS issued the final 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and...more

Impact of Health Care Reform on Provider Liability

In this presentation: - The Changing Healthcare Landscape - Key Features of an ACO/CIN - ACO Standards and Quality Metrics - Examples of Quality Standards - Impact on Board and Corporate...more

CMS Publishes Additional (but Limited) Guidance on the Coverage with Evidence Development Process

On November 20, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published its latest round of guidance on its Coverage with Evidence Development (“CED”) policy for selected items and services under the Medicare...more

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

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