Medicare

News & Analysis as of

Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act: Paving the Way for Broader Gainsharing Activities

On April 16, 2015, President Obama signed into law H.R.2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), a critical piece of health care legislation which represents significant movement towards a health...more

CMS Proposes 1.7% Increase in Medicare IRF PPS Payments for FY 2016

On April 23, 2015, CMS released its proposed rule to update Medicare prospective payment system (PPS) rates for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) for FY 2016, which begins October 1, 2015. CMS estimates that rates...more

CMS Releases 2016 Medicare Advantage/Part D Drug Plan Rates and Policies

CMS has released the 2016 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Rate Announcement and Call Letter. According to a CMS fact sheet, the final policies increase Medicare Advantage rates by 1.25% (compared to an earlier forecast of...more

Amidst Increasing Security Concerns, Medicare to Drop Social Security Numbers from Cards

In an effort to combat growing concerns of identity left, President Obama signed into law last week a bill that will require the removal of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare beneficiary cards. The change, which...more

Congressional Health Policy Hearings - April 2015

Congressional committees have held a number of hearings recently on health policy issues, include the following: ..A House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on “Medicare Post-Acute Care Delivery and Options...more

MACRA’s Advancement of EHR Interoperability and Telehealth

This is the fourth and final post in our series on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Pub.L. No. 114-10. We’ve previously covered the repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) in our April 20th post,...more

OMHA Announces Award of ECAPE Contract

The Office of Medicare Hearing and Appeals (OMHA) announced April 14, 2015 that the development contract for the Electronic Case Adjudication and Processing Environment (ECAPE), the dynamic workflow and case management system...more

SGR Legislation Includes Gainsharing Fix and More Anti-Fraud Measures

The legislation repealing the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula (SGR), signed by President Obama on April 16, 2015, contained several anti-fraud related provisions that affect the health care industry. The provision...more

Five Things to Know About the Medicare SGR Fix

H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), was signed into law by President Obama on April 16, 2015. A broad bipartisan compromise measure, MACRA repeals the much-maligned sustainable growth rate (SGR)...more

CMS Issues Proposed - Skilled Nursing Facility Rule

On April 15, 2015, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule to address Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Medicare rate increases for fiscal year (FY) 2016, as well as to propose a variety of measures...more

President Signs Into Law Changes to Medicare Physician Reimbursement Formula

On April 16, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 ("the Act"). The national headlines about the Act’s passage focused on the repeal of the sustainable growth rate...more

MACRA: Program Integrity and Fraud and Abuse Provisions

On Thursday April 16th, President Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (“MACRA”). Pub.L. 114-10. In two previous posts, we discussed MACRA’s repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate...more

CMS Issues Proposed FY 2016 SNF PPS Rule

On April 15, 2015, CMS issued its proposed FY 2016 rule outlining Medicare payment rates for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). CMS projects that the overall economic impact of the proposed rule would result in an estimated...more

President Obama Signs SGR Repeal Legislation; New Physician Payment Methodology Begins in 2019

On April 16, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). MACRA repeals the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) that was set to cut Medicare Physician Fee...more

CMS Announces Recompete of Round 1 of the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program for 2017

On April 21, 2015, CMS announced its plans to recompete the supplier contracts awarded under the Round 1 Recompete of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding...more

Passage of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA): The “Doc Fix”

The President has signed into law the bipartisan bill H.R. 2, the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015,” which permanently repeals the flawed Sustained Growth Rate (SGR) formula and replaces it with a stable...more

Permanent “Doc Fix” Legislation Substitutes Merit-Based Incentive Payment System for SGR, and Contains Other Reimbursement and...

In addition to finally repealing the so-called sustainable growth rate methodology (“SGR”) for adjusting Medicare physician payments that Congress has overridden consistently since 2004, the newly enacted Medicare Access and...more

Following FDA’s First Biosimilar License, CMS Issues Guidance on Reimbursement for Biosimilars

On March 6, 2015, FDA released a statement announcing its issuance of the first biosimilar license to Zarxio. In the same month, CMS issued a number of guidance documents addressing reimbursement for biosimilars under the...more

Are You in Compliance? Effect of Exclusion from Participation in Medicare and Medicaid

The Office of Inspector General’s (“OIG”) recent release of OIG Advisory Opinion No. 15-02 is an important reminder that providers must be vigilant in complying with prohibitions against receiving payment for items or...more

Beyond SGR – MACRA Provides Additional Payment Provisions and Offsets

This is the second post in our continuing series on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Pub.L. No: 114-10. In addition to repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), which was covered in our April 20th...more

Challenges Facing “Narrow” Provider Networks on the ACA Health Care Insurance Exchanges

In This Issue: - The Driving Forces Behind the Trend Toward Narrower Networks - The Trade-Off - Regulatory, Legislative and Litigatious Responses to Narrower Networks Across the Nation - Judicial and CMS...more

“Doc Fix” Signed into Law; 21% Physician Pay Cut Avoided

President Obama has signed the “doc fix” into law, which permanently avoids a 21% pay cut for physicians that was slated to take effect this April. The law received broad bipartisan support, passing in the House of...more

Congress Repeals Sustainable Growth Rate Formula and Advances Medicare Payment for Quality

On April 14, 2015, Congress ended over a decade of repeated “doc fixes” which temporarily suspended scheduled Medicare provider reimbursement cuts, by passing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (the “Act”). If...more

CMS Fines Insurer for Misleading Medicare Part D Beneficiaries

The federal agency that oversees Medicare’s prescription drug program has alleged that a major U.S. insurance company misled beneficiaries about the pharmacies included in the company’s drug plan, and imposed a $1 million...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Doc Fix Statute Contains a Lot More than SGR Repeal

On April 16, 2015, the President signed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, commonly known as the “Doc Fix.” As has been extensively reported, the Act repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate or (SGR)...more

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