Physicians Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

News & Analysis as of

Federal district court interprets Stark Laws writing requirement

On March 15, 2017, the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, ruling on cross motions for summary judgment in U.S. ex rel. Tullio Emanuele v. Medicor Associates Inc. et al., provided the first...more

Direct Primary Care: Getting Calls from Patients While Avoiding Calls from Law Enforcement

For providers interested in simplifying the provider-patient relationship, one option is direct primary care. Ironically, though, simplification can be complicated, particularly when the government is involved. One of the...more

Recent Changes to Medicare “Incident To” Billing Rules

Medicare permits a physician to bill for certain services furnished by a nurse practitioner or other auxiliary personnel under what is referred to as the "incident to" billing rules. The "incident to" rules permit services...more

New Medicare Conditional Payment Case: Federal Court Requires CMS To Perform Surgery On Its Primary Plan Reimbursement Demands

Doctors often treat Medicare beneficiaries for accident related injuries (for which a “primary” auto or workers’ compensation carrier must reimburse Medicare) and unrelated maladies at the same visit. Billing for the visit...more

CMS makes economics of primary care ACOs more appealing: Smith Anderson

As you may have read, accountable care organizations have met uneven success over the last several years. But, when they are broken down into categories, physician-sponsored ACOs have done better, particularly those with a...more

Hold the Phone! The Joint Commission Reinstates Ban on Texting Orders

The Joint Commission (TJC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took a firm stance against physicians texting patient orders in a recent joint statement, clarifying that it is not acceptable for physicians...more

The Brave New World of Physician Medicare Payment: MACRA Makes Sweeping Changes

On November 14, 2016, CMS published its final rule implementing the physician payment provisions of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (“MACRA”). The rule became effective January 1, 2017. Data collection from...more

Health Law Insights: January Newsletter

ALERT: Health Reform Outlook for 2017: A Year of Major Uncertainty - Fulfilling their promises, Congressional Republicans moved to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the first day of the new Congress when Senate...more

MACRA Participation Simplified

2017 kicked off CMS’ payment reform, MACRA, a new law that fundamentally changes how Medicare pays physicians and other clinicians who participate in the program. There’s been a lot of buzz around MACRA and the impact it...more

The MACRA Final Rule: In Search of the “Goldilocks” Model

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (“MACRA”) Final Rule published late last year implements CMS’ new payment approach for physicians and other Medicare Part B eligible clinicians under the Merit-Based Incentive...more

Joint Commission Confirms Ban on Texting of Patient Care Orders

After briefly considering a reversal of its prohibition on texting orders, The Joint Commission (TJC), in consultation with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced last month that its ban would continue...more

Final Rule Implements Quality Payment Program under MACRA

If you are a physician, mid-level provider, or work with those providers, then you have been bombarded with new acronyms for new programs and promises to remove older acronyms from your Medicare vocabulary. Medicare...more

Not So Fast! — Secure Text Messages May Not Be Used to Transmit Patient Care Orders After All

Reversing the position taken in May 2016, The Joint Commission (TJC) recently clarified that licensed independent providers (LIPs) or other practitioners may not utilize secure text messaging platforms to transmit patient...more

2016 Health Care Year in Review

Since I began writing this year-end review in 2013, there have been some common themes – a shift to pay for quality and away from fee-for service, much of which has been brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA): efforts...more

The MACRA Final Rule: 10 Things You Need to Know

The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the much-anticipated Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) final rule this month. The rule makes extensive changes to traditional Medicare Part B...more

Health Law Insights: November Newsletter

ALERT: "No Contract" Disclaimer in Employee Handbook Upheld by Illinois CourtAuthor: Employee handbooks have long been a trap for the unwary employer that desires merely to establish a set of rules and policies without...more

Could Possible Healthcare Repeal Efforts Extend to Physician Payments Under Medicare?

Now that the 2016 presidential election is over, many patients are asking whether Congress will repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or parts of the legislation. Yet, many doctors are asking (or should be asking) whether...more

OIG Releases 2017 Work Plan

On November 10, 2016, the Office of Inspector General (“the OIG”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) is charged with ensuring the integrity of more than 100 programs administered by DHHS, including...more

CMS Continues Efforts to Improve Patient Care, Spending, and Population Health

On November 2, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), released the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule, which finalized a number of new policies designed to improve Medicare payment for...more

Now is the Time to Prepare for MACRA: 2017 Will Bring Major Changes to Physician Medicare Reimbursement

MACRA (the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) is bi-partisan legislation that was enacted to change Medicare reimbursement from being based on the current system of volume of services provided to...more

2017 Physician Fee Schedule Includes Clarification of Space and Equipment Rental Exception Under Stark Law

The Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicaid and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently finalized the Calendar Year 2017 Physician Fee Schedule (“2017 Fee Schedule”), which includes a restatement of a provision...more

CMS Reissues Stark Rules Restricting Certain Unit-based Rental Rate Arrangements and Issues Two Stark Updates

On November 15, 2016, as part of its 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule update, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services reissued its prohibition on certain unit-based rental arrangements with referring physicians,...more

CMS Finalizes CY 2017 Physician Fee Schedule

On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, CMS issued a final rule (Final Rule) to update payment policies and payment rates for services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2017. In the...more

Making Sense of the MACRA Final Rule – Part 3 of 3: Merit Based Payment Incentive System (MIPS)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its final rule with comment period implementing the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Among its numerous changes,...more

Making Sense of MACRA

The countdown has begun for the momentous Part B payment reforms created by the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). On October 14, 2016, CMS released a final rule explaining, in nearly 2,400 pages,...more

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