Recent federal and state legislative efforts signal an increased focus on a significant and largely underappreciated public health threat – antimicrobial resistance (i.e., when a microorganism (such as a bacteria or virus) is able to resist the effects of medications such as antibiotics and antivirals, causing such medications to be ineffective). The results of a 2014 study underscore the magnitude of the threat of so-called “superbugs,” estimating that the number of deaths worldwide attributable to antimicrobial resistance will reach 10 million by 2050. By comparison, the same study projected 8.2 million deaths from cancer, and 1.2 million deaths from traffic … Continue Reading
Epstein Becker Green has just released the 50-State Survey of Telemental/Telebehavioral Health (2016), a groundbreaking, comprehensive survey on the laws, regulations, and regulatory policies impacting telemental health in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
While other telehealth studies exist, this survey focuses solely on the remote delivery of behavioral health care.
Compiled by attorneys in Epstein Becker Green’s Telehealth practice, the survey details the rapid growth of telemental health—mental health care delivered via interactive audio or video, computer programs, or mobile applications—and the increasingly complex legal issues associated with this trend. Additionally, the survey provides one source … Continue Reading
By Arthur J. Fried.
In what is being called an historic announcement, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced on Monday the setting of clear goals and timeframes for moving Medicare from volume to value payments. The stated goals are to tie 30% of all Medicare provider payments to quality and cost of care by 2016, moving to 50% by 2018. Nearly all fee-for-service payments will be aligned with quality and value – 85% by 2016 and 90% in 2018. This transformation will be achieved by the expansion of mechanisms already in use – Accountable … Continue Reading
Epstein Becker Green and EBG Advisors, as part of the Thought Leaders in Population Health Speaker Series, will host a complimentary webinar titled The Impact of Value-Based Purchasing and Other Employee Initiatives on Population Health. This session will discuss several approaches for population health managers to reduce costs and improve health care.
The webinar, scheduled for November 20, 2014, at 12:00 p.m. ET, will be led by Laurel Pickering, MPH, President & CEO of Northeast Business Group on Health, and David Lansky, PhD, President & CEO of Pacific Business Group on Health. Adam Solander of Epstein Becker Green will … Continue Reading
Epstein Becker Green and EBG Advisors, as part of the Thought Leaders in Population Health Speaker Series, will host a complimentary webinar titled Moving to an Integrated Population Health Management Model. This session will highlight several approaches to help manage populations to promote better clinical outcomes, more cost savings and enhanced patient satisfaction.
The webinar, scheduled for October 30, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. ET, will be led by Sarika Aggarwal, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Fallon Community Health Plan, and Julie O’Brien, RN, BSN, MS, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Alicare Medical … Continue Reading
Epstein Becker Green today announced that Lynn Shapiro Snyder and Tanya Cramer have written a newly released topical Portfolio for Bloomberg BNA on provider risk sharing arrangements entitled, “Accountable Care Organizations and Other Provider Risk Sharing Arrangements, 2nd edition.” The Portfolio discusses the federal and state regulatory schemes for accountable care organizations (ACOs), integrated delivery systems, and other provider organizations that assume some or all of the financial risk for providing covered health care benefits to patients. For more information, click here.… Continue Reading
Epstein Becker Green and EBG Advisors, as part of the Thought Leaders in Population Health Speaker Series, will host a complimentary webinar on September 30, 2014 on emerging trends in value-based purchasing in health care. The next session will feature a former key official from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Gary Cohen, JD, who played a central role in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act over the past several years and is moderated by Lynn Shapiro Snyder, Senior Member, Epstein Becker Green. The session, The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Population Health … Continue Reading
Most reasonably-well-informed citizens, and certainly everyone concerned with health care, is well aware that the Supreme Court concluded its most-recent term with the Chief Justice joining the Court’s so called “liberal” wing in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sibelius, in upholding essentially all of the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), including its most controversial provision – the “individual mandate” — not under the Commerce Clause, as its proponents argued, but under the tax power. The Court’s majority also upheld, but limited, the controversial Medicaid expansion provision of the ACA. The expansion survives, but if a State declines to … Continue Reading
Back in 1996, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, in providing antitrust guidance for multi-provider networks, considered financial integration and clinical integration as separate pathways for such networks to avoid per se violations of the antitrust laws and, instead, to be treated under the rule of reason, allowing for an assessment of their procompetitive vs. anticompetitive effects. With 65 organizations now participating in Medicare shared savings initiatives, including the 27 Medicare Shared Savings Program participants announced on April 10 (there are 32 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations and 6 Physician Group Practice Transition Demonstration organizations), we can see, 16 years … Continue Reading
As the health care industry analyzes the recently released final rule and related guidance regarding the Medicare Shared Savings Program (“MSSP”) for accountable care organizations (“ACOs”), it is important for the industry to also pay attention to key deadlines related to initiatives being implemented by the Center for Medicare and Medicare Innovation (“CMMI” or “Innovation Center”) within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”).
