News & Analysis as of

FDA to Strengthen Oversight of Certain In Vitro Diagnostic Devices

In the wake of a new Medicare reimbursement framework, FDA plans stricter regulation of some in vitro diagnostic devices. On July 31, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA; Agency) announced its intent to...more

Research Doesn’t Pay—At Least Not in Graduate Medical Education

Indirect graduate medical costs, or IGME, are what Medicare allows teaching hospitals in increased Medicare rates. IGME represents the indirect costs to a teaching hospital of hosting residents and interns—costs above and...more

GAO Concludes CMS Should Increase Oversight of Post-Payment Claims Review Process

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released the findings of its study of the steps taken by CMS to prevent Medicare contractors from conducting certain duplicative post-payment claims reviews. Based on its audit,...more

CMS Care Coordination Payments – A Boon to Doctors and Patients but Patient Participation Will be Essential

As the Affordable Care Act continues to mature, we are seeing new efforts by the Obama administration to incentivize care coordination across a spectrum of services provided to Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) patients. A New...more

Government Sues Hospital for Birthing Mama’s Babies

The Clinica de la Mama case could well serve as an instruction manual of what not to do to stay out of the government’s crosshairs. In this case, several hospitals entered into contracts for Clinica de la Mama to provide...more

Limited Restart of RAC Program

On August 4, 2014, CMS announced that, due to the continued delay in awarding new Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) contracts, CMS will modify its current RAC contracts to allow for a limited number of reviews of Medicare...more

Federal Court Rejects Relator’s Swapping Allegations in False Claims Act Case

This week a federal district court in Ohio ruled in favor of Mobilex USA (Mobilex), the country’s largest mobile medical imaging company, on a motion for summary judgment in a False Claims Act (FCA) suit filed by a former...more

Unnecessary Surgeries Put Hospital in Three-Front War

When the government accuses a hospital of committing Medicare fraud by billing for unnecessary surgeries, the hospital has a real problem on its hands. It’s at war with the government, and that’s expensive, as well as...more

HHS Enjoined from Enforcing Self-Disallowance Regulation

On August 6th, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia enjoined HHS (along with the PRRB and CMS’s Medicare contractors) from applying HHS’s “self-disallowance” regulation to any appeals filed on the basis of an...more

Health Care Update - August 2014 #2

In This Issue: - Brady Unveils Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Bill - Possible Litigation Threat Adds to Considerations in Containing Drug Costs - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal...more

Understanding the Relationship Between Medicare and Medicaid Liens and Litigation

Behind many personal injury and professional malpractice cases lurks a nagging reality that will almost always impact settlement negotiations – a Medicare or Medicaid lien. In general, a lien is a security interest granted...more

Early Report on Value-Based Purchasing: Less to It Than Meets the Eye?

Medicare’s Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program produced no improvement in either quality of care or patient satisfaction during its first nine months of operation. That’s the finding of a study led by Andrew Ryan, of the...more

CMS Retracts Hospice Preauthorization Requirements for Part D Drugs

On July 18, CMS released new guidance retracting a major portion of its controversial preauthorization requirement for hospice beneficiaries. The new guidance supersedes portions of the March 10, 2014 guidance [PDF] that...more

IOM Report Recommends “Significant Changes to GME Financing and Governance”

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released on July 29, 2014, the conclusions of its long-anticipated report regarding Medicare’s graduate medical education (GME) payment system. Recognizing that “withdraw[ing] Medicare funding...more

Medicare Announces Pay Increases for Psychiatric, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Providers in Fiscal Year 2015

According to the rules released last Thursday by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare will increase payment to inpatient psychiatric hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and skilled nursing...more

Impact on Medicare Payments of Shift in Site of Care for Chemotherapy Administration

Two independent trends, acting in combination, are currently resulting in increased Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) chemotherapy payments. The first trend is a shift in the site of care for cancer patients from physicians’...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update

Congress begins its summer recess this week, but last week legislators were busy holding hearings on management issues regarding HealthCare.gov, introducing legislation to increase payments to primary care doctors under...more

CMS Extends Moratoria for the Enrollment of New Home Health Agencies and Ambulance Suppliers and Providers

Over the past year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) flexed its regulatory muscle to establish temporary moratoria on the enrollment of certain providers and suppliers under its recent authority pursuant to...more

New Federal Fire Safety Regulations Could Mean Changes for Health Care Facilities

On April 16, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published proposed rules that would amend the fire safety standards for hospitals, long-term care facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, hospice inpatient...more

New Clarifications Affect Physician and Hospital Medicare Part B Billing for Services Provided by Nursing and Other Staff...

CMS recently released rules changing the requirements for Medicare coverage of services furnished incident to a physician’s, NP’s, or PA’s services. Howard Sollins, Donna Senft and Susan Turner explain the effect of the...more

Finally, Some Good News for Halifax–And All Other–Hospitals

It’s been a long time since Orlando’s Halifax Hospital got any good news from the federal court hearing the whistleblower case brought by employee Elin Baklid-Kunz. Earlier this year the hospital had to agree to an $85...more

Lessons From Omnicare Settlement In 'Swapping' Cases

On June 25, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had settled with Omnicare Inc. in two matters alleging that kickbacks resulted from below-cost discounts offered to skilled nursing homes as an inducement to select...more

Shorts on Long Term Care - Summer 2014

In this issue: - Nursing Facility Survey Trends: Directed Plans of Correction, Privacy Violations and FTag 520 Quality Assurance Committee Citations - COBRA Meets ACA – Time to Update COBRA Notices -...more

Medicare Part C Update: Co-Insurance Payments

Prior to the implementation of NC Tracks, the North Carolina Medicaid program would pay co-insurance for correctly filed claims for dual eligible residents (Medicare and Medicaid) who were covered primarily by Medicare Part C...more

Is Off-Label Drug Promotion Protected Free Speech?

It is a very common practice. Drug sales reps visit a client, usually a hospital, a clinic or a doctor, with the sole purpose of selling a drug or medical device. That is the primary way a doctor learns about a drug or...more

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