News & Analysis as of

Government demonstrates willingness to enforce Affordable Care Act provision that could cost providers millions of dollars

Under a little-known provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), healthcare providers could face millions of dollars in liability for failing to reimburse the government for overpayments in a timely...more

Health Law Alert: Case Against New York Health System May Shape the 60-Day Overpayment Rule

New York’s Mount Sinai Health System is involved in a high-stakes False Claims Act (FCA) suit alleging failure to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) 60-day overpayment rule. This is the first time the Department of...more

Mount Sinai Seeks Dismissal of Groundbreaking False Claims Suit - October 2014

On September 22, 2014, Mount Sinai Health System (Mount Sinai) filed a motion to dismiss a groundbreaking lawsuit filed against it in a New York federal district court. The suit is the first publicly unsealed whistleblower...more

CMS Charges $13 Million Late Payment Fee on $1 Million Medicaid Overpayment

To add insult to injury, the overpayments were inadvertent—the result of electronic coding errors on about 900 Medicaid claims. On top of that, Mt. Sinai itself didn’t make the errors. They were made by two hospitals in the...more

Overpayments to Skilled Nursing Facilities on the Rise

Nearly $2.5 billion dollars in overpayments were made to Skilled Nursing Facilities (“SNFs”) as a result of billing errors last year. The billing error rate for SNFs jumped to 7.7 percent, virtually doubling in 2013....more

The Government Intervenes In False Claims Act Case Alleging Failure To Return Overpayments Within 60 Days

On June 27, 2014, the United States intervened in a qui tam action under the False Claims Act alleging that certain New York hospitals failed to refund Medicaid overpayments within 60 days of identifying them, as required by...more

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

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

CMS's Focus on DMEPOS Fraud and Abuse Risks Continues

The focus by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) as an area rife with unnecessary utilization and a high improper payment rates...more

OIG Proposes Rule to Expand Civil Monetary Penalties and Solicit Comments on Penalty for Failure to Report and Return Overpayments...

Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) proposed rule expands the use of civil monetary penalties and solicits comments on the penalty for failure to report and return overpayments. ...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

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

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

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

Extrapolated Medicaid Audits Continue: Be Proactive! (Or Move to West Virginia)

Extrapolated audits are no fun, unless you work for a recovery audit contractor (RAC). You get a Tentative Notice of Overpayment (TNO) that says the auditor reviewed 100 dates of service (DOS), found an overpayment of...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

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

Absent a Contract With the Provider, HMOs Are Not Liable for Unpaid Services

On April 19, 2013, the Texas Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Christus Health Gulf Coast, et al. v. Aetna, Inc. et al. The court’s ruling put an end to the so-called “double pay” theory of liability by downstream...more

Self-Audit Results Found Sufficient to Sustain False Claims Act Complaint

District Court Finds That Medical Group’s Failure to Further Investigate Audit Results May Violate Requirement to Return Overpayments - Background - Internal audits of third-party payment claims – frequently...more

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