News & Analysis as of

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

CMS Proposes Changes to Sunshine Act Reporting

Drug and device manufacturers breathing a sigh of relief after completing their 2013 data submissions under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (the “Sunshine Act’) must now contend with four proposed changes to the Sunshine...more

CMS Releases CY 2015 OPPS and ASC Proposed Rule

On July 3, 2014, CMS released the CY 2015 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Proposed Rule. In its proposal, CMS seeks, among other things, to increase...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

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 - 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

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

Health Reform + Related Health Policy News

Enrollment in Health Plans under ACA Exceeds Projected Number of 7 Million - The White House announced on April 1 that 7.1 million Americans had enrolled in health plans under the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). ...more

CMS Releases Unprecedented Amount Of Medicare Billing Information, Increasing Risk Related To Fraud Lawsuits

On April 9, 2014, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS"), a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), released data showing utilization, payments, and submitted charges for services and...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

House Passes SGR “Doc Fix” Legislation

On March 27, 2014, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4302, which will postpone the scheduled 24% Medicare physician reimbursement cut by an additional one year. Several groups opposed the Bill as yet another temporary...more

Program Integrity Priorities Revealed in FY 2015 HHS Budget

On March 14, 2014, President Obama unveiled his Administration’s proposed fiscal year 2015 budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In total, the Administration is seeking $77.1 billion to fund HHS in FY...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

"Cursory Services" May Be "Worthless Services" Under False Claims Act

A recent federal court decision allowed the federal government to proceed with a False Claims Act (FCA) case involving an allegation that a health care provider’s “services were so cursory that they were worthless.” U.S. v....more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update - February 26, 2014

Though Congress was in recess this past week, congressional staff was hard at work continuing to consider ways to prevent a cut to Medicare providers’ payment rates that will be triggered by the sustainable growth rate...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

CMS Issues New Policy on Disclosure of Physician Payment Information

On January 17, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will release Medicare expenditure data on specific physicians under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This new “transparency”...more

CMS – Doc, if You Want a Free Book Go to the Library

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently denied a request from a bipartisan group of 23 members of congress to exempt the distribution of textbooks and scientific peer-reviewed medical journal materials...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

President Obama Signs the Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013

On December 26, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013. This new law prevents a scheduled payment reduction for physicians and other practitioners who treat Medicare patients from taking...more

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