News & Analysis as of

Placing Medicare Beneficiaries Into "Observation Status" - Recent Second Circuit Decision Casts Doubt on Lawfulness of CMS...

The trend toward placing more Medicare beneficiaries into observation status in the hospital has come under increasing attack by patient advocates. Such patients are considered outpatients reimbursed by Medicare Part B rather...more

MedPAC Issues March 2015 Report to Congress on Medicare Payment Policies

On March 13, 2015, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) issued its annual report to the Congress on Medicare payment policies (Report). The Report includes recommendations for inflation updates and payment...more

HHS Releases List of 25 Unimplemented Recommendations to Save Money and Improve Quality in Medicare and Medicaid

On March 16, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations, an 83-page document that identifies 25 priorities for saving money and...more

OIG Wants CMS to Take a Scalpel to Surgery Costs

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of Health & Human Services is recommending that CMS make a major reduction to the amount it pays hospitals for certain kinds of surgery. ...more

Narrowing Of FCA Public Disclosure Bar Continues

On Feb. 25, 2015, the Sixth Circuit became the latest federal court of appeals to weigh in on the scope of the False Claims Act’s public disclosure bar in its decision in United States ex rel. Whipple v. Chattanooga-Hamilton...more

Health Alert (Australia) - March 9, 2015

In This Issue: Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. - Excerpt from Judgments: Australia. Federal Court - 5 March 2015 - Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation v Kaizen Hospitals (Essendon) Pty Ltd...more

February Whistleblower News Digest: Ethical Culture Builds Foundation of Your Whistleblower Hotline Program

Given the popularity of our FCPA Compliance Digest and the abundance of whistleblower-related news, here are the top whistleblower stories for February. Read on to the end for access to an exclusive resource to help you build...more

Attention Seniors! Check Into a Hospital and Get $100!

OIG Advisory Opinion 15-03 approves a Medigap insurer’s program that, among other things, calls for (a) network hospitals to waive the deductible for Medicare enrollees, (b) the insurer to pay the hospital network a fee each...more

Medicare RAC Program Improvements Delayed Until 2016 - Shorts on Long Term Care February 2015

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had planned to award new contracts to companies that act as Medicare’s recovery audit contractors (now referred to as recovery auditors) (RAs) for operation of the Medicare...more

Ways and Means Committee to Markup Medicare Fraud, Competitive Bidding, and other Medicare Policy Bills

On February 26, 2015, the House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to vote on the following bills: H.R. 1021, “Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act of 2015” – a sweeping bill to promote Medicare program...more

CMS Corrects 2015 Medicare OPPS/ASC Final Rule, Impacts Rates

Today CMS published a notice correcting its November 10, 2014 final rule updating the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and the Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System rates and policies...more

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

Can an Arbitrator Rule Against a Hospital for Not Violating the Anti-Kickback Statute?

Here’s a nightmare. An arbitrator rules against your hospital for failing to honor an agreement to refer Medicare patients to a home health agency. Why? Because the home health agency paid your hospital good money for the...more

OIG Responds to Hospital Compliance Review Objections

The OIG has defended its hospital compliance review policies in response to objections raised by the American Hospital Association (AHA). Specifically, a January 15, 2015 OIG letter addresses four main areas of AHA concern...more

OIG Questions Potentially Duplicative Hospital Quality Improvement Efforts

The OIG recently issued a report that examined the extent to which Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) duplicate other CMS hospital quality improvement efforts, particularly Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) and the...more

OIG Examines CMS Payments to Hospitals for Clinic Visits

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) estimates that CMS made $4.6 million in incorrect Medicare outpatient payments to hospitals for established patients’ clinic visits in 2012. ...more

Quality Over Quantity: The Shift from Fee-for-Service to Value-Based Payment Systems

The United States Department for Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently announced its intention to tie thirty percent of fee-for-service Medicare payments to alternative and value-based payment models by 2016. HHS hopes...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: President’s FY2016 Budget Request... FDA Commissioner Hamburg to step down... Tennessee Medicaid expansion plan rejected by legislature. 1. Congress House House Ways and Means Committee Hosts Hearing...more

HHS Identifies Specific Goals to Move Toward Paying for Quality of Care

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new initiative to shift Medicare reimbursements from volume to value using new payment methodologies for physicians and hospitals. Such a...more

Medicare Hospital Compliance Reviews are Legal and Sound, According to OIG

The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) recently defended its practices pertaining to hospital compliance reviews in a published response to a letter from the American Hospital...more

HHS Announces First Timeline For Medicare Pay Reforms

On Monday, January 26, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") announced a timeline for moving physicians and hospitals into new payment systems and tying Medicare reimbursements to quality of care....more

HHS Payment and Delivery Reform Announcement Sets Priorities for Remainder of Obama Administration

One week prior to the unveiling of the President’s first budget under a completely Republican-controlled Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made its most formal announcement yet on the Obama...more

Second Circuit Revives Medicare Beneficiaries’ Observation Status Suit

On January 22, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut dismissing a lawsuit by Medicare beneficiaries alleging deprivation of due...more

OIG Defends Its Hospital Compliance Reviews in Response to AHA Criticism

The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services(“OIG”) responded to concerns expressed by the American Hospital Association (“AHA”) regarding the OIG’s hospital compliance reviews,...more

Catching Up on the False Claims Act

From a corporate risk perspective, if your company is in the financial industry, healthcare, or defense industry, your greatest legal and compliance risk has to be the False Claims Act....more

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