News & Analysis as of

Second Circuit Revives Medicare Beneficiaries’ Observation Status Suit

On January 22, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut dismissing a lawsuit by Medicare beneficiaries alleging deprivation of due...more

OIG Defends Its Hospital Compliance Reviews in Response to AHA Criticism

The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services(“OIG”) responded to concerns expressed by the American Hospital Association (“AHA”) regarding the OIG’s hospital compliance reviews,...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

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

AHA Responds to House Bill Concerning RACs and Two-Midnight Rule

In a December 18, 2014 letter to U.S. Representative Kevin Brady, the American Hospital Association (AHA) voiced its opinion on a discussion draft of the Hospital Improvements for Payment Act of 2014 (HIP). The House Ways and...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

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 Releases Final Rule That Increases Difficulty of Medicare Enrollment

In early December, CMS released a final rule that implements certain provider (i.e., Hospitals, SNFs, physicians, etc.) and supplier (i.e., DME companies, etc.) enrollment requirements (“Rule”). The goal of CMS’...more

CMS Final Rule Adds More Arrows but also Demonstrates Restraint

CMS reconsiders $10 million bounties for reporting of regulatory violations. On December 5, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule (the Final Rule) that expands its program integrity and...more

Government Applauds Gainsharing, But It's Still Illegal

It's frustrating enough when the government opposes a good idea and makes it illegal. But "gainsharing" presents an even more frustrating situation for hospitals. Why? Because the government continually signals its agreement...more

HHS to Audit Hospital Reporting of GPO Payments: GAO Report Suggests Further Scrutiny of GPO Shareback with Hospitals

On November 24, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) published a report examining the contracting practices and funding structures of health care group purchasing organizations (“GPOs”) and their potential...more

OIG Again Approves Medicap Insurer's Contract with Preferred Hospital Network

On October 21, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 14-10, approving a Medigap insurer’s proposed contract with a preferred hospital network. Similar to...more

Impact of Health Care Reform on Provider Liability

In this presentation: - The Changing Healthcare Landscape - Key Features of an ACO/CIN - ACO Standards and Quality Metrics - Examples of Quality Standards - Impact on Board and Corporate...more

CMS Publishes Additional (but Limited) Guidance on the Coverage with Evidence Development Process

On November 20, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published its latest round of guidance on its Coverage with Evidence Development (“CED”) policy for selected items and services under the Medicare...more

GAO Takes Aim at GPOs

The GAO had drawn a bead on GPOs. In a report issued yesterday the Government Accountability Office expressed concern over the effect of GPOs (group purchasing organizations) on Medicare rates. The report recommended that...more

Representative Brady Introduces Discussion Draft of the Hospital Improvements for Payment Act of 2014

On November 19, 2014, House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady introduced a 146-page discussion draft of the Hospital Improvements for Payment Act of 2014 (HIP). HIP seeks to, among other things, make...more

Proposed Federal Legislation Will Provide Relief to Hospitals and Medicare Patients in Need of Post-Acute Care

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced that the new RAC contracts in North Carolina should be ready by the end of the year. This means that, next year, RAC audits on hospitals and other providers will...more

2015 Medicare OPPS and ASC Final Rule

On November 10, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) final rule for 2015. The rule updates CMS’s payment rates and policies, value-based...more

Hospital Executive Pleads Guilty to False Meaningful Use Attestation for EHR Incentive Payments

The former CFO of Shelby Regional Medical Center, Joe White, pleaded guilty to knowingly making a false statement related to the hospital’s meaningful use of electronic health records (“EHR”). Shelby Regional had received...more

Orthopedic Patient Doesn’t Have a Leg to Stand On

It’s well known that Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurers hate the ever-increasing trend of hospitals buying facilities and practices and then charging provider-based (i.e., higher) rates than the facilities and...more

DOJ Criminal Division Renews Efforts to Investigate Whistleblower Allegations

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has signaled a heightened effort to bring criminal prosecutors into the loop regarding False Claims Act referrals and other whistleblower complaints. In recent remarks at a conference comprised...more

HHS Seeks Public Input To Address Growing Backlog of Medicare Appeals

The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA), a division of HHS that administers the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing program for Medicare claims appeals, recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking...more

Is Provider-Based Reimbursement Going Away?

We get this question every year: will Medicare, Medicaid or other payors continue to recognize hospital-level facility fee reimbursement for hospital outpatient departments meeting the provider-based designation criteria at...more

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