Physicians

News & Analysis as of

Senate Recesses Without Taking up House-Approved SGR Fix Legislation

The Senate has adjourned until April 13, 2015 without taking action on the House-approved Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which would repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, reform Medicare physician...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - March 2015 #4

Congressional Hearing on 340B Program Rescheduled for March 24, 2015 – The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health has rescheduled the hearing on the 340B program for Tuesday,...more

CMS Publishes Update to DME Items Subject to Face-to-Face Encounter, Written Order Prior to Delivery Requirements

Today CMS published a notice updating the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes on the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) List of “Specified Covered Items” that require a face-to-face encounter and a written...more

On the Horizon … A Possible “Permanent” Cure to Medicare’s “Doc Fix”

In a historic bipartisan moment, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a nearly 300-page bill that is intended to “repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate [“SGR”] and strengthen Medicare access by improving physician...more

Washington Update: House of Representatives Passes Medicare “Doc Fix”

Today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, legislation to create a permanent fix to the Sustained Growth Rate (SGR) formula and includes a number of other important health-related policies, including funding for the...more

Blog: OIG Releases Advisory Opinion Regarding Laboratory and Physician Practice Agreement

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) posted Advisory Opinion No. 15-04. In the opinion, the OIG addresses a laboratory’s proposal to enter into agreements...more

News from MGMA re SGR Repeal

Historic SGR repeal passes in House - Today, the House of Representatives passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, H.R. 2, by a vote of 392–37. This legislation permanently repeals the SGR and returns...more

OIG Finds Exclusive Lab Arrangement May Violate Anti-Kickback Statute

Yesterday the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (the “OIG”) issued Advisory Opinion 15-04 (“Advisory Opinion”) in which it found that an exclusive arrangement between a laboratory...more

House Approves Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act

Repeals SGR Formula, Adopts Medicare and Other Policy Changes - Today the U.S. House of Representatives approved a major Medicare package, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which would reform...more

No SGR Action by Senate

Senate leaves for recess with no action on SGR repeal - Despite a successful vote in the House yesterday, the Senate failed to bring to a vote legislation to repeal the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)...more

House Plans to Vote Thursday on Medicare Physician Payments, CHIP Extension Legislation

After a decade of short-term actions, congressional leaders are pushing this week to permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that governs Medicare physician payment rates, and replace the system with one...more

Should Health Care Providers Pay Attention to the Seventh Circuit’s New Definition of “Referral”? – Part Two

Tuesday’s post discussed the Seventh Circuit’s holding in United States v. Patel, broadly expanding the definition of “referring” under the Anti-Kickback Statute. Today’s post turns to the question of how other circuits have...more

OIG Advises that Exclusive Lab Referral Arrangement May be a Kickback

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an advisory opinion (No. 15-04) today that states a proposed arrangement to provide free laboratory tests for certain patients of...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - March 2015 #3

Bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Proposes $215 Billion In Health Cuts to Fund Physician Pay Fix – On March 9, 2015, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan, non-profit organization,...more

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

Health Alert (Australia) - March 23, 2015

In This Issue: Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. Excerpt from Reports: New South Wales (NSW). Ministry of Health - Media Releases - 18 March 2015 - NSW says protect against mosquitoes after huge...more

Wrong-site surgeries underreported

When Illinois residents seek surgical treatment they often trust that their physicians will do their best to ensure that they come out of surgery in better condition than they when they arrived. Unfortunately, a Chicago...more

Proposed Replacement of Sustainable Growth Rate Addresses Telehealth

On March 19th, Representative Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) unveiled a bipartisan plan to repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR) physician payment...more

Michigan Congressmen Introduce Bill Permitting Healthcare Providers to Negotiate Collectively with Health Insurers

On January 6, two Michigan Congressmen – Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Representative Dan Benishek (R-Mich.) – introduced the “Quality Health Care Coalition Act of 2015.” The bill (H.R. 105) would permit...more

CMS Posts Initial Results for Physician Value-based Payment Modifier

Under the ACA, the Physician Value-Based Modifier (Value Modifier) policy rewards physicians and groups of physicians who provide high quality and cost effective care, while penalizing those who did not meet objectives. ...more

An Exemplary "Learned Intermediary" Win for Lilly and Byetta

A tip of the hat to our friend and former colleague Ken Zucker from Pepper Hamilton, who achieved this victory and sent us the decision. In the consolidated California Byetta litigation, 2015 WL 663211 (Cal. Super. Feb. 26,...more

The Three “Hows” Of Physician Compensation

New care delivery models and healthcare reimbursement trends are heating up the market for hospital employment of physicians yet again, but does a productivity-based compensation model still work in this environment?...more

Economic Credentialing—An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Overview - The term economic credentialing is an old phrase that carries different meanings for different people, especially physicians. Simply stated, it is typically defined as any medical staff credentialing...more

Health Law Wire: E-Prescribing Mandate (3/15)

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an extender for the electronic prescription mandate late last week, pushing the compliance date to March 27, 2016. The law generally provides that “no person shall issue any...more

Can Mergers Between Healthcare Providers in Different Markets Raise Antitrust Concerns? "Yes," Say Top Enforcers at FTC and DOJ

In reviewing mergers of healthcare providers, government antitrust enforcers have historically focused on horizontal mergers between competing providers—in particular, those that result in high market shares in a specific...more

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