News & Analysis as of

Connecting the Dots: The Seventh Circuit Stretches the Definition of “Referral” to Find Anti-Kickback Liability Where a Physician...

The Seventh Circuit recently stretched the definition of “referral” under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) to affirm a lower court’s ruling that a physician can trigger AKS violations even if such physician does not...more

Medicare RAC Program Improvements Delayed Until 2016 - Shorts on Long Term Care February 2015

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had planned to award new contracts to companies that act as Medicare’s recovery audit contractors (now referred to as recovery auditors) (RAs) for operation of the Medicare...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

GAO Highlights Medicare Program Risks and Recommends Program Integrity Actions

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released its latest update to its “High-Risk Series” reports, which again lists Medicare as a high-risk program, in part because of the program’s substantial size and scope, and...more

7th Circuit Court of Appeals Creates Expansive Definition of “Referral” Under the Anti-Kickback Statute

On February 10, 2015, in United States v. Patel (Case No. 14-2607), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a physician makes a “referral” within the meaning of the federal health care programs Anti-Kickback Statute...more

Quality Over Quantity: The Shift from Fee-for-Service to Value-Based Payment Systems

The United States Department for Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently announced its intention to tie thirty percent of fee-for-service Medicare payments to alternative and value-based payment models by 2016. HHS hopes...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 Announces First Timeline For Medicare Pay Reforms

On Monday, January 26, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") announced a timeline for moving physicians and hospitals into new payment systems and tying Medicare reimbursements to quality of care....more

HHS Payment and Delivery Reform Announcement Sets Priorities for Remainder of Obama Administration

One week prior to the unveiling of the President’s first budget under a completely Republican-controlled Congress, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made its most formal announcement yet on the Obama...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

Healthcare Fraud: Aggressive Enforcement Strategies

This week I am focusing on the persistent problem of healthcare fraud. For healthcare providers, the challenge of compliance and avoiding enforcement risks is particularly difficult. ...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

Health Care Enforcement in 2015: A Look Back on 2014 and Forecasting the Year Ahead

In testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Health Care in April 2011, the now-pending nominee for U.S. Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, stated in no uncertain terms that “fighting health...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

Government Joins Lawsuit Against Florida Doctor Alleging Fraud and Kickbacks

In a move demonstrating the government’s continued aim to combat health care fraud through its Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), the Department of Justice announced today that the government has...more

Health Reform + Related Health Policy News - December 2014, Issue 1

In This Issue: - Top News ..Congress Passes Omnibus Spending Package ..HRSA Cancels Plan for 340B ‘Mega Reg’; Congress Weighs Options ..Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to ACA...more

Two Months After Indictment, Medicare Fraud Mastermind and Doctor Plead Guilty

Mark Morad, the man who cooked up a $56 million Medicare fraud scheme, and his accomplice doctor pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Louisiana to various health care fraud charges....more

CMS Releases Final Rule That Increases Difficulty of Medicare Enrollment

In early December, CMS released a final rule that implements certain provider (i.e., Hospitals, SNFs, physicians, etc.) and supplier (i.e., DME companies, etc.) enrollment requirements (“Rule”). The goal of CMS’...more

Global Surgery and 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On July 21, 2014, I posted the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and described the intent by CMS to eliminate global surgery. On November 13, 2014, CMS issued the final 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, and...more

Impact of Health Care Reform on Provider Liability

In this presentation: - The Changing Healthcare Landscape - Key Features of an ACO/CIN - ACO Standards and Quality Metrics - Examples of Quality Standards - Impact on Board and Corporate...more

CMS Publishes Additional (but Limited) Guidance on the Coverage with Evidence Development Process

On November 20, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published its latest round of guidance on its Coverage with Evidence Development (“CED”) policy for selected items and services under the Medicare...more

DOJ Criminal Division Renews Efforts to Investigate Whistleblower Allegations

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has signaled a heightened effort to bring criminal prosecutors into the loop regarding False Claims Act referrals and other whistleblower complaints. In recent remarks at a conference comprised...more

CMS Finalizes Proposal to Remove Continuing Medical Education Exclusion from Sunshine Act Regulations

On October 31, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final Medicare physician fee schedule rule for CY 2015 (the Final Rule), which also includes certain changes to the Sunshine Regulations. ...more

CMS Announces CY 2015 Home Health Prospective Payment System Rates

On October 30, 2014, CMS issued a final rule for Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) rates for CY 2015. The final rule estimates that Medicare payments to home health agencies (HHAs) in CY 2015 will be...more

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