Medicare

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Health Update

Assessing the Medicare Shared Savings Program: Diverse Participants, Diverse Results - Rising healthcare costs and declining reimbursements have placed immense pressure on providers and health systems to manage the...more

OIG Reports Limited Compliance with Face-to-Face Certification Requirement for Home Health

The OIG recently released a report summarizing the details of its study regarding compliance with the requirement that physicians (or certain practitioners working with them) who certify beneficiaries as eligible for Medicare...more

OIG Recommends Reduction in Hospital Outpatient Rates for Certain Procedures that Can Be Performed in ASCs

On April 16, 2014, the OIG released a report concluding that between CYs 2007 through 2011, Medicare has saved nearly $7 billion by covering surgical procedures in ASCs. In addition to the savings that would continue to...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update - April 21, 2014

On April 14, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) reported their findings that show a smaller rise in insurance premium costs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) than previously...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News

340B “Mega-Reg” Under Review by OMB – The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), Office of Pharmacy Affairs sent the long-awaited 340B Proposed Rule to the Office of Budget and Management Affairs (OMB) last week...more

CMS Proposes Adoption of Updated Life Safety Code

Wednesday morning, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule regarding adopting the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code (LSC). CMS states the updated code contains new provisions that are...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

Emerging EHR Risks: When Documentation May Not Be Enough (or Too Much)

Today’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) technologies feature many tools that help providers practice more efficiently and allow them to spend more time caring for patients. However, the federal government recently has posted...more

Tax Developments Affecting Health Care Organizations and Investor-Owned Hospital Companies [Video]

Several Treasury regulations, revenue procedures, and other developments have recently been released, which may have important consequences for businesses, including health care organizations. Moreover, changes in regulatory...more

CMS Issues Medicare Advantage And Part D Final Call Letter For 2015

The Medicare Advantage and Part D Final Call Letter announces requirements for the 2015 contract year, including changes to Part C and Part D star ratings and how CMS will evaluate Part D plan structures submitted for the...more

CMS Releases Rate Announcement and Final Call Letter for Medicare Advantage and Part D Programs

On April 7, 2014, CMS issued the 2015 rate announcement and final call letter for the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs. Notably, CMS reversed planned rate cuts to Medicare Advantage plans, and is instead replacing those...more

Don't Be Left On The Sidelines: CMS Is Seeking Applications For A New Hospice Demonstration Program

Currently, Medicare patients that wish to receive palliative hospice care have a tough choice to make—forgo any curative treatment or incur all hospice care costs. This could change, however, with the recent launch of CMS's...more

CMS Releases 2012 Physician Medicare Data: Five Takeaways

On April 9, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released the Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Physician and Other Supplier Public Use File (the “Data File”). The Data File contains...more

CMS Identifies Key Priorities for 2014 Compliance Reviews of Qualified Health Plans in the Federally Facilitated Marketplace

At a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") teleconference titled "Compliance Reviews in the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace" ("FFM"), which was held on April 10, 2014, CMS representatives discussed the agency's...more

OIG Issues Report on Limited Compliance with Medicare’s Face-to-Face Requirement for Home Health Services

On April 9, 2014, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) Office of Evaluation and Inspections (OEI) issued a report (OEI-01-12-00390) entitled “Limited Compliance With...more

If It’s Broken, Fix It (At Least Temporarily): New “Doc Fix” Law Prevents Automatic Medicare Pay Cuts to Physicians

Were you worried that your physician pay rate would plummet come March 31 due to Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (“SGR”) formula? You can stop pulling out your hair, at least until next year. On April 1, 2014, President...more

Also in the News

CMS to Provide Public Access to Physician Payment Data – In a recent post on its official blog, CMS announced it will provide “unprecedented access” to information on services delivered by individual physicians and certain...more

CMS Releases Medicare Part B Supplier Billing and Payment Data

Potential for Increase in Whistleblower Litigation - On April 8, 2014, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released, with tremendous fanfare, hundreds of thousands of points of billing data regarding...more

CMS Releases Physician Medicare Billing Data

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on April 9th a “historic” release of Medicare payment data to provide consumers with “unprecedented transparency on the medical services physicians provide and...more

Department of Health and Human Services to Release Medicare System Data

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they will begin to publicly release Medicare system data, including payment and utilization rates, for the 880,000 physicians currently participating...more

Health Law Wire: Physician Medicare Revalidation Notice

On January 29, 2014, the National Government Services, Inc. announced that it would begin mailing out revalidation notices (“Notice”) to physicians enrolled in the Medicare program sometime in the next (12) months. Physicians...more

CMS Issues Final Call Letter for 2015

Earlier this week, CMS announced in its Final Call Letter that Medicare Advantage rates would rise an average of 0.4 percent in 2015, instead of falling 1.9 percent as proposed in February. CMS’s shift in course may stem...more

I’ll Be Watching You: Medicare Billing Info on over 880,000 Providers Released by CMS to Improve Transparency

Every payment you take, every claim you make, someone will be watching you. No, we don’t mean Sting. We mean all the consumers and businesses that will have greater access to physician billing information now because today...more

D.C. Circuit Requires Greater Disclosure of Changes in Medicare Regulations

The rulemaking process often accommodates a variety of interests, including the preference of regulatory agencies to maintain some flexibility and the rights of interested parties to participate in the regulatory process. On...more

ACA’s Deductible Limits for Small Groups Repealed

On April 1, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. The primary purpose of the law is to provide a one-year delay of a 24% reduction in payment rates for physicians who participate...more

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