Medicare

News & Analysis as of

Where’s the Crime in Providing Free Medical Care?

Can it be a crime to provide free medical care? That’s the question presented by a post-conviction motion by the so-called King of Nursing Homes, Dr. V. Kuchipudi. Dr. K was convicted on nine counts of violating the...more

MedPAC Releases Report to Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System

In June, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released their final annual report to Congress detailing recommendations on a variety of Medicare payment system issues....more

When Inside Knowledge Is a Handicap to a Whistleblower

Here’s a riddle: The whistleblower is a former employee of the defendant, with inside knowledge of the operations at the heart of his qui tam suit. How can that inside knowledge be a handicap in pressing his claim? A June...more

CMS Steps Up Efforts to Recover Overpayments from Providers/Suppliers Sharing TINs

CMS has just announced that it has enhanced its financial accounting system to allow it to recover Medicare payments made to a provider or supplier that shares the same Tax Identification Number (TIN) with a provider or...more

Justice Department Announces Unprecedented National Health Care Fraud Takedown

In what is being billed as the largest coordinated Medicare fraud takedown in Justice Department history, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell...more

CMS Overhauls Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule with Long-anticipated Final Rule

On June 17, 2016, CMS released a long-anticipated final rule revising the Medicare payment system for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests paid under the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) (the Final Rule). In 2018,...more

New ACO Rule: Continued CMS Efforts to Promote Program Participation

On June 6, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”) for accountable care organizations (“ACOs”) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (“MSSP”). The Final...more

Significant Hospital Related Mid-Year Updated OIG Review Activities

This is the second of three alerts discussing the mid-year update to the Fiscal Year 2016 Work Plan issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). In the first alert we discussed the top management performance challenges...more

CMS Finalizes Changes to Medicare Clinical Lab Test Payment Policy, Pushes Back Effective Date to 2018

On June 23, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is publishing a major final rule to base Medicare clinical laboratory fee schedule (CLFS) reimbursement on private insurance payment amounts, as required by...more

Senate Passes Legislation to Delay Pending Medicare DMEPOS Fee Schedule Cuts Based on Competitive Bidding Prices

As previously reported, the Affordable Care Act mandates that CMS use pricing information from the durable medical equipment (DME), prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program (CBP) to adjust...more

CMS Announces Pre-Claim Review Demonstration for Medicare Home Health Services

CMS has announced a new three-year Medicare “pre-claim review” demonstration for home health services in five states — Illinois, Florida, Texas, Michigan, and Massachusetts — with “high incidences of fraud and improper...more

Managing the Transition to Transformation: Is Your Organization Ready for the Shift to Alternative and Quality-Based Payment...

For many decades, at least since the passage of the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973, there have been reform efforts focused on moving the United States health care system away from fee-for-service (FFS)...more

Understanding the Implications of MACRA, MIPS and APMs

On May 9, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking to implement the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Although the...more

MedPAC Issues Recommendations on Medicare Drug, Post-Acute Care, and Other Payment Policies

MedPAC has released its June 2016 Report to the Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. The report includes recommendations for a number of Medicare policy reforms and analyses of various health care market...more

Compliance Reminder — DOJ Announces Largest Healthcare Fraud Takedown

On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the DOJ announced the largest nationwide heath care fraud takedown in history, which resulted in criminal and civil charges against 301 individuals for alleged participation in health care fraud...more

HHS Issues Final Rule on ACA Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued final regulations interpreting the nondiscrimination provisions of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The rule mainly impacts insurers...more

Broad Examination of Narrow Networks: First-of-Its-Kind Study Examines Hospitals in Medicare Advantage Plans

On June 20, 2016, The Kaiser Family Foundation issued the first ever broad-based study of Medicare Advantage hospital networks. The study — "Medicare Advantage Hospital Networks: How Much Do They Vary?"— analyzed 409 plans in...more

OIG Identifies Continued Vulnerabilities in Medicare Provider-Based Facility Payment Policy

A new OIG report examines CMS’s oversight of Medicare billing by provider-based facilities – that is, facilities that operate under the ownership, administrative, and financial control of a hospital and meet other...more

Supreme Court ruling potentially expands false claims liability for healthcare providers

In a much-anticipated decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled recently that the implied false certification theory may form the basis for liability under the False Claims Act (FCA), resolving a split of among the federal...more

Supreme Court Rejects Government's FCA Implied Certification Theory

The Supreme Court of the United States in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. Escobar et al., weighed in on and embraced the implied certification theory of liability within the False Claims Act (FCA)....more

GAO Highlights Significant Backlog in Medicare Appeals, Routine ALJ Failure to Meet Statutory Deadlines

The Medicare appeals process has not been able to keep up with an explosion in the number of volume, particularly at the administrative law judge (ALJ) level (Level 3), resulting in significant backlogs and widespread failure...more

CMS Finalizes Changes to Medicare Shared Savings Program/ACO Benchmark Rebasing Rules

CMS has published a final rule that revises the methodology CMS uses to measure the performance of accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. According to CMS, the changes are intended to...more

All About APMs: What Will It Take for Physicians to Earn the APM Bonus Under MACRA?

On May 9, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a proposed rule addressing the implementation of physician payment reforms included in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015...more

OIG Releases Mid-Year Update to its FY 2016 Work Plan

The HHS OIG has updated its FY 2016 Work Plan to reflect new and/or completed items since initial release of the FY 2016 Work Plan in November 2015. For instance, the mid-year update indicates that the OIG plans to conduct...more

House Approves “Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016”

The House of Representatives has approved H.R. 5273, the “Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016,” as amended by the Ways and Means Committee in May. As previously reported, while the bill focuses on Medicare...more

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