News & Analysis as of

CMS Withdraws Proposed Medicare Secondary Payer Rule

On October 8, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) withdrew its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (“NPRM”) from the Office of Management and Budget that was to address how Medicare’s future interests should...more

Critical Access Hospital Soothsayers and the 96-Hour Physician Certification Requirement

This year critical access hospitals (CAH) have struggled to implement procedures to comply with both the "two-midnight" rule and the 96-hour physician certification requirement. The combination of both puts physicians in a...more

CMS Issues 2013 RAC Report to Congress

On September 29, 2014, CMS released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) report. According to the report, RACs collected $3.65 billion in Medicare overpayments during FY 2013. In addition, the report...more

CMS to Modernize Home Health Regulations - Proposed rule targets quality of care, more flexible procedures

On October 9, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Proposed Rule revising current conditions of participation (CoPs) that home health agencies (HHAs) must meet in order to participate in the...more

CMS Offers To Settle All Acute Care Inpatient Claim RAC Appeals

CMS is offering to pay hospitals 68 percent of the allowable amount for all claims that are currently on appeal. Specifically, CMS is offering to settle "inpatient status" claims at 68 percent of the "net paid amount" within...more

FDA Regulatory and Compliance Monthly Recap - September 2014

In This Issue: - FDA sends warning letters to companies that made claims on social media that their products treat, cure Ebola, marking the first time the agency singles out Pinterest - OIG issues special...more

Today’s Riddle: When Does Medicare Fine Hospitals for Admitting Sick Seniors?

Give up? It’s when the sick senior was treated at that same hospital less than 30 days ago for heart attack, heart failure, or pneumonia. Starting in less than three months, the list of conditions will be expanded to cover...more

Medicare Enrollment: A Primer and How to Avoid Traps for the Unwary

Health-care professionals, facilities and equipment suppliers must be enrolled in the Medicare program to receive payment for covered items and services. In 2006, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services adopted a...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - September 2014 #4

CMS To Hold National Provider Call On Medicare Appeals Settlement Process – CMS has scheduled a “national provider call” on October 9, 2014, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET, to update providers on the global settlement...more

Blog: OIG Releases Proposed Rule re: Beneficiary Inducements and Gainsharing Revisions

The Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) released today a proposed rule titled, Medicare and State Health Care Programs: Fraud and Abuse; Revisions to Safe Harbors under the Anti-Kickback Statute, and...more

CMS Announces Launch of Open Payments Database: $3.5 Billion Paid to Physicians and Teaching Hospitals

The Open Payments database (the “Database”) is now live, and the first round of data is available to the public on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) website. This first round of data reflects “nearly 4.4...more

Audits and Appeals: A Routine Cost of Doing Business with Medicare

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has unleashed an alphabet of auditors to identify overpayments. These auditors are armed with the authority to conduct pre-payment reviews, and post-payment audits, as well as...more

Amid the Sunshine, Controversy Lingers: The Release of CMS's "Open Payments" System

In a March 2013 post on the Insider blog, we noted the issuance by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of a long-awaited final rule mandating the collection of information regarding payments that drug and...more

Federal District Court Vacates Decision of Medicare Appeals Council on Inpatient Rehabilitation Coverage

In its recent decision in Teche Specialty Hospital v. Sebelius, the District Court for the Western District of Louisiana vacated two inpatient rehabilitation (IRF) coverage denials by the Medicare Appeals Council (MAC). The...more

Health Reform + Related Health Policy News - September 2014, Issue 1

In This Issue: - Top News ..The Congressional Agenda is Light as the Focus Shifts to the Midyear Elections ..Physician Supervision Requirement for Small and Rural Hospitals ..CMS Offers Hospitals...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - September 2014 #3

Congressman Sends Letter to Secretary of HHS Urging Her to Retract CMS’s Global Settlement Offer – On September 15, 2014, Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Tex), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, sent a...more

OIG Reports Medicare Part B Supplying and Dispensing Fees Significantly Higher Than Those Under Part D and Medicaid

According to a recently released report from the HHS OIG, pharmacies are reimbursed significantly more for dispensing drugs under Medicare Part B than they would be for dispensing the same drugs under Medicare Part D and...more

New Hospice Cost Report Released: Effective for Cost-Reporting Periods Beginning Next Week

On August 29, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released the final version of the new Medicare cost report, Form CMS 1984-14, applicable to freestanding hospice providers. Freestanding hospice...more

CMS Releases MSSP and Pioneer ACO Data on Shared Savings and Losses – Where Do We Go From Here?

On September 16, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced key shared savings and losses results of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that began participating in the Medicare Shared Savings...more

Court Dismisses AHA’s Challenge to CMS Billing Policy

On September 17, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit brought by the American Hospital Association (AHA), three individual hospitals, and two health care systems that challenged CMS’s...more

CMS Continues to Struggle with How to Provide High Quality Care to Dual Eligibles

Last week CMS announced that it would not execute its option to terminate its 2015 contracts with Medicare Advantage Plans and Part D plans that had scored three stars or less for three consecutive years. ...more

Attention Hospitals! Act Now To Get 68 Cents For Your Medicare Dollar!

It’s no secret that CMS is drowning in appeals from denials of Medicare claims for inpatient care. The number of pending appeals was estimated at half a million back in February, and it’s only grown since then. One reason...more

Want To Complain About The 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule? Take A Number.

Apparently Americans feel that way about Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service physician compensation schedule. Everybody complains about it, but nobody likes any proposed changes. That’s clear from the reaction to the...more

A (Second) Lawsuit Seeks to Compel Statutory Timeframe for Administrative Law Judge Review of Medicare Claims Appeals

On August 26th, the Center for Medicare Advocacy filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The complaint alleges that, as implemented, the Medicare administrative review...more

CMS Offers Global Settlement of Inpatient Status Claims with Pending Appeals

On August 29, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced a global settlement offer to acute care and critical access hospitals with currently pending appeals of inpatient status claims denials....more

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