News & Analysis as of

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

Impact on Medicare Payments of Shift in Site of Care for Chemotherapy Administration

Two independent trends, acting in combination, are currently resulting in increased Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) chemotherapy payments. The first trend is a shift in the site of care for cancer patients from physicians’...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

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

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

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