News & Analysis as of

CMS Announces Next Phase in Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program

On December 11, 2014, CMS announced the bidding timeline for the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program Round 2 Recompete and National Mail-Order...more

CMS Releases Final Rule That Increases Difficulty of Medicare Enrollment

In early December, CMS released a final rule that implements certain provider (i.e., Hospitals, SNFs, physicians, etc.) and supplier (i.e., DME companies, etc.) enrollment requirements (“Rule”). The goal of CMS’...more

CMS Final Rule Adds More Arrows but also Demonstrates Restraint

CMS reconsiders $10 million bounties for reporting of regulatory violations. On December 5, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule (the Final Rule) that expands its program integrity and...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - December 2014 #2

CMS Publishes Correction to CY 2015 Home Health Prospective Payment System Final Rule – On December 2, 2014, CMS published in the Federal Register a correction to its previously published final rule for Medicare Home Health...more

CMS Issues Final Rule Designed to Enhance Agency Oversight of Medicare Providers and Strengthen Protections for Medicare...

On December 3, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a final rule (CMS-6045-F) that updates various requirements for providers and suppliers wishing to enroll in the Medicare program. CMS issued...more

Government Applauds Gainsharing, But It's Still Illegal

It's frustrating enough when the government opposes a good idea and makes it illegal. But "gainsharing" presents an even more frustrating situation for hospitals. Why? Because the government continually signals its agreement...more

Keeping Track of the Tracks: Proposed ACO Regulations Alter MSSP Financial Models

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released a new proposed rule for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). This advisory focuses on...more

CMS Proposes Changes to 2016 Star Rating Calculations - Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans May Be...

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS or the Agency) released a memorandum requesting comments regarding proposed changes to the 2016 star ratings systems for Medicare Advantage Plans (MA Plans) and Medicare...more

New CMS Enrollment Rules Strengthen Oversight of Medicare Providers

On December 5, 2014, CMS published a final rule to strengthen its oversight of Medicare providers. The rule includes safeguards designed to prevent providers with unpaid debt from re-entering Medicare and to remove providers...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - December 2014

CMS Extends Comment Period for Home Health Conditions of Participation Proposed Rule – As previously reported, on October 9, 2014, CMS published in the Federal Register a Proposed Rule that would revise the home health...more

CMS Releases New Proposed Medicare Shared Savings Program Regulations

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released proposed regulations for the Medicare Shared Savings Program (“MSSP”) on Monday December 1, 2014. The proposed regulations are scheduled to be published in the...more

Global Surgery and 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On July 21, 2014, I posted the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and described the intent by CMS to eliminate global surgery. On November 13, 2014, CMS issued the final 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and...more

CMS Publishes Additional (but Limited) Guidance on the Coverage with Evidence Development Process

On November 20, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published its latest round of guidance on its Coverage with Evidence Development (“CED”) policy for selected items and services under the Medicare...more

Representative Brady Introduces Discussion Draft of the Hospital Improvements for Payment Act of 2014

On November 19, 2014, House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady introduced a 146-page discussion draft of the Hospital Improvements for Payment Act of 2014 (HIP). HIP seeks to, among other things, make...more

Proposed Federal Legislation Will Provide Relief to Hospitals and Medicare Patients in Need of Post-Acute Care

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced that the new RAC contracts in North Carolina should be ready by the end of the year. This means that, next year, RAC audits on hospitals and other providers will...more

2015 Medicare OPPS and ASC Final Rule

On November 10, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) final rule for 2015. The rule updates CMS’s payment rates and policies, value-based...more

Hospital Executive Pleads Guilty to False Meaningful Use Attestation for EHR Incentive Payments

The former CFO of Shelby Regional Medical Center, Joe White, pleaded guilty to knowingly making a false statement related to the hospital’s meaningful use of electronic health records (“EHR”). Shelby Regional had received...more

HHS Seeks Public Input To Address Growing Backlog of Medicare Appeals

The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA), a division of HHS that administers the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing program for Medicare claims appeals, recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking...more

CMS Finalizes Proposal to Remove Continuing Medical Education Exclusion from Sunshine Act Regulations

On October 31, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final Medicare physician fee schedule rule for CY 2015 (the Final Rule), which also includes certain changes to the Sunshine Regulations. ...more

SRDP No Longer New Wine

More than four years after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) issuance of the Stark Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP), it's time to assess the results. The SRDP was designed by Congress to resolve...more

CMS Announces CY 2015 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rates

On October 30, 2014, CMS issued a final rule for Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) rates for CY 2015. The final rule estimates that Medicare payments to home health agencies (HHAs) in CY 2015 will be...more

OIG Releases Its Workplan for 2015

HHS’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released on Friday its Work Plan for fiscal year (FY) 2015. The 94-page work plan summarizes the new and ongoing reviews and activities that OIG plans to pursue across the full spectrum...more

CMS Releases CY 2015 Outpatient PPS/Ambulatory Surgical Center Final Rule

On October 31, 2014, CMS issued its CY 2015 outpatient and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) PPS final rule. CMS finalized a net payment rate increase of 2.2 percent under the OPPS. This figure includes a 2.9 percent market...more

IRS Releases Guidance on Private Business Use, and ACOs and Management Contracts

On October 25, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) released Notice 2014-67 that provides interim guidance on (i) participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program through an accountable care organization (ACO) and...more

Health Care Update - November 2014

In This Issue: - CMS Releases Final Medicare Payment Rules - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Other Congressional Initiatives - Other Health...more

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