News & Analysis as of

Three Factors Affecting the Mid-Level Practitioner Workforce, Part Two

In the last post, the subjects of collaborative agreements and autonomy were discussed in relation to how they affect mid-level practitioners. Today’s post now turns to how HRSA designation and limited services clinics will...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - January 2015 #3

ALSO IN THE NEWS - HHS Publishes Goals on Alternative Payment Models with Continued Focus on Quality – In its continued efforts to base Medicare payments on quality over quantity, this morning HHS made public its goal...more

Court Allows Home Care Group to Challenge Medicare “Narrative Requirement” Regulation

On January 9, 2015, Judge Christopher P. Cooper, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, issued a decision denying the government’s motion to dismiss the complaint in National Association for Home Care &...more

OIG Report Recommends Reforms to Reduce Hospice Incentives to Provide Care in Assisted Living Facilities

On January 14, 2015, OIG published a report that analyzes Medicare payments for hospice care in assisted living facilities (ALFs). OIG concluded that CMS should implement measures to reform Medicare payments to hospices,...more

HHS Ups The Ante: Announces Percentages And Time Frames On Goals For Medicare Pay-For-Value Efforts

On January 26, 2015, the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Sylvia Mathews Burwell, announced two important goals for the Department...more

CMS Announces Enforcement of EHR Payment Adjustments in 2015

On December 17, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") announced that there would be reductions in Medicare reimbursement for health care providers who do not meet the CMS electronic health record...more

Catching Up on the False Claims Act

From a corporate risk perspective, if your company is in the financial industry, healthcare, or defense industry, your greatest legal and compliance risk has to be the False Claims Act....more

Healthcare Fraud: Aggressive Enforcement Strategies

This week I am focusing on the persistent problem of healthcare fraud. For healthcare providers, the challenge of compliance and avoiding enforcement risks is particularly difficult. ...more

OIG Questions Incentives for Hospice Care in Assisted Living Facilities

Today the OIG issued a report examining the growing use of Medicare hospice care in the assisted living facility (ALF) setting. According to the OIG, Medicare payments for hospice care in ALFs grew by more than 119% from 2007...more

Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Window is Now Open

The bidding window is now open for the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program Round 2 Recompete and the National Mail-Order Recompete for diabetic testing...more

OIG Recommends Greater Scrutiny for Hospice Services in ALFs

The OIG’s recently released study examining Medicare hospice claims from 2007 to 2012 calls for targeted reviews of hospices that receive a high proportion of their payments for care in assisted living facilities....more

MedPAC Voices Concerns about Growing Volume, Burden of Medicare Quality Measures

In December 2014, CMS released a 329-page list of quality measures under consideration for the Medicare program. In a January 13, 2015 comment letter, MedPAC observes that volume of measures under consideration “reinforces...more

New Limitations on RAC Program

In March 2014, CMS temporarily suspended the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program until it secured new contracts. The contracts for the program expired in June 2014, and in August, CMS said that it would restart the...more

Health Care Enforcement in 2015: A Look Back on 2014 and Forecasting the Year Ahead

In testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Health Care in April 2011, the now-pending nominee for U.S. Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, stated in no uncertain terms that “fighting health...more

What You Need To Know About the AKS Proposed Local Transportation Safe Harbor

On October 3, 2014, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) published a proposed rule to expand the safe harbors and make other modifications applicable to the federal...more

The $10,000 Access Clause

This paragraph (or some variation) finds its way into lots of contracts when one or both of the parties to the contract are participants in the health care industry...more

Medicare Enrollment Rules - Expanded Enforcement Finalized in Regulations

On December 5, 2014, CMS published final regulations that expand the bases for CMS to deny enrollment or revoke billing privileges of an enrolled provider or supplier. These final regulations also change the method to...more

CMS Proposes Changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program MSSP

On December 1, 2014, CMS published its proposed changes and updates to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Comments are due by February 6, 2015. Below is a summary of the...more

CMS Issues Final Rule on Reimbursement for Chronic Care Management Services

On November 13, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, including a new code and guidance for billing for chronic care management services (CCM),...more

Debate Intensifies Over Medicare Advantage Plans’ Removal of Providers

Which is more important in a Medicare Advantage plan: the plan’s flexibility to change its provider list during the plan year, or the enrollees’ right to confidence that their providers won’t be removed from the plan after...more

Residents Can Be Hazardous to a Community Hospital's Medicare Health

Although Medicare graduate medical education reimbursement can be a helpful source of financing to facilitate resident training, many community hospitals have suffered a “gotcha” moment when trying to establish new programs....more

CMS Releases Key Proposals for the 2016 Qualified Health Plan Application Process

Stakeholders received insight on the Obama administration’s expected approach to the certification and oversight of qualified health plans (“QHPs”) on December 19, 2014, with the release by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid...more

Effects of the New Federal Spending Package on the Health Sector

In mid-December, President Obama signed into law a $1.1 trillion spending bill known as the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015” or “Cromnibus.”[1] This post explores provisions that relate to the...more

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

In This Issue: - Top News ..Congress Passes Omnibus Spending Package ..HRSA Cancels Plan for 340B ‘Mega Reg’; Congress Weighs Options ..Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to ACA...more

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

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