News & Analysis as of

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

OIG Announces Proposed AKS and CMP Regulations

On October 3, 2014, the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a proposed rule codifying into regulation several statutory changes to the Antikickback Statute (“AKS”) and the Civil Monetary Penalty (“CMP”) Law. Nearly...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

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

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

Health Headlines: Also in the News - September 2014 #4

CMS To Hold National Provider Call On Medicare Appeals Settlement Process – CMS has scheduled a “national provider call” on October 9, 2014, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET, to update providers on the global settlement...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

Pennsylvania Hospitals Challenge Medicare Advantage Plan’s Sequestration Adjustment

On September 22, 2014, twelve hospitals filed a complaint in a Pennsylvania state court against a Medicare Advantage plan, Highmark, Inc., along with its HMO subsidiary, for implementing a two-percent reduction to the...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

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