Hospice

News & Analysis as of

False Claims Act – 2014 Year in Review

The False Claims Act (FCA) imposes liability on individuals and companies who defraud or submit false claims to the federal government. The FCA allows the federal government to seek treble damages, civil penalties and...more

Hospice Provider Pays $4 Million to Settle Allegations of Fraudulent Billing

Good Shepherd Hospice, Inc., a for-profit hospice providing services in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas (“Good Shepherd”), has agreed to pay $4 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that it submitted...more

OIG Report Outlines Five Recommendations for Hospice Care Reform

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to reform the hospice payment system, collect data relevant to revising hospice payments and develop quality...more

Gear Up for Increased CMS Scrutiny of Hospice Services for Assisted Living Facility Residents - EndNotes February 2015

A recent study issued by the evaluation and policy division of the U.S. DHHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) indicates that hospices can expect increased scrutiny regarding the services they provide to assisted living...more

Happy New Year from the DC District Court - Companionship Exemption Lives On!! - EndNotes February 2015

Home care patients, caregivers and the entire home care community celebrated a huge victory to kick off 2015. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (DC court) vacated the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s)...more

End Notes Newsletter February 2015 - News for North Carolina’s Hospice and Palliative Care Community

In this issue: - Gear Up for Increased CMS Scrutiny of Hospice Services for Assisted Living Facility Residents - Happy New Year from the DC District Court - Companionship Exemption Lives On!! - DEA Rules On...more

OIG Report Recommends Reforms to Reduce Hospice Incentives to Provide Care in Assisted Living Facilities

On January 14, 2015, OIG published a report that analyzes Medicare payments for hospice care in assisted living facilities (ALFs). OIG concluded that CMS should implement measures to reform Medicare payments to hospices,...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

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

Certificate of Need Opportunities in 2015

While many of us were shopping for last-minute gifts for our families, Governor McCrory was busy approving the 2015 State Medical Facilities Plan (“SMFP”). The SMFP is a document created annually by the State Health...more

CMS Announces DMEPOS/Home Health/Hospice RAC, Improvements to RAC Process

CMS has announced that it has awarded the Region 5 Recovery Audit contract to Connolly, LLC (although the General Accounting Office subsequently reported that a bid protest has been filed regarding this award). The purpose of...more

CMS Announces Updated List of RAC Program Improvements For New Contracts, Beginning With the Newly Awarded DME, Home Health, and...

On December 30, 2014, CMS announced that it has awarded a new Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) contract to Connolly LLC to identify improper Medicare payments nationwide made to suppliers of durable medical equipment,...more

Recent Changes to California Medical Information Privacy Laws Create More Flexibility and Give Rise to Increased Enforcement

Under California Health & Safety Code (HSC) sections 1280.15(a) and (b), California licensed clinics, hospitals, home health agencies and hospices are required to prevent “unlawful or unauthorized access to, and use or...more

Tennessee CON Report - November 2014

In This Issue: - I. November 2014—Tennessee Certificate of Need Meeting - II. Certificate of Need Program Report—Filings Since October 2014 Meeting - III. Projects Deemed Complete for Review at December...more

Alabama CON Report - November 2014

In This Report: - I. Certificate of Need Program - II. Reviewability Determinations and Pending Reviewability Determinations Excerpt from Certificate of Need Program: A. AL2014-030, Redstone...more

OIG's 2015 Work Plan Highlights Departmental Priorities

Each year the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issues its Work Plan to identify for the provider community the key fraud and abuse issues on which it will focus on in the coming...more

The Game Plan for Health Care Enforcement: Office of Inspector General Releases 2015 Work Plan

The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) within the federal Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) is charged with protecting the integrity of HHS programs by combating fraud, abuse and waste. On Halloween of 2014,...more

Counting on Hospice Care? Try to Hang on Until 2017

Yesterday’s Washington Post “Business of Dying” article is a sobering account of how little information is available on the quality—or lack of quality—of hospice organizations. Almost no information on quality is available...more

Hospice Industry Will Face Stricter Scrutiny Under New Law Aimed at Post-Acute Care Data Standardization

President Obama signed the “Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014” or the IMPACT Act of 2014 (the Act) on October 6, 2014. The new law is broadly focused on requiring all post-acute care providers to...more

New Hospice Cost Report Released: Effective for Cost-Reporting Periods Beginning Next Week

On August 29, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released the final version of the new Medicare cost report, Form CMS 1984-14, applicable to freestanding hospice providers. Freestanding hospice...more

Wall v. VistaCare, Inc.: Successor Liability for Medicare Providers

A recent decision in the Northern District of Texas provides helpful guidance for health care corporations looking to limit their potential successor liability for Medicare fraud and overpayments. On August 4, 2014, U.S....more

CMS Issues Final Rule on Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update for FY 2015

On August 4, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule updating the hospice wage index and payment rate for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 and adopting a number of payment reforms addressing concerns...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - August 2014 #2

CMS Issues Final FY 2015 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update – On August 4, 2014, CMS released the Final Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update for FY 2015. ...more

CMS Retracts Hospice Preauthorization Requirements for Part D Drugs

On July 18, CMS released new guidance retracting a major portion of its controversial preauthorization requirement for hospice beneficiaries. The new guidance supersedes portions of the March 10, 2014 guidance [PDF] that...more

New Baltimore City Law Limits Employee Criminal Record Checks: How Health Care Employers Are Affected

Effective August 13, 2014, certain Baltimore City employers will be restricted from asking applicants and employees about their criminal history. However, many health care employers will be exempt from this new law either...more

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