News & Analysis as of

Healthcare Fraud: Aggressive Enforcement Strategies

This week I am focusing on the persistent problem of healthcare fraud. For healthcare providers, the challenge of compliance and avoiding enforcement risks is particularly difficult. ...more

OIG Questions Incentives for Hospice Care in Assisted Living Facilities

Today the OIG issued a report examining the growing use of Medicare hospice care in the assisted living facility (ALF) setting. According to the OIG, Medicare payments for hospice care in ALFs grew by more than 119% from 2007...more

Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Window is Now Open

The bidding window is now open for the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program Round 2 Recompete and the National Mail-Order Recompete for diabetic testing...more

OIG Recommends Greater Scrutiny for Hospice Services in ALFs

The OIG’s recently released study examining Medicare hospice claims from 2007 to 2012 calls for targeted reviews of hospices that receive a high proportion of their payments for care in assisted living facilities....more

MedPAC Voices Concerns about Growing Volume, Burden of Medicare Quality Measures

In December 2014, CMS released a 329-page list of quality measures under consideration for the Medicare program. In a January 13, 2015 comment letter, MedPAC observes that volume of measures under consideration “reinforces...more

New Limitations on RAC Program

In March 2014, CMS temporarily suspended the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program until it secured new contracts. The contracts for the program expired in June 2014, and in August, CMS said that it would restart the...more

Health Care Enforcement in 2015: A Look Back on 2014 and Forecasting the Year Ahead

In testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Health Care in April 2011, the now-pending nominee for U.S. Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, stated in no uncertain terms that “fighting health...more

What You Need To Know About the AKS Proposed Local Transportation Safe Harbor

On October 3, 2014, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) published a proposed rule to expand the safe harbors and make other modifications applicable to the federal...more

The $10,000 Access Clause

This paragraph (or some variation) finds its way into lots of contracts when one or both of the parties to the contract are participants in the health care industry...more

Medicare Enrollment Rules - Expanded Enforcement Finalized in Regulations

On December 5, 2014, CMS published final regulations that expand the bases for CMS to deny enrollment or revoke billing privileges of an enrolled provider or supplier. These final regulations also change the method to...more

CMS Proposes Changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program MSSP

On December 1, 2014, CMS published its proposed changes and updates to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Comments are due by February 6, 2015. Below is a summary of the...more

CMS Issues Final Rule on Reimbursement for Chronic Care Management Services

On November 13, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, including a new code and guidance for billing for chronic care management services (CCM),...more

Debate Intensifies Over Medicare Advantage Plans’ Removal of Providers

Which is more important in a Medicare Advantage plan: the plan’s flexibility to change its provider list during the plan year, or the enrollees’ right to confidence that their providers won’t be removed from the plan after...more

Residents Can Be Hazardous to a Community Hospital's Medicare Health

Although Medicare graduate medical education reimbursement can be a helpful source of financing to facilitate resident training, many community hospitals have suffered a “gotcha” moment when trying to establish new programs....more

CMS Releases Key Proposals for the 2016 Qualified Health Plan Application Process

Stakeholders received insight on the Obama administration’s expected approach to the certification and oversight of qualified health plans (“QHPs”) on December 19, 2014, with the release by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid...more

Effects of the New Federal Spending Package on the Health Sector

In mid-December, President Obama signed into law a $1.1 trillion spending bill known as the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015” or “Cromnibus.”[1] This post explores provisions that relate to the...more

Health Reform + Related Health Policy News - December 2014, Issue 1

In This Issue: - Top News ..Congress Passes Omnibus Spending Package ..HRSA Cancels Plan for 340B ‘Mega Reg’; Congress Weighs Options ..Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to ACA...more

CMS Announces Next Phase in Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program

On December 11, 2014, CMS announced the bidding timeline for the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program Round 2 Recompete and National Mail-Order...more

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

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