Hospitals Medicare

News & Analysis as of

Permanent “Doc Fix” Legislation Substitutes Merit-Based Incentive Payment System for SGR, and Contains Other Reimbursement and...

In addition to finally repealing the so-called sustainable growth rate methodology (“SGR”) for adjusting Medicare physician payments that Congress has overridden consistently since 2004, the newly enacted Medicare Access and...more

Beyond SGR – MACRA Provides Additional Payment Provisions and Offsets

This is the second post in our continuing series on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Pub.L. No: 114-10. In addition to repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), which was covered in our April 20th...more

“Doc Fix” Signed into Law; 21% Physician Pay Cut Avoided

President Obama has signed the “doc fix” into law, which permanently avoids a 21% pay cut for physicians that was slated to take effect this April. The law received broad bipartisan support, passing in the House of...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Doc Fix Statute Contains a Lot More than SGR Repeal

On April 16, 2015, the President signed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, commonly known as the “Doc Fix.” As has been extensively reported, the Act repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate or (SGR)...more

SGR Law Brings Changes to CMP Prohibition on Gainsharing

On April 16, President Barack Obama signed into law the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015,” ending a perennial struggle over the Medicare reimbursement formula for physicians. Although the law is most...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

CMS Releases Stage 3 Meaningful Use Proposed Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released the Stage 3 proposed rule to the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs (“Proposed Rule”) on March 20, 2015. To provide context,...more

Corridors Spring 2015 - News for North Carolina Hospitals

In This Issue: - Nonprofit Hospitals Face Additional Regulatory Burdens in Financial Assistance and Debt Collection - Placing Medicare Beneficiaries Into "Observation Status" - Recent Second Circuit Decision...more

Medigap Deductible Discount Proposal Approved by OIG

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued Advisory Opinion 15-03 and concluded that a licensed provider (the Requestor) of Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance (Medigap) would not be sanctioned under the civil...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

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

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

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