News & Analysis as of

A Recap of National Health IT Week

National Health IT Week wrapped up on Friday. This may have been the most eventful week in the ten year history of the event, which is organized by the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Below are a few...more

Washington Healthcare Update

On Oct. 8, the House Republican caucus did not select a candidate for Speaker of the House and selection has been delayed. The current Speaker, John Boehner (R-OH), had announced that he would step down and retire from...more

Coming Soon to a Hospital near You: Mandatory Bundled Payments for Common Surgeries

Recent action by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announces significant change in reimbursement methodology for high volume orthopedic surgical procedures in many markets nationwide. Affected stakeholders...more

New Opportunity to Comment on Key Components of Medicare Physician Payment Reform: CMS Issues 30-Day Request for Information on...

On September 28, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a request for information (“RFI”)seeking comments on two key components of the physician payment reform provisions included in the Medicare...more

Clinically Integrated Networks: Privacy and Security Concerns with Sharing Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is changing reimbursement methodologies for healthcare providers from a fee-for-service model to a value-based model. Healthcare providers are responding to the changing...more

2014 Medicare ACO Results Released: CMS Asserts Success but Few ACOs Receive Payments

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released, on August 25, 2015, the quality and financial performance results for Medicare Accountable Care Organizations for 2014. CMS touted that Medicare ACOs continued to...more

Stark Law - Is Relief in Sight?

On July 15, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published proposed revisions to the regulations implementing the physician self-referral law, or Stark Law. If enacted, these revisions could allow...more

CMS Continues Its Focus on Quality Initiatives with the FY 2016 IPPS Final Rule

On July 31, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule (Final Rule) updating fiscal year (FY) 2016 Medicare payment policies and rates under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS)...more

CMS Proposes to Establish Separate Payment for End of Life Planning Services

On July 8, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that updates payment rates and related reimbursement and quality policies for physician services furnished under the Medicare...more

Congress Wows With Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2015, But Will It Succeed?

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and co-sponsors Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) announced, on July 7, 2015, the introduction of the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2015,...more

Congress Expands Medicare Coverage for Acute Dialysis Services

On June 29, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, which provides for Medicare reimbursement for renal dialysis services furnished to individuals with acute kidney injury. This...more

Brace Yourself for another Round of Death Panel Debate

Remember the notorious “death panel” debate of 2009? Congress was considering a proposal to pay doctors for end-of-life counseling. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin led the attack on the proposal, claiming...more

CMS Announces Efforts to Ease ICD-10 Transition

Today CMS announced steps to help physicians prepare for the switch to ICD-10 coding on October 1, 2015. Most significantly, CMS announced that during the first year after ICD-10 implementation, Medicare contractors will not...more

CMS Releases CY 2016 ESRD PPS Proposed Rule

On June 26, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule to update the Medicare end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) for calendar year (CY) 2016. CMS...more

CMS Proposed 2016 Medicare Payment Rules in the Pipeline

CMS recently sent several major proposed Medicare CY 2016 payment rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for regulatory clearance – the last step before publication in the Federal Register....more

Medicare Shared Savings Program - 2015: What's Changed, What's New, and What's to Come?

The most recent Shared Savings Program final rule, published in the Federal Register on June 9, 2015, finalizes a number of the revisions to the original November 2011 final rule that CMS proposed on December 8, 2014. In...more

GAO Criticizes Medicare Physician Payment Ratesetting Process

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report pointing out potential shortcomings in the data and process used by CMS to establish the relative values (and consequently the reimbursement levels) for Medicare...more

Blog: Senator Grassley Requests Information Related to Potential Medicare Advantage Fraud

Senator Grassley issued letters this week to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) related to potential fraud in the Medicare Advantage program. Citing news articles, DOJ...more

OIG Flags Overpayments Due to Incorrect Physician Place-of-Service Coding

According to a recent OIG report, "Incorrect Place-of-Service Coding Resulted in Potential Medicare Overpayments Costing Millions,” physicians did not always correctly code the place of service on Part B claims. This...more

21st Century Cures Legislation “Punts” on Telemedicine

On May 13, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released the latest draft of its 21st Century Cures Legislation. The proposed legislation includes certain telehealth-related provisions that, among other things,...more

Medicare Part D Data Release Continues Transparency Trend

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently added to the trend toward greater health care data transparency by releasing data about the prescription drugs that physicians and other health care providers...more

CMS Proposes FY 2016 Update to SNF PPS Rates, Policies

On April 20, 2015, CMS published its proposed rule updating Medicare skilled nursing facility (SNF) PPS rates and policies for FY 2016. CMS projects that the proposed rule would increase overall payments to SNFs by $500...more

CMS Releases Proposed FY 2016 Medicare Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities PPS Update

CMS issued a proposed rule on April 24, 2015 that would update FY 2016 Medicare payment policies and rates for the Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities (IPF) PPS. The proposed rule also would update quality measures and reporting...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

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

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