News & Analysis as of

CMS Releases Updates to Its Medicare Advantage and Part D Plan Audit Protocols and Processes

On February 12, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released an updated version of its Medicare Advantage (“MA”) and prescription drug benefit (“Part D”) plan audit protocols and also announced the...more

CMS Releases 2016 Draft Call Letter

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) released its 2016 Advance Rate Notice and draft Call Letter (2016 Call Letter) for the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Part D programs. The 2016 Call Letter outlines...more

Medicare RAC Program Improvements Delayed Until 2016 - Shorts on Long Term Care February 2015

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had planned to award new contracts to companies that act as Medicare’s recovery audit contractors (now referred to as recovery auditors) (RAs) for operation of the Medicare...more

Final Medicare Advantage/Part D Rule for Contract Year (CY) 2016

CMS has published a final rule revising Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D prescription drug benefit regulations for CY 2016. Among other things, the final rule...more

CMS Releases Proposed Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter for 2016

On Friday, February 20, 2015, CMS released its Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for Calendar Year 2016 for Medicare Advantage (MA) Capitation Rates, Part C and Part D Payment Policies and 2016 Call Letter (the...more

Shorts on Long Term Care - February 2015

In this issue: - Document Retention in a Long Term Care Facility - Medicare RAC Program Improvements Delayed Until 2016 - “Bring Your Own Device” To Work Programs - NLRB Upends Legality of Employer Email...more

GAO Evaluates CMS Activities to Prepare Health Industry for ICD-10 Launch

According to a recent GAO report, CMS has taken numerous steps to prepare industry for the October 1, 2015 transition to ICD-10 codes, such as developing checklists, timelines, and other educational materials and hosting...more

CMS Issues New Audit Protocols for Medicare Advantage Organizations and Part D Sponsors

On February 13, 2015, CMS announced new audit protocols and process updates for the 2015 Program Audit Cycle for Medicare Advantage (MA) organizations and Part D sponsors. According to the memorandum, 2015 begins a new...more

CMS Corrects 2015 Medicare OPPS/ASC Final Rule, Impacts Rates

Today CMS published a notice correcting its November 10, 2014 final rule updating the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and the Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System rates and policies...more

CMS Takes a Measured Approach to Medicare Advantage and Part D Plan Payment Rates and Policy Changes for 2016

Increased Part D Drug Costs Set the Stage for Higher Beneficiary Premiums - The Advance Notice (“Advance Notice”) of Methodological Changes for Calendar Year (“CY”) 2016 for Medicare Advantage (“MA”) Capitation Rates,...more

CMS Delays 60-Day Rule, But Overpayment Case Law Emerging

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a one-year delay in finalizing the long-awaited and closely watched rule addressing the 60-day deadline to return Medicare and Medicaid overpayments (the...more

Roadmap to Prison: Lessons Learned from the Criminal Prosecution of Alpha Ambulance’s Leaders

No one running an ambulance company ever planned to go to prison for doing his or her job. But that is a real possibility if the government knocks on the door, and the owner or manager is dishonest in his or her response to...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Upcoming Hearing: HHS Sec. Burwell Appearing Before E&C Committee on FY2016 Budget... CMS Issues 2016 Payment and Policy Updates for Medicare Health and Drug Plans... CMS Releases Improved Rating System for Nursing...more

Health Law Pulse - February 2015

On January 23, 2015, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) filed a notice of appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (District Court) challenging two rulings in the case of Home Care...more

OIG Report Outlines Five Recommendations for Hospice Care Reform

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to reform the hospice payment system, collect data relevant to revising hospice payments and develop quality...more

Clinical Trial and Medicare Provider Quality Improvement Provisions in House Committee 21st Century Cures Discussion Draft

On January 27, 2015, the House Energy & Commerce Committee (“Committee”) released a discussion draft of comprehensive medical innovation reform legislation as part of its 21st Century Cures Initiative. According to supporting...more

Strategizing to Operationalize the Medicare Advantage and Part D Final Rule

More than a year ago, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed significant regulatory changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Programs, many of which were the subject of significant...more

Florida Bankruptcy Court Offers Potential Means to Stave Off Medicare Termination

A recent bankruptcy decision in Florida may have implications for troubled healthcare entities that seek to avoid Medicare termination and preserve reimbursements. ...more

Medicare Will Cover Lung Cancer Screening

On February 5, 2015, CMS announced that it will cover lung cancer screening with low dose computed tomography (LDCT). “This is the first time that Medicare has covered lung cancer screening. ...more

CMS Finalizes Policy Rules For Medicare Parts C and D

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final rules on policy and technical changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Benefit programs (Part D) for contract year...more

Breaking News: CMS Delays Final Overpayment Rule

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is extending the deadline to finalize the rule implementing the Affordable Care Act provision that requires providers to timely report and return...more

CMS Needs More Time to Finalize ACA Rule on Return of Medicare Overpayments

CMS warns requirement to report/return overpayments is in effect even without regulations - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) needs more time to finalize its February 16, 2012 proposed rule on reporting...more

GAO Highlights Medicare Program Risks and Recommends Program Integrity Actions

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released its latest update to its “High-Risk Series” reports, which again lists Medicare as a high-risk program, in part because of the program’s substantial size and scope, and...more

OIG Questions Potentially Duplicative Hospital Quality Improvement Efforts

The OIG recently issued a report that examined the extent to which Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) duplicate other CMS hospital quality improvement efforts, particularly Hospital Engagement Networks (HENs) and the...more

OIG Examines CMS Payments to Hospitals for Clinic Visits

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) estimates that CMS made $4.6 million in incorrect Medicare outpatient payments to hospitals for established patients’ clinic visits in 2012. ...more

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