News & Analysis as of

OIG: Medicare Inappropriately Paid for 2010 E/M Services Claims - Physicians should expect higher scrutiny on Medicare claims...

Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson with the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) recently issued a startling report explaining that Medicare inappropriately paid $6.7 billion for claims for E/M Services in 2010. These...more

OIG's Proposed Rule to Expand Civil Monetary Penalties

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on May 12, 2014 published a proposed rule (Proposed Rule) that would implement the OIG’s expanded authority under the Affordable Care...more

CMS Announces Final Regulatory Changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D

- CMS issues final Medicare Advantage and Part D regulatory changes after a controversial proposed rule was announced earlier this year. - New requirements for the reporting and return of Medicare Advantage and Part D...more

OIG Says Medicare Overpaid Hospitals by $19 Million for Claims Subject to the Post-Acute Care Transfer Policy

On May 28, 2014, OIG released a report asserting that over $19 million in inappropriate payments were made to hospitals for inpatient claims subject to the post-acute care transfer policy. These overpayments were the result...more

Quantifying and addressing improper payments for Medicare evaluation and management services

A review of Medicare Part B claims for evaluation and management (E/M) services conducted by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has found that the program paid $6.7 billion in improper payments in 2010. This figure...more

CMS Changes to Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Benefit Programs for Contract Year 2015

On May 19, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a final rule, published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2014, that sets forth changes to requirements for Medicare Advantage (“MA”) and...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - May 2014

OIG Reports Jurisdiction H Contractors Made $3.3 Million in Overpayments for Outpatient Drugs – According to a recent OIG report, the Medicare Contractors for Jurisdiction H overpaid providers approximately $3.3...more

Recent OIG Report Underscores Need for Home Health Agencies and Physicians to Comply With Medicare’s Face-to-Face Documentation...

Medicare overpaid the home health industry $2 billion between January 2011 and December 2012, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG). The OIG’s...more

Medicare’s 60-Day Proposed Refund Rule Imposes Significant Liability on Providers

As part of the Affordable Care Act, Congress outlined the process for providers to return Medicare and Medicaid overpayments. In 2012, CMS proposed the 60-day Refund Rule, as it is commonly known, requiring Medicare providers...more

Third Circuit Holds Judicial Review of Extrapolated Overpayment Determinations is Precluded

On February 12, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that Federal courts do not have jurisdiction to review HHS’s determination of a “sustained or high level of payment error,” one of two possible...more

Streamlined RAC Appeal Processes Lead To Winning Legal And Economic Outcomes

Armed with the Recovery Audit Contract (RAC) Program, the Federal government has been very successful in recouping Medicare overpayments from health care providers in recent years. During a RAC audit, program contractors...more

Proposed Overpayment Reporting Requirements for MA and Part D Programs May Increase False Claims Act Liability

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services continues to take an expansive view of the overpayment refund requirement, which in turn can give rise to False Claims Act liability for Medicare Advantage Organizations and Part D...more

False Claim Act: 2013 Year in Review

Last year continued the trend of robust False Claims Act (FCA) enforcement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and proliferating qui tam lawsuits brought by whistleblowers on behalf of the United States. In 2012, DOJ...more

CMS Issues Refunds For Collections Made On Incorrectly Identified Incarcerated Beneficiary Overpayments

Medicare does not cover supplies or services for persons who are incarcerated at the time the services are rendered. However, Medicare had purportedly paid providers in error for many such claims and sought to recover those...more

OIG Recommends that CMS Scrutinize Clinicians with High Cumulative Payments

Focusing on clinicians who receive high cumulative payments under Medicare Part B could be a useful means of identifying possible improper payments, according to a recent report issued by the Office of Inspector General of...more

NYS Identifies $496 Million in Medicaid Home Health Erroneous Payments

On October 30, 2013, the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (“OMIG”) issued a press release that New York recovered $211 million from the federal government out of an identified $496 million in Medicaid...more

CMS Reinstates Policy for Enrollment Denials Related to Unpaid Medicare Overpayments

The saga related to CMS’ policy to deny enrollments based on a history of unpaid Medicare debts continues. We first reported on the proposed regulations and corresponding policy announcement, via Transmittal 469, expanding...more

A Review of CMS' Approach to $125 Million Recoupment of Payments to Providers for Services to Incarcerated / Unlawfully Present...

CMS seeks to recover from providers $125 million in alleged overpayments for services to beneficiaries who are belatedly identified as ineligible (incarcerated/unlawfully present). In this post, Sheppard Mullin examines the...more

OIG Finds That Medicare Could Save Millions by Strengthening Billing Requirements for Canceled Surgeries

On August 6, 2013, OIG released a report with its findings that in a sampling of 100 hospital inpatient claims involving short-stay, canceled elective surgery admissions, 80 did not meet Medicare’s requirement that the...more

CMS Temporarily Rescinds Implementation of Enrollment Denials Related to Unpaid Medicare Overpayments

In the June 12, 2013 Payment Matters article “Enrollment Rules Continue To Provide Expanded Bases For Enforcement,” reference was made to CMS’ publication of Transmittal 469 to the Medicare Program Integrity Manual....more

CMS's Use of Contractors to Determine "Sustained or High Level of Payment Errors" Upheld

In a decision handed down on July 23, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the use by CMS of outside contractors to determine whether a home health agency’s reimbursement claims had exhibited a...more

PRIME Act: New Legislation to Curb Health Care Fraud

The United States Senate and House of Representatives recently introduced bipartisan legislation designed to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The legislation, entitled “Preventing and...more

Recent Changes Impact Appeal of Medicare Denials and Reimbursement Strategies

Recovery Audit Contractors (“RACs”) and other Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) contractors are charged with identifying overpayments made by Medicare to healthcare providers. However, with the increase in RAC...more

Hospitals: Audits And Compliance

Hospitals are under intense scrutiny. The federal government knows that one sure way to reduce healthcare costs is to get hospitals to lower their costs. Hospitals feel the pinch given the need to generate revenue but know...more

OIG Recommends Increased CMS Enforcement of SNF Standards

Amid alleged failures of skilled nursing facilities to meet care and discharge planning requirements, OIG identifies substantial payment errors....more

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