Medicare

News & Analysis as of

Health Care E-Note - Februaury 2017

Ransomware: A Reportable Breach? In the past several years, a huge increase has occurred in the number of electronic attacks in the United States using ransomware, a form of malware that targets and encrypts critical...more

HHS Finalizes Appeals Backlog Rule in Wake of Judicial Order

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a Final Rule aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating the backlog of more than 650,000 claims currently awaiting adjudication by an administrative law judge...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - February 2017 #2

Tom Price is confirmed as the new head of Health and Human Services; Georgia and Missouri legislatures call for new Medicaid waivers to implement capped funding; and the uninsurance rate hits a new low in 2016....more

Trump Administration Issues Proposed Health Insurance Market Stabilization Rule: Will It Be Enough to Stabilize Exchange...

On 15 February 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took a step toward addressing concerns about the stability of the individual and small group health insurance markets by proposing a modicum of...more

False Claims Act Alert: Fourth Circuit Punts on Sampling and Extrapolation

Tuesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the interlocutory appeal in United States ex rel. Michaels v. Agape Senior Community, Inc.. In an opinion considering two significant questions arising under the qui tam...more

Home Health Agency Final Conditions of Participation Revisions Released by CMS

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued a final rule that revises and modernizes the Conditions of Participation (COP) for Home Health Agencies. The Final Rule can be found in its entirety at: Final Home...more

Fraud and Abuse Investigations Should be Taken Very Seriously

According to the United States Government, fraud and abuse recovery has an excellent return for each investment dollar spent. According to the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) Program Report,released by the...more

Another Court Agrees That A Difference Of Opinion On Medical Necessity Is Insufficient to Show Falsity Under the False Claims Act

Last month, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah joined the AseraCare court and others in finding that a relator cannot successfully allege violations of the False Claims Act (“FCA”) based on a purported lack of...more

Employees, Political Advocacy and the NLRB – What Can an Employer Do?

In the first few weeks of the Trump Presidency, there have been numerous marches, protests and other forms of political advocacy expressing views both in support of and in opposition to the President’s various appointments,...more

CMS Grants Eleventh Hour Extension for Attesting to Meaningful Use

Providers participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program now have an additional thirteen days to register and attest to meeting the meaningful use requirements for 2016. The Centers for...more

District Court Dismisses FCA Allegations Based Upon Difference of Medical Opinion

This month, the United States District Court for the District of Utah dismissed a relator’s allegations that a cardiac surgeon and two hospitals based in Utah violated the federal False Claims Act (FCA) by billing Medicare...more

CMS Provides Sneak Preview of Future DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Plans Before Retracting Announcement

One week after unveiling the next round of Medicare durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a “temporary...more

Filling the Gaps in Medicare Can Be Difficult for SSDI Recipients

After two years, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries are eligible for Medicare, the health insurance program designed for people age 65 and older. Medicare covers 9.1 million people with disabilities who...more

The Patient Is Not Always Right: Discriminatory Staffing Requests Can Create Legal Exposure

Employer reports of bigoted or inappropriate comments made by customers to employees or other patrons have become increasingly common for employers in all industries. In the healthcare industry, this often takes the form of a...more

Federal Court Blocks Aetna, Humana Merger

On January 23, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division’s (DOJ) request for an injunction to block Aetna Inc.’s (Aetna) proposed acquisition of...more

Seventh Republican Proposal to Replace the Affordable Care Act Is Introduced, “Patient Freedom Act of 2017”

On January 23, 2017, Senate Republicans Bill Cassidy, M.D. (LA), Susan Collins (ME), Shelley Moore Capito (WV) and Johnny Isakson (GA) introduced the legislative text for the Patient Freedom Act of 2017, a proposed...more

2016 Round-Up: Key Decisions Affecting Connecticut Health Care Providers

Connecticut state and federal courts faced a number of significant health care issues last year. We have summarized those cases that we think are particularly relevant to Connecticut hospitals, group practices and individual...more

Medicare Advantage Draft Call Letter Addresses Encounter Data, Star Ratings

On February 1, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed updates to the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D programs through the CY 2018 Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter. Despite largely...more

Final Rule Modernizes Substance Use Disorder Patient Record Confidentiality Regulations

On January 18, 2017, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released its long-awaited final rule amending the confidentiality regulations at 42 CFR Part 2 (Part 2) that apply to federally...more

Feb. 13 Deadline Looms for Provider-Based Departments Seeking Mid-Build Exception

A new section of the 21st Century Cures Act provides much-needed relief for hospitals with an off-campus provider-based department (off-campus PBD) that was mid-build or under development as of November 2, 2015 (the Mid-Build...more

CMS Issues Final Rule on New Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation for Home Health Agencies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a final rule, 42 C.F.R. pt. 484, implementing significant changes to the conditions of participation (CoPs) that home health agencies (HHAs) must satisfy to...more

HHS Announces Final Rule on Medicare Benefit Claim Appeals Process

On January 17, 2017, HHS published its final rule addressing modifications to the Medicare benefit claim appeals process. The final rule seeks to reduce the significant backlog of pending Medicare appeals and streamline the...more

"Republicans Chart New Course for US Health Care System"

While President Donald Trump made repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign, he offered few details about how he would replace it or address other health care issues. More...more

Alleging Improper Use of Funds Legitimately Obtained from the Government Insufficient to State FCA Retaliation Claim

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has dismissed an FCA retaliation claim brought by a nurse who claimed to have blown the whistle on misuse of funds at a hospital that received significant federal...more

HHS Publishes Final Rule Overhauling the Medicare Appeals Process

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its final rule revamping the Medicare appeals process at the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) level on January 17, 2017. The final rule extensively revises federal...more

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