Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) quietly added “Outreach Site/ Street” as an allowable place of service (POS) code for Medicare and Medicaid providers to use in claims submission for “street medicine” services provided. The “Outreach Site/ Street” POS code allows physicians to seek Medicare reimbursement of such medically necessary professional services when they are delivered in a “non-permanent location on the street or found environment, not described by any other POS code, where health professionals provide ...
On August 24, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued an opinion and order in Texas Medical Association, et al. v. United States Department of Health and Human Services(“HHS”)(“TMA III”). TMA III challenged certain portions of the July 2021 No Surprises Act (“NSA”) interim final rules proposed by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, along with the Office of Personnel Management (the “Departments”). In a decision that significantly levels the field for providers, the District Court ruled in part ...
It is axiomatic that New York State requires every Medicaid provider to have an “effective” compliance program. New York Social Services Law § 363-d. In July 2022, the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (“OMIG”) proposed extensive modifications to the regulatory requirements governing compliance programs for entities receiving “significant” Medicaid revenue (increased by these regulations from a threshold of $500,000 to $1 million). These regulations were proposed to implement portions of the New York State 2020-2021 Budget Bill ...
In this episode of the Diagnosing Health Care Podcast: In July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services made significant headway in its implementation of the drug pricing provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
How can stakeholders respond to, implement, and comply with all these new provisions? On this episode, hear from special guest Sylvia Yu, Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Programs at PhRMA.
Sylvia and Epstein Becker Green attorneys Connie Wilkinson and Alexis Boaz discuss the recent updates on the quickly moving implementation of the drug pricing provisions under the IRA and the industry’s response.
On June 22, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its proposed “Transitional Coverage for Technologies” (TCET) pathway—the Biden administration’s highly anticipated take on a mechanism to expedite coverage for certain devices designated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as breakthrough devices.
As described in the notice with comment period (the “Procedural Notice”), the voluntary TCET pathway aims to streamline efforts between CMS, the FDA, and manufacturers of certain FDA-designated breakthrough devices to more efficiently advance breakthrough devices through the CMS coverage determination processes using a “coverage with evidence development” (CED) approach.
Under the proposed three-phase framework, manufacturers of breakthrough devices accepted into the TCET pathway would enter a period of transitional coverage through a TCET national coverage determination (NCD), during which the device’s manufacturer would be able to generate evidence for CMS to use to determine the breakthrough devices’ post-TCET final coverage status.
Notably, CMS stated that the agency only anticipates accepting five candidates to participate in the TCET pathway each year. Stakeholders must submit comments on the TCET pathway by August 28, 2023.
On June 8, 2023, the New York City Council passed a bill focused on healthcare accountability, with the goal of increasing access to healthcare services for New Yorkers. Entitled the Healthcare Accountability & Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”), this legislation includes Introduction 844, which establishes an Office of Healthcare Accountability, whose work would allow patients to see through a website what they would be charged for procedures at hospitals throughout New York City. As part of the Act, this Office would also report on insurance and pharmaceutical pricing, as well as monitor the amount of money the City is spending on healthcare services. In addition, the Act includes Resolution 512, which calls on New York State to create an independent commission to oversee hospital pricing and to increase access to healthcare services. This local law, referred to as Local Law 78, was signed by Mayor Adams on June 23, 2023, and will be effective beginning on February 22, 2024.
On May 11, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (the “HELP Committee” or the “Committee”) passed a bipartisan bill to expand federal regulation of pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”) for group health plans. As a compromise by Health Sub-Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and ranking Republican Bill Cassidy (LA), the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Act (S. 1339) reflects the overarching legislative push by members from both sides of the aisle and chambers of Congress to address drug pricing issues through federal fixes to the PBM framework . Further, Congress’ efforts build on the momentum from the enactment of the high-profile Medicare prescription drug pricing provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (the “IRA”) in 2022. 
In this episode of the Diagnosing Health Care Podcast: The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law in August 2022, included significant and controversial drug-pricing provisions.
What key compliance issues must industry stakeholders consider as these provisions are put into effect?
On this episode, Epstein Becker Green attorneys Leslie Norwalk, Connie Wilkinson, and Alexis Boaz discuss key considerations for the health care and life sciences industry as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services works its way through the initial stages of ...
