News & Analysis as of

Congressional Leaders Introduce Legislation to Repeal Medicare's SGR Formula, Increase Physician Reimbursement Rates

A group of bipartisan, bicameral congressional leaders introduced a bill, on March 19, to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that governs Medicare physician payment rates. The formula has called for dramatic...more

Judge Orders State’s Termination of Provider’s Medicaid Contract To Be REVERSED, Despite the Unilateral Termination!!

Imagine that the State of North Carolina knocks on your office door and informs you that you are no longer allowed to accept Medicaid and/or Medicare reimbursement rates. That for whatever reason, you are no longer allowed to...more

“Next-Generation ACO” Model Is CMS’s Newest Effort to Encourage More ACO Risk

On March 10, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (“CMS’s”) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (“Innovation Center”) announced a demonstration project incorporating new risk models for reimbursement of...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - March 2015

CMS Releases 2015 Impact Assessment of Quality Measures Report – On March 2, 2015, CMS released the 2015 National Impact Assessment of Quality Measures Report, which assesses the effectiveness and impact of quality measures...more

CMS Made Payments to Providers with Delinquent Medicare Debts

The OIG has issued a report on its findings that Medicare in some cases continued to make payments to physicians who have delinquent Medicare debts that have been referred to Treasury for collection. ...more

CMS Releases 2016 Draft Call Letter

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) released its 2016 Advance Rate Notice and draft Call Letter (2016 Call Letter) for the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Part D programs. The 2016 Call Letter outlines...more

CMS Releases Proposed Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter for 2016

On Friday, February 20, 2015, CMS released its Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for Calendar Year 2016 for Medicare Advantage (MA) Capitation Rates, Part C and Part D Payment Policies and 2016 Call Letter (the...more

Shorts on Long Term Care - February 2015

In this issue: - Document Retention in a Long Term Care Facility - Medicare RAC Program Improvements Delayed Until 2016 - “Bring Your Own Device” To Work Programs - NLRB Upends Legality of Employer Email...more

CMS Issues New Audit Protocols for Medicare Advantage Organizations and Part D Sponsors

On February 13, 2015, CMS announced new audit protocols and process updates for the 2015 Program Audit Cycle for Medicare Advantage (MA) organizations and Part D sponsors. According to the memorandum, 2015 begins a new...more

CMS Delays 60-Day Rule, But Overpayment Case Law Emerging

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a one-year delay in finalizing the long-awaited and closely watched rule addressing the 60-day deadline to return Medicare and Medicaid overpayments (the...more

Medicare and Medicaid Appeal Deadlines and Procedures: Laws that EVERY Health Care Provider Should Know

If you are a physician, most likely, you are not a lawyer. And vice versa. While there are exceptions, generally, the professions of physicians and attorneys are mutually exclusive. Personally, one reason I went to law...more

Medicare Moves Strongly to Value Based Payment...A Tipping Point?

Over the last several years, doctors and other health-care professionals have worked to transform accountable care organizations (ACOs) from an academic idea into a meaningful presence in the health-care marketplace. Last...more

HHS Identifies Specific Goals to Move Toward Paying for Quality of Care

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new initiative to shift Medicare reimbursements from volume to value using new payment methodologies for physicians and hospitals. Such a...more

HHS Aims to Tie Most Medicare Reimbursements To Quality By 2018

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced on January 26, 2015, specific goals and a timeline for shifting Medicare reimbursements from the traditional fee-for-service (FFS) model, to a quality or...more

Court Allows Home Care Group to Challenge Medicare “Narrative Requirement” Regulation

On January 9, 2015, Judge Christopher P. Cooper, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, issued a decision denying the government’s motion to dismiss the complaint in National Association for Home Care &...more

CMS Announces Enforcement of EHR Payment Adjustments in 2015

On December 17, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") announced that there would be reductions in Medicare reimbursement for health care providers who do not meet the CMS electronic health record...more

OIG Examines Appropriateness of Medicare Ophthalmology Claims

The OIG recently assessed the appropriateness of claims submitted by providers for screening for, diagnosing, evaluating, or treating cataracts, wet age related macular degeneration (wet AMD), and glaucoma in 2012....more

CMS Issues Final Rule on Reimbursement for Chronic Care Management Services

On November 13, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, including a new code and guidance for billing for chronic care management services (CCM),...more

D.C. District Court Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Backlog of Medicare Appeals

On December 18, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Hospital Association (AHA) and others to compel the Secretary of HHS to process Medicare reimbursement...more

Whistleblower Hotline Providers Can Even Save Lives

My mom and dad both have jobs in medicine, so I am some what familiar with how doctors, nurses, and specialists run their practice. My mom works with cancer patients so when I came across this rather shocking article about a...more

CMS Publishes FY 2015 Final IPPS Rule

On August 4, 2014, CMS posted its final changes and updates to the Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) that apply for fiscal year (FY) 2015, effective October 1, 2014. Below are some of the highlights of the...more

CMS Proposes Removing CME Exclusion from Sunshine Act Regulations, Citing Redundancy with Indirect Payment Exclusion

In the July 3, 2014, issue of the Federal Register, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the proposed calendar year 2015 Medicare physician fee schedule update (the Proposed Rule). The Proposed Rule...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

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

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