News & Analysis as of

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

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

Medigap Policy Contract with Preferred Hospital Networks Approved by OIG

On August 18, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued another advisory opinion approving a licensed insurance broker’s proposal to establish a preferred hospital network...more

Whistleblower Hotline Providers Can Even Save Lives

My mom and dad both have jobs in medicine, so I am some what familiar with how doctors, nurses, and specialists run their practice. My mom works with cancer patients so when I came across this rather shocking article about a...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

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

Hospitals File Lawsuit Over Medicare ALJ Hearings Delays

Over 460,000 appeals requesting hearings before an administrative law judge (ALJ) were pending in the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) at the end of 2013, with 15,000 new appeals being submitted each week. At...more

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