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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

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

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

Sometimes the Government is Here to Help: OIG Proposes More Flexibility in Rules Governing Local Transportation, Beneficiary...

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General ("OIG") just released a proposed rule (“Proposed Rule”) that provides long awaited guidance on patient transportation services, relaxes the...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

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

Department of Justice Files First False Claims Act Lawsuit Against Physician-Owned Distributorship

On Sept. 8, 2014, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a 98-page civil complaint alleging that investment returns, paid to a Michigan spinal surgeon and other physicians by a spinal implant company partially...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

House Passes Bill Requiring Post-Acute Providers to Collect Patient Assessment Data

The House recently passed its version of The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 (H.R. 4994/S. 2553), which would require various post-acute providers, including inpatient rehabilitation...more

HHS Asserts the Everybody-Does-It Defense

If that sounds familiar, your child may have a future as a lawyer for Health & Human Services. Because that’s one of the primary arguments asserted by HHS last Friday in its motion to dismiss the lawsuit by the American...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

Telehealth and Health IT Policy: Considerations for Stakeholders

In recent months, as the conversation about reforming the health care system has shifted to achieving greater delivery system efficiencies, cost containment, and patient satisfaction, the role of health care...more

Medicare Beneficiaries Sue HHS Over 489-Day Backlog in ALJ Appeals

The Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) filed a complaint last week on behalf of five Medicare beneficiaries in federal district Court in Connecticut requesting a court order requiring the Secretary of HHS to clear a massive...more

OIG Okays Medigap Insurer’s Arrangement for Discount on Inpatient Deductibles

Last Monday the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of Health & Human Services posted an advisory opinion (No. 14-07) allowing a Medigap insurance company to strike a deal with hospitals for discounts—even waivers—of the...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

Court Slams Medicare Agency, Notes Reputation As “Unfeeling Bureaucracy”

The Department of Health & Human Services’ Provider Reimbursement Review Board (Board) came in for some withering criticism last Friday from the federal court hearing the appeal of University of Chicago Hospital from the...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

Health Care Reform Implementation Update - July 2014

Last week the Senate debated a bill to reverse the Supreme Court’s contraception mandate decision, a group of House Republicans introduced a bill to replace Affordable Care Act (ACA) cuts to the Medicare home health benefit...more

Medicaid Claims And Health Care Fraud: As The Data Flows, New Cracks Emerge

As we noted in two of our prior posts in the Insider blog, the government has long touted its ability to rely upon data mining as a means of detecting fraud in the federal health care system, and has initiated a host of...more

D.C. Circuit Overturns PRRB’s Decision that Only Newly Built Hospitals Can Qualify for Favorable Capital Reimbursement Rates

In Select Specialty Hospital – Bloomington, Inc. v. Burwell, No. 15-5355 (D.C. Cir., Jul. 8, 2014), a group of long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) successfully challenged the Secretary’s determination that they were not “new...more

OIG Report Recommends Increased Scrutiny of Over 1000 Laboratories With Questionable Billing for Medicare Part B Clinical...

According to a recently released report by the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), over 1,000 labs had unusually high billing for Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Services for dates of service in 2010. Increased...more

New OIG Special Fraud Alert Focuses on Suspect Practices of Labs and Referring Physicians - Certain Payment Arrangements May Be a...

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a new Special Fraud Alert on June 25, 2014, that focuses on certain compensation arrangements between laboratories and referring...more

Got A Complaint About RAC Audits? Get In Line

Criticism of the RAC (recovery audit contractor) program is becoming a national pastime. Needless to say, hospitals hated the program from the very beginning. And little wonder. The program pays private contractors a...more

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