Medicare

News & Analysis as of

GAO Issues Report on Post-Payment Claims Reviews by CMS Contractors

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a report entitled “Medicare Program Integrity: Increased Oversight and Guidance Could Improve Effectiveness and Efficiency of Post-Payment Claims Reviews,” which...more

Seventh Circuit Limits “Worthless Services” Theory under False Claims Act

On August 20, 2014, the Seventh Circuit struck another blow against relators’ and the federal government’s increasingly aggressive False Claims Act theories of liability. Rejecting the relators’ use of the “worthless...more

OIG Okays Medigap Insurer’s Arrangement for Discount on Inpatient Deductibles

Last Monday the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of Health & Human Services posted an advisory opinion (No. 14-07) allowing a Medigap insurance company to strike a deal with hospitals for discounts—even waivers—of the...more

AHRQ Releases Guidance for Reductions in Medicaid Hospital Readmissions

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has issued a comprehensive guide with an interactive toolkit for providers to target reductions in Medicaid hospital readmissions. While numerous CMS initiatives have...more

Health Care: Charting the Path Forward to DSRIP for Long-Term Care Providers (8/14)

Designed by New York State to seek a federal waiver for the expenditure of Medicaid funds, the Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP) will allocate 6.42 billion dollars to health care providers in New York State to...more

Prescription Drugs: Refocusing the False Claims Act Microscope on the Rest of the Transaction

Over the last decade, it has often felt as though the pharmaceutical industry has been the government’s and whistleblowers’ main, and at times only, target for False Claims Act (“FCA”) investigations. While manufacturers are...more

Efforts to Stop Health Insurance Fraud Through Use of Contractors Under Fire

In recent reports, from June 25, 2014 and August 13, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlights the mixed results achieved by the federal government's increased efforts to crack down on health insurance fraud...more

How the US Government is cracking down on Medicare fraud

Medicare fraud is a major problem in the United States, with estimates of fraud and systematic overcharging totaling $60 billion each year. That’s nearly five times the cost of healthcare fraud in Canada, and makes up a...more

Seventh Circuit Finds Worthless Services Case Worthless

Two nurses filed a whistleblower suit against the Illinois nursing home where they worked. Their theory was that the care provided at the home was so poor that it was worthless. So any bills to Medicare and Medicaid were...more

Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act May Result in More Patients for Medicare Providers

The President signed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 [PDF] on August 7, 2014 (the “Act”). Ordinarily, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides medical care to veterans at Veterans Health...more

Whistleblower Receives More Than $17 Million in Omnicare Case

A decision has been made in the case against Omnicare, Inc. that will net a former Omnicare pharmacist more than $17.2 million in the ensuing settlement. The settlement with the Department of Justice orders Omnicare,...more

FDA to Strengthen Oversight of Certain In Vitro Diagnostic Devices

In the wake of a new Medicare reimbursement framework, FDA plans stricter regulation of some in vitro diagnostic devices. On July 31, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA; Agency) announced its intent to...more

Research Doesn’t Pay—At Least Not in Graduate Medical Education

Indirect graduate medical costs, or IGME, are what Medicare allows teaching hospitals in increased Medicare rates. IGME represents the indirect costs to a teaching hospital of hosting residents and interns—costs above and...more

Who Audits the Auditors?

Since the advent of Medicare in 1965, hospitals have bemoaned the cost and burden of Medicare audits. The complaints increased when CMS hired private contractors for the audits. They became deafening in 2009 with the advent...more

GAO Concludes CMS Should Increase Oversight of Post-Payment Claims Review Process

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released the findings of its study of the steps taken by CMS to prevent Medicare contractors from conducting certain duplicative post-payment claims reviews. Based on its audit,...more

CMS Paying Some Providers’ Medicare EHR Incentive Payment Using Incorrect Transition Factor

We have learned that CMS has paid Medicare EHR Incentive Program Payments to some eligible hospitals using an incorrect transition factor, understating total payment. CMS personnel have informed us that they are aware of this...more

CMS Care Coordination Payments – A Boon to Doctors and Patients but Patient Participation Will be Essential

As the Affordable Care Act continues to mature, we are seeing new efforts by the Obama administration to incentivize care coordination across a spectrum of services provided to Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) patients. A New...more

Government Sues Hospital for Birthing Mama’s Babies

The Clinica de la Mama case could well serve as an instruction manual of what not to do to stay out of the government’s crosshairs. In this case, several hospitals entered into contracts for Clinica de la Mama to provide...more

Limited Restart of RAC Program

On August 4, 2014, CMS announced that, due to the continued delay in awarding new Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) contracts, CMS will modify its current RAC contracts to allow for a limited number of reviews of Medicare...more

Federal Court Rejects Relator’s Swapping Allegations in False Claims Act Case

This week a federal district court in Ohio ruled in favor of Mobilex USA (Mobilex), the country’s largest mobile medical imaging company, on a motion for summary judgment in a False Claims Act (FCA) suit filed by a former...more

Unnecessary Surgeries Put Hospital in Three-Front War

When the government accuses a hospital of committing Medicare fraud by billing for unnecessary surgeries, the hospital has a real problem on its hands. It’s at war with the government, and that’s expensive, as well as...more

HHS Enjoined from Enforcing Self-Disallowance Regulation

On August 6th, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia enjoined HHS (along with the PRRB and CMS’s Medicare contractors) from applying HHS’s “self-disallowance” regulation to any appeals filed on the basis of an...more

Health Care Update - August 2014 #2

In This Issue: - Brady Unveils Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Bill - Possible Litigation Threat Adds to Considerations in Containing Drug Costs - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal...more

CMS Publishes FY 2015 Final IPPS Rule

On August 4, 2014, CMS posted its final changes and updates to the Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) that apply for fiscal year (FY) 2015, effective October 1, 2014. Below are some of the highlights of the...more

Understanding the Relationship Between Medicare and Medicaid Liens and Litigation

Behind many personal injury and professional malpractice cases lurks a nagging reality that will almost always impact settlement negotiations – a Medicare or Medicaid lien. In general, a lien is a security interest granted...more

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