News & Analysis as of

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

OIG Releases Its Workplan for 2015

HHS’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released on Friday its Work Plan for fiscal year (FY) 2015. The 94-page work plan summarizes the new and ongoing reviews and activities that OIG plans to pursue across the full spectrum...more

Another Halloween Treat: the OIG’s 2015 Work Plan

On Halloween the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of Health & Human Services released its “Work Plan Fiscal 2015.” The 90-page document is meant to tell the public, and especially health care providers paid by Medicare and...more

Blog: HHS OIG Hands Out 2015 Work Plan For Halloween

On Friday October 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its annual “Work Plan” for fiscal year 2015. The Work Plan is a compilation of the OIG’s plans for...more

Outsourcing Ambulatory and Outpatient Services: What Hospitals Need to Know

We are in the midst of a trend involving the “outsourcing” of certain outpatient and ambulatory services by hospitals and health systems. These outsourcing transactions often involve partnerships with for-profit, specialty ...more

CMS Reopens the Medicare Payment Adjustment Hardship Exception Application Submission Period for Certain Providers and Hospitals

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced the reopening of the submission period for hardship exception applications for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals that have been unable to fully...more

Report Shows CMP Enforcement Actions On the Rise Against Part C and Part D Sponsors

A new report issued October 16, 2014 by the Medicare Parts C & D Oversight and Enforcement Group (MOEG) reveals that civil monetary penalty (CMP) enforcement actions in these two programs more than tripled from 2012 to 2013....more

IRS Releases Private Business Use Guidelines for ACO Participants

On Friday, October 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2014-67, providing guidance regarding the circumstances under which participation by a hospital in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) will...more

Hospital Settles Provider-Based Compliance Investigation for $3.3 Million

A New York State hospital has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice more than $3.3 million to resolve an investigation conducted by the HHS-OIG and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York into...more

Health Law Alert: OIG Releases Proposed Revisions to Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors and Civil Monetary Penalty Rules

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a proposed rule that revises safe harbors under the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) rules regarding...more

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