While the MSSP ACO initiative is a permanent Medicare program, CMMI is developing and promoting other initiatives—some related to the MSSP, others not—which should be part of … Continue Reading
Among the criteria that the “Proposed Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program” (“Proposed Statement”) uses to evaluate an accountable care organization’s (“ACO’s”) risk of an antitrust challenge is the ACO applicant’s “market share” within each of its service lines. The market share is a measure of the share of services an ACO participant provides in its Primary Service Area (“PSA”) relative to other providers. The share of services that each ACO participant provides in its PSA is the key factor that the … Continue Reading
On April 19, 2011, the “Proposed Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program” (“Proposed Statement”) was published in the Federal Register. As noted in the Proposed Statement, the antitrust enforcement agencies (the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission issued the Proposed Statement in response to a perceived preference by potential accountable care organization (“ACO”) participants to operate in both the Medicare and commercial markets. In order to “maximize and foster opportunities for ACO innovation, the Agencies wish both to … Continue Reading
On March 31, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") released for public comment a much-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking implementing the voluntary Medicare Shared Savings Program ("Program") for accountable care organizations ("ACOs"). Also on March 31, the Office of Inspector General, along with CMS, released a Notice with Comment Period to solicit comments regarding proposed waivers from the federal health … Continue Reading
According to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), Dr. Donald M. Berwick, the long-awaited proposed regulations implementing the Medicare Shared Savings Program should be out soon. Given the incredible proliferation of policy, business, and legal thinking about accountable care organizations (“ACOs”) that has taken place since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) less than a year ago, CMS’s initial effort to describe a program of payment and delivery reform built around the ACO “model” will contribute importantly to the national dialogue on accountable care and will give providers … Continue Reading
As the health care world awaits the Medicare Shared Savings Program regulations expected to be issued soon by CMS, below is a wish list for key attributes that I hope the regulations evidence:
"Transforming health care everywhere starts with transforming it somewhere." I hope that CMS takes Atul Gawande’s advice and avoids being too proscriptive in launching the Share Savings Program. To me, the biggest risk to the program is being deemed a failure for having gone down too narrow a path that turns out to be unsuccessful.
Useful approaches have been suggested for tiering ACOs and … Continue Reading
Now that we have sweeping new health care legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("the Act"), let’s look at the rollout of the accountable care provisions–i.e., those changes to the payment and delivery system that hold the most long-term promise of improving quality and cost-efficiency. They are discussed in my most recent article: "The Timeline for Accountable Care: The Rollout of the Payment and Delivery Reform Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Implications for Accountable Care Organizations," published last week in the BNA’s Health Law Reporter. Click here to read the full article … Continue Reading
In my most recent article in the series I have been writing for the BNA’s Health Law Reporter on payment and delivery system reform, accountable care organizations and bundled payments, I comment on where things are now that federal reform has stalled. The article, titled "Payment and Delivery System Reform: It’s Only a Matter of Time," argues that changes in payment and delivery are on the horizon regardless of the pace of federal reform and that providers (and payers as well) should continue their efforts toward accountable care to meet the cost and quality challenges that are no less daunting today than they were a … Continue Reading
In addition to the many hotly contested insurance and access-related provisions in the America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009, the Chairman’s Mark from Senator Baucus on behalf of the Senate Committee on Finance, released Wednesday, there is in the bill a section that addresses in a substantive way reform of the health care delivery system with a focus on quality. Much of the underlying thinking in Title III of the bill, entitled "Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Health Care," draws from the Institute of Medicine’s seminal publication in 2001 of Crossing the Quality Chasm. Especially in Subtitle A, … Continue Reading
Although there are some big issues that remain unresolved, such as the "public plan" component, it appears that we will see reform legislation pass in 2009. Drafts of the legislation are being prepared now by various members of Congress and their staffs.
The focus on medical homes, physician hospital organizations and accountable care organizations is very real, as is the focus on payment reform, including bundled payments and other forms of capitation-like reimbursement. A key element of the debate relates to "how integrated" a provider organization will need to be to qualify for bundled payments. Can it … Continue Reading
For health care facilities, and those who invest in them or lend to them, the President’s budget underscored the emerging “shape of things to come” in the delivery system. In short, the Administration intends to compel delivery system modifications through aggressive payment policy changes.
What industry segments are immediately concerned? — home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, IRFs, LTCHs, and rehab facilities. In the name of “efficiency and accountability” the President proposes to bleed (Bleeding Edge redux?) $950M over 5 years and $17.8B over ten years from payments that would otherwise have gone to these facilities. We know this because … Continue Reading