News & Analysis as of

Fraud and Abuse Waivers for MSSP ACOs Extended Another Year

Fridays are for fraud and abuse news-related releases, yet again. Last Friday, the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a notice (Notice) informing the public that it has delayed the release of a final rule...more

Do You Offer or Accept Copayment Coupons? OIG says YOU are Responsible for Compliance with Federal Law

In recent years, copayment coupon programs have become standard promotional practices for both large and small pharmaceutical manufacturers. Copayment coupons are typically offered to commercially insured patients in order...more

Blurring the Lines between False Claims Act Litigation and Putative Federal Malpractice Law: The DOJ Quietly Invokes “Worthless...

On October 10, 2014, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a civil settlement agreement (the “Settlement”) with Extendicare Heath Services, Inc. and its subsidiary Progress Step Corporation (collectively,...more

Provider of Physical, Speech, and Occupational Therapy Services Agrees to $38,000,000 False Claims Act Settlement

As announced in an recent press release, Extended Care Health Services, Inc. (“Extendicare”), an operator of skilled nursing facilities, and its subsidiary Progressive Step Corporation (“Pro Step”), a provider of physical,...more

Medicare Shared Saving Program Interim Final Rule Extended

On October 17, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) published in the Federal Register (79 FR 62356 et seq) a notice...more

Big Changes to Administrative Law Hearings for Medicare Providers

Effective October 27, 2014, the Medicare Program Integrity Manual (“Manual”) will require Medicare Administrative Contractors (“MACs”) to participate in administrative hearings concerning medical review decisions. ...more

Seventh Circuit Reaffirms Worthlessness of Worthless Services Cases

In August the Seventh Circuit expressed its view that so-called “worthless services” cases don’t state a claim under the False Claims Act. Last Friday the court reaffirmed its view by refusing to rehear the case en banc....more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - October 2014 #2

CMS Announces Changes to the Nursing Home Quality Rating System – On October 6, 2014, CMS announced upcoming changes to the nursing home five-star quality rating system. The changes include revising the scoring methodology...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update

In the past week, CMS has released several advisories including updates to the rating system for nursing homes, premium and deductible information for Medicare Part B and Part D for 2015, Pioneer ACO results, payment dispute...more

OIG Proposed Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors and CMP Regulations: The End of Frustration or Just the Beginning?

On October 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) published an unexpected, yet long-awaited, set of proposed rules that would add new anti-kickback law safe harbors,...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

Seniors Needn’t Drive into the City to Get Overcharged!

Remember when you had to drive into the city to get overcharged? Those days are over. According to a report issued Wednesday by the Office of Inspector General of Health & Human Services, Medicare patients pay two to six...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

Does the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2014 Stand a Chance?

“Telehealth saves money and helps save lives. By expanding telehealth services, we can make sure the best care and the best treatments are available to all Americans, no matter where they live.” With those words, Rep....more

OIG Releases New Proposals on Anti-kickback Statute Safe Harbors, Exceptions to the CMP Law and the Gainsharing Prohibition

On October 3, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a long-awaited proposed rule for implementing amendments to safe harbors under the Anti-kickback Statute and...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

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

OIG Offers Greater Protections for Health Care Providers in New Proposed Rule

On October 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a Proposed Rule amending both the safe harbors to the anti-kickback statute and the civil monetary penalty...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

Medicaid ACOs: States’ Answer to Escalating Costs?

States increasingly are experimenting with the use of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in their Medicaid programs as a possible avenue to curb the escalating costs of providing care to expanding Medicaid populations....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

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

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

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

OIG Report Reveals Twelve Percent of RHCs Do Not Meet RHC Certification Requirements

On September 12, 2014, OIG released its report regarding CMS’s enforcement of the statutory provisions governing Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). According to OIG’s report, twelve percent of RHCs no longer meet the location...more

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