News & Analysis as of

CMS Designates Global Surgery as “Potentially Misvalued Services”

In the recently proposed 2015 Physician Fee Schedule, CMS devoted significant resources to discussing potentially misvalued services, which I believe is code for places where CMS would like to reduce reimbursement. One of the...more

CMS Seeking Comments Regarding Expanding Coverage for Secondary Interpretation of Images

In the proposed 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, CMS is seeking comments regarding expanding coverage for secondary interpretation of diagnostic imaging....more

Congress Sends Mixed Messages to Health Care Providers

Recent federal health care legislation sent mixed signals to health care providers. Pursuant to HR 4302, signed by President Obama on April 2, planned Medicare reimbursement cuts of 24 percent and the implementation of a...more

Medicare's Proposed Home Health Rule for 2015: CMS Suggests Only Limited Relief to the Face-to-Face Encounter Documentation...

On July 7, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") published proposed changes to the Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System ("HH PPS") for calendar year 2015 ("Proposed Rule"). The Proposed Rule...more

CMS Wants To Shine Light On CME Payments To Physicians

It’s a question CMS has been wrestling with since the enactment of the Sunshine Act (sometimes called the Open Payments Program) as part of the Affordable Care Act. The Sunshine Act generally requires a manufacturer to...more

The Intractable Problem of Medicare Fraud

You have to admire the vigilance and dedication of prosecutors and law enforcement investigators who fight Medicare fraud. There is no question that they have ramped up enforcement and promoted a strong message of deterrence....more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - June 2014 #3

MedPAC Recommends Short- and Long-Term ACO Changes – In a comment letter sent to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner on June 16, 2014, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) outlined certain challenges associated...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

The Halifax $85 Million Lesson: Compensation Arrangements Between Hospitals and Physicians Must Be Reviewed

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced another multi-million dollar settlement of alleged False Claims Act violations on March 11, 2014. Specifically, Halifax Hospital Medical Center and Halifax Staffing, Inc. agreed to...more

CMS Proposal to Adopt New OMB Delineations May Affect Medicare Reimbursement, GME Payments, and Regulatory Compliance

On April 30, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued proposed rules for the Fiscal Year 2015 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System, in which CMS announced several updates, including...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update

Affordable Care Act (ACA) action on Capitol Hill this past week centered on investigations into improper ACA subsidy payments, a potential constitutional amendment proposal, and support for an appeal of the ACA in favor of a...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update - May 2014

Congress held several hearings last week ranging from Sylvia Burwell’s nomination for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to Medicare payment oversight, to post-acute care in Medicare. The Centers...more

HHS Proposes Extension of Deadline for EHR Compliance

According to the federal government, over 370,000 providers have participated in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record ("EHR") incentive program since its inception in 2011. However, providers nationwide continue...more

Health Care Update

In This Issue: - Transparency Latest Weapon against Rising Health Care Costs - Implementation of the Affordable Care Act - Other Federal Regulatory Initiatives - Other Congressional and State Initiatives -...more

The push for greater transparency in healthcare continues

Recently, CMS released the proposed fiscal year 2015 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule for inpatient stays in long-term and general acute care hospitals. Included among the regular updates to Medicare payment...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™ - May 2014

Massachusetts to Start from Scratch with Health Insurance Website — Massachusetts plans to abandon its health insurance exchange website in favor of starting over from scratch, according to a New York Times report....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

CMS Publishes DMEPOS Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On February 26, 2014, CMS published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to proposed changes to the durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) Medicare reimbursement methodologies. ...more

CMS Proposes Significant Rate Cuts and Other Changes to Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans

The Advance Notice ("Advance Notice") of Methodological Changes for Calendar Year ("CY") 2015 for Medicare Advantage ("MA") Capitation Rates, Part C and Part D Payment Policies and 2015 Call Letter was released by the Centers...more

Polsinelli Podcast - Health Care Payment Changes: From Service to Value [Video]

Healthcare is changing for consumers and providers under the Affordable Care Act. Less publicized is the way providers are now being paid and the way they will work together. In this week's Polsinelli "Inside Law," podcast,...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

Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Expands Telehealth Coverage in 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently released the final rule for Medicare’s Physician Fee Schedule for 2014 Calendar Year (“CY). While physicians are expected to see a 20.1% reduction to their...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

Health Care Fraud and Abuse Alert: What CMS’s New Billing Requirement For “Incident To” Services Means For Medicare Providers.

In the final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2014 (“2014 PFS”), CMS implemented a new condition of payment for “incident to” services that has significant fraud and abuse implications for any Medicare provider who relies...more

2013 Healthcare Year In Review

Bob Dylan's quote from 1964 -- "The Times They Are A-Changin" -- could equally apply to the healthcare industry in 2013. This was the year that the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") came into full public view with the start of the...more

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