Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

News & Analysis as of

Medicare & Medicaid Remain Vulnerable to Fraud and Abuse, GAO Warns

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is out with the latest installment of its “High-Risk Series,” which identifies federal programs “that are especially vulnerable to waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement, or that...more

Justice Department Joins Whistleblower Suit Accusing UnitedHealth Group of Overcharging Medicare by “Hundreds of Millions”

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has joined a whistleblower lawsuit, United States of America ex rel Benjamin Poehling v. Unitedhealth Group Inc., No. 16-08697 (Cent. Dist. Cal. Sep. 17, 2010), ECF No. 79, against...more

Change on the Horizon for Decades-Old Home Health Agency Conditions of Participation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued final regulations (CMS-3819-F) that will make substantial changes to the Medicare home health agency Conditions of Participation (CoPs). These sweeping changes...more

What's "Hidden" in the 21st Century Cures Act for Health Care Entities

The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures) was signed into law December 13, 2016. While the primary focus of the 996-page Act centered on biomedical innovation, several components of Cures have significant implications for health...more

CMS Updates Manual Guidance to Include References to the Two Midnight Rule

Although the Two Midnight Rule was effective October 1, 2013, until recently, CMS had not updated the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual (MBPM) to incorporate the Two Midnight Rule and its revisions to prior admission...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avoiding Rejected Applications – Correct Form Version?

For providers and suppliers that utilize the Medicare enrollment application forms, in lieu of Internet PECOS, it is important to confirm the current version of each form prior to its completion and submission. This can be...more

CMS Finalizes Regulations with Hope of Reducing Medicare Appeals Backlog

On January 17, 2017, CMS published the final rule titled “Medicare Program: Changes to the Medicare Claims and Entitlement, Medicare Advantage Organization Determination, and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Determination...more

The Brave New World of Physician Medicare Payment: MACRA Makes Sweeping Changes

On November 14, 2016, CMS published its final rule implementing the physician payment provisions of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (“MACRA”). The rule became effective January 1, 2017. Data collection from...more

CMS Proposes Stringent New Medicare Standards for Providers and Suppliers of Prosthetics and Custom-Fabricated Orthotics

CMS has issued a proposed rule that would set forth qualifications that providers and suppliers must meet in order to furnish, fabricate, or bill for prosthetics and custom-fabricated orthotics under the Medicare program. The...more

CMS Finalizes Rule to Reduce Medicare Appeals Backlog

In the face of growing scrutiny and now judicial pressure, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule on January 17, 2017 implementing certain administrative and procedural actions in an effort...more

Upcoming CMS Call on IMPACT Act Implementation (Feb 23)

On February 23, 2017, CMS is hosting a call on the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation of 2014 (IMPACT Act) which requires the reporting of standardized patient assessment data by post-acute care provider. The...more

OIG Report Indicates Areas of Hospice Fraud Vulnerability and Issues a Warning to Hospice Providers

The HHS Office of Inspector General recently released a report indicating deficiencies in hospice election statements and physician certification of patient eligibility for hospice care. Medicare hospice care provides help...more

Jan. 31 Deadline: Off-Campus Provider-Based Relocations Requests

For relocations that occurred between 11.2.15 and 12.31.16, providers must submit relocation requests by 1.31.2017. The CY 2017 OPPS Final Rule brought significant changes to the way Medicare reimburses hospitals for...more

OIG Reports on Impact of “High-Priced Drugs” on Medicare Part D Catastrophic Coverage Spending

At the request of Congress and others, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a review of “high-priced drugs” (defined by OIG as exceeding $1,000 per month) and their impact on the Medicare program. The OIG found...more

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