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) is using its annual rulemaking process to update the CMS payment system rules for fiscal year (“FY”) 2024 as a mechanism to advance health equity systematically across various CMS payment programs. Specifically, CMS is incorporating proposals to advance health equity in its proposed payment rules for inpatient hospitals and long-term care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient psychiatric facilities, and hospices, and in the final rate announcement for the Medicare Part C and Part D programs for FY 2024. Significantly, in several instances, CMS is requesting comments, which opens the door for providers to share their input about relevant considerations. This CMS initiative is consistent with key components that were detailed in CMS’s “Framework for Health Equity,” the agency’s 10-year plan to “remedy systemic barriers to equity so that every one [CMS] serve[s] has a fair and just opportunity to attain their optimal health regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, preferred language, or other factors that affect access to care and health outcomes.” This post outlines the changes being proposed by CMS, as well as highlights opportunities where providers should consider preparing and submitting comments.
On March 22, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) updated its Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”), drafting 13 FAQs aimed at easing the transition from COVID-era flexibilities to the end of the Public Health Emergency (“PHE”) on May 11, 2023. These FAQs arrive on the tail of OIG’s March 10, 2023 COVID-19 Public Health Emergency policy statement, which announced that the expiration of the PHE in May also marks the end of flexibilities extended during the crisis. The updated FAQs offer a glimpse into how OIG investigations and enforcement might play out after the end of the PHE. These FAQs address subjects including “General Questions Regarding Certain Fraud and Abuse Authorities,” the “Application of Certain Fraud and Abuse Authorities to Certain Types of Arrangements,” and “Compliance Considerations.”
The vast majority of the principles articulated in the updated FAQs will undoubtedly be familiar to many. Generally speaking, the updated FAQs restate or clarify longstanding OIG policy. The updated FAQs are more than reiteration, however; they offer condensed policy and explanation in a single location, and demonstrate that for the most part, investigations and enforcement may return to the pre-PHE status quo.
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently published a new frequently asked question (FAQ) and advisory opinion addressing how to analyze arrangements that may involve providing cash, cash equivalents, and/or gift cards to Medicare and/or Medicaid beneficiaries under the beneficiary inducements prohibition provision in the Civil Monetary Penalty Law (Beneficiary Inducements CMP) and Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS).
On March 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance on the drug price negotiations provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The guidance contains CMS’s interpretations for a range of elements in the drug price negotiation process, including the manufacturer specific data elements that it will review in potential adjusting its view of the appropriate price.
While other data elements also deserve manufacturers’ attention, CMS’s approach to accounting for manufacturer costs associated with research, development and manufacturing will have profound implications for biopharmaceutical manufacturers. The agency’s proposed factors omit substantial investments while improperly treating others as sunk costs. As innovators prepare to comment on CMS’s guidance, they will want to convey the need for more fulsome consideration of these investments in the upcoming negotiations.
On April 20, 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a nationwide coordinated enforcement action targeting COVID-19-related fraud involving charges against 21 individuals across nine federal districts, and over $149 million in alleged false claims submitted to federal programs.
This marks the first significant DOJ enforcement action since Attorney General Merrick Garland named Associate Deputy Attorney General Kevin Chambers as the Director for COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement on March 10, an appointment President Biden previewed in his State of the Union address on March 1.
The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether the federal government can approve state programs that force Medicaid participants to work, go to school, or volunteer to get benefits. Both Arkansas and the Justice Department sought review of the issue. Epstein Becker Green attorney Clifford Barnes provides potential paths for the Biden administration to best position itself in the case.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case involving the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services to approve Medicaid work requirements programs in Arkansas and New Hampshire that were struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The high court has agreed to determine whether the HHS can allow states to impose work requirements in its Medicaid program even though all lower courts ruled against HHS’s approval of states’ Section 1115 work requirement waivers, based on the Trump administration’s refusal to consider the impact of the waivers on the core purpose of Medicaid—which is to increase health insurance coverage.
Unlike the narrow question considered by the lower courts, however, the court granted certiorari on a much broader issue. The question presented concerns the entire Section 1115 process and asks whether the HHS secretary has the power to establish additional purposes for Medicaid, beyond coverage.
Should the court rule that the HHS secretary does indeed possess this unbounded power, the entire Section 1115 landscape could shift, potentially allowing states to implement waivers like Arkansas, so long as they meet such additional purpose.
The case establishes an effective deadline for the Biden administration to take action to mitigate or eliminate the work requirements, in light of the administration’s commitment to expanding, rather than rolling back, Medicaid insurance coverage.
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