Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

News & Analysis as of

President Obama Signs SGR Repeal Legislation; New Physician Payment Methodology Begins in 2019

On April 16, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). MACRA repeals the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) that was set to cut Medicare Physician Fee...more

CMS Announces Recompete of Round 1 of the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program for 2017

On April 21, 2015, CMS announced its plans to recompete the supplier contracts awarded under the Round 1 Recompete of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding...more

Following FDA’s First Biosimilar License, CMS Issues Guidance on Reimbursement for Biosimilars

On March 6, 2015, FDA released a statement announcing its issuance of the first biosimilar license to Zarxio. In the same month, CMS issued a number of guidance documents addressing reimbursement for biosimilars under the...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

Congress Repeals Sustainable Growth Rate Formula and Advances Medicare Payment for Quality

On April 14, 2015, Congress ended over a decade of repeated “doc fixes” which temporarily suspended scheduled Medicare provider reimbursement cuts, by passing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (the “Act”). If...more

CMS Fines Insurer for Misleading Medicare Part D Beneficiaries

The federal agency that oversees Medicare’s prescription drug program has alleged that a major U.S. insurance company misled beneficiaries about the pharmacies included in the company’s drug plan, and imposed a $1 million...more

President Signs MACRA: Permanently Reforms Medicare Physician Reimbursement Framework, Includes Other Medicare Payment, Program...

On April 16, 2015” (MACRA), which reforms Medicare payment policy for physician services and adopts a series of policy changes affecting a wide range of providers and suppliers. Most notably, MACRA permanently repeals...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

Five Key Elements of Transitional Care Management

Similar to rules providing billing opportunities for chronic care management, relatively new Medicare funds for Transitional Care Management (“TCM”) provide a new path for providers to supplement their Medicare practice with...more

Health Care Update - April 2015

In This Issue: - SGR Bill Facing Final Hurdles This Week - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Congressional Initiatives - Other Health Care...more

CMS Takes Initial Steps to Address Medicare & Medicaid Coverage for Biosimilars

On March 30, 2015, CMS released guidance addressing Medicare and Medicaid coverage for biosimilar drug products. The Medicare/Medicaid coverage guidance comes on the heels of the FDA’s landmark approval of a biosimilar...more

ABN Flunks Medicare Test

In Int’l Rehab. Sci. v. Burwell, No. 08-cv-05442 (W.D. Wash. Feb. 13, 2015), the court found inadequate an advance beneficiary notice (ABN) which stated that “Medicare has not established coverage criteria... or does not...more

Selected CMS Guidance for Billing for Skilled Nursing Facility Services

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) should take note of the updates and clarifications set forth in Medlearn Matters article 8997, issued by the CMS on March 13, 2015. Medlearn Matters article 8997 updates the chapters in the...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

Permanent Doc Fix Bill Approved by House; Senate to Vote in Coming Weeks

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted 392-37 to approve the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2), a bill that would, among other things, permanently replace the sustainable...more

Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) Program Reports $3.3 Billion in Recoveries

According to the FY 2014 HCFAC program report, more than $3.3 billion was recovered in FY 2014 as a result of the government’s health care fraud judgments and settlements, including $2.3 billion won or negotiated by the...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

CMS Launches Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network

On March 25, 2015, CMS formally launched the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, a public-private partnership intended to support HHS’s goal of moving Medicare and the broader health industry from a...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: House Approves FY 2016 Budget Proposal... House Passes Permanent SGR Reform and Two-Year CHIP Reauthorization... Senate Passes FY 2016 Budget Plan... HHS Report: ACA Led to $7.4 Billion Decline in Uncompensated...more

CMS Publishes Update to DME Items Subject to Face-to-Face Encounter, Written Order Prior to Delivery Requirements

Today CMS published a notice updating the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes on the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) List of “Specified Covered Items” that require a face-to-face encounter and a written...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

Ways & Means Committee Schedules March 24 Hearing on Use of Data Analysis to Stop Medicare Fraud

On March 24, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight is holding a hearing on CMS’s use of the Fraud Prevention System (FPS) to identify and stop Medicare fraud. ...more

CMS Finalizes SMART Act MSP Appeals Provisions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a final rule that implements Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) appeals provisions under the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act of 2012 (SMART Act). ...more

CMS Announces Next Generation ACO Model

CMS announced a new ACO payment initiative on March 10, 2015, the Next Generation ACO Model, designed for entities experienced in coordinating care for populations of patients. The announcement reflects CMS’ commitment to...more

CMS Publishes Final Rule Establishing Appeal Process for Applicable Plans in Medicare Secondary Payer Cases

On February 27, 2015, CMS published a final rule, effective April 28, 2015, to establish a formal, multilevel administrative appeals process for applicable plans against which Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) recovery demands...more

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