Posts tagged CMS.
Blogs
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On July 1, 2024 the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (“CMMI”) will be inaugurating a new value-based payment model designed specifically to address the devastating impacts that a diagnosis of dementia[1] or Alzheimer’s Disease[2] can have on a patient, their family, friends, and other caregivers who make up the patient’s circle of support. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) designed the Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (“GUIDE”) model (the “Model”) for health care providers enrolled in Medicare Part B and that treat ...

Blogs
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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 ...

Blogs
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Introduction

Hardly a day goes by when we don’t see some media report of health care providers experimenting with machine learning, and more recently with generative AI, in the context of patient care. The allure is obvious. But the question is, to what extent do health care providers need to worry about FDA requirements as they use AI?

Blogs
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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.

Blogs
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The federal government’s announcement that the COVID-19 public health emergency (“PHE”) declaration would end on May 11, 2023 marked the end of various federal mandates and benefits. The Centers for Disease Control’s authorizations to collect certain types of public health data expired, as did the requirement that insurance providers waive costs or provide free COVID-19 tests. However, the Biden Administration announced that COVID-19 hospital admissions, deaths, emergency department visits, test positivity and results of wastewater surveillance will continue to be reported, although the sources of some of this information will change.

Blogs
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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.[1]

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.[2] Stakeholders must submit comments on the TCET pathway by August 28, 2023.

Blogs
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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.

Blogs
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Revisions to Ohio’s Health Care Services rules have been in the works since last September, as part of the required five-year of review Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3701-84 by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). Without much publicity, the finalized rules became effective on May 15, 2023

“Health Care Services” include: (1) adult cardiac catheterization; (2) adult open heart surgery; (3) pediatric cardiac catheterization; (4) pediatric cardiovascular surgery; (5) pediatric intensive care; (6) a linear accelerator, cobalt radiation, or gamma knife service; (7) solid organ transplant services, and (8) blood and bone marrow transplant service. The revised Health Care Services rules make changes to nearly every regulation in Chapter 3701-84, many of a substantial nature. 

Of particular interest to Ohio hospitals, changes to the adult cardiac catheterization services requirements include:

Blogs
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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 ...

Blogs
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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.”[1] This post outlines the changes being proposed by CMS, as well as highlights opportunities where providers should consider preparing and submitting comments.

Blogs
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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.

Blogs
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On February 9, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a fact sheet and its initial guidance documents addressing the Medicare Prescription Drug Inflation Rebate Program for Medicare Parts B and D (the “Inflation Rebates”)—a critical component of the sweeping prescription drug pricing changes enacted through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “IRA”). In addition to providing substantial detail regarding CMS’s intended implementation of the Inflation Rebates, the initial program guidance documents (the “Initial Inflation Rebate Guidances” highlight areas where CMS seeks specific feedback. This feedback must be submitted to CMS by March 11, 2023 via email (IRARebateandNegotiation@cms.hhs.gov).

Blogs
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On February 1, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule outlining its audit methodology and related policies for its Medicare Advantage (MA) Risk Adjustment Data Validation (RADV) program. The final rule codifies long-awaited regulations first proposed by CMS in 2018.

Blogs
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On April 7, 2022, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance terminating numerous blanket waivers applicable to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), inpatient hospices, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IIDs), and end stage renal disease (ESRD) facilities.  The amount of blanket waivers ending is notable; while there have been terminations of waivers previously, these were usually limited to a single waiver.

CMS expressed concern “about how residents’ health and safety has been impacted by the regulations that have been waived, and the length of time for which they have been waived.” CMS reported that findings from onsite surveys at these facilities “revealed significant concerns with resident care that are unrelated to infection control.” Accordingly, CMS is acting to remove certain operational flexibilities not directly related to infection control.

Blogs
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During a National Stakeholder Call on January 18, 2022, Ellen Montz—Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)—announced that CMS had begun publishing state-specific letters (the “Enforcement Letters”) detailing anticipated Federal and state responsibilities with respect to enforcement of the No Surprises Act (NSA) on the CCIIO website. Although CCIIO has yet to publish Enforcement Letters for a minority of states,[1] the Enforcement Letters that have been published provide critical details regarding how the NSA intersects with existing state laws and CMS’s expectations regarding NSA enforcement in each state.

Blogs
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On February 4, 2022, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued important updated guidance in a memo (QSO-21-08-NLTC) regarding how acute and continuing care facilities—including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, end-stage renal disease facilities, home health agencies, and hospices—manage infection control procedures in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Blogs
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As explained in greater detail by our colleague Stuart M. Gerson, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down two major, and quickly decided, rulings on January 13, 2022. After hearing oral arguments only six days earlier, the Court issued two unsigned decisions per curiam. A 5-4 decision in Biden v. Missouri dissolved a preliminary injunction against enforcement of an interim final rule (“Rule”) promulgated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), requiring recipients of federal Medicare and Medicaid funding to ensure that their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Blogs
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On January 11, 2022, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published an anticipated proposed National Coverage Determination (“NCD”) decision memorandum that begins the process of determining whether the Medicare program will cover FDA-approved monoclonal antibodies directed against amyloid for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. (https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/view/ncacal-decision-memo.aspx?proposed=Y&NCAId=305).

The proposed decision, which is subject to public comments that are due to CMS by February 10, 2022, does not endorse nationwide Medicare coverage for these drugs. Instead, CMS chose an alternate pathway known as Coverage with Evidence Development (“CED”).  If the proposal is adopted by CMS, it would set in motion a detailed regulatory process that includes temporary Medicare coverage for the drug but only for certain Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in an additional clinical trial intended to test whether these drugs will have a significant benefit for Medicare beneficiaries.  CMS expects to issue a decision by April 11, 2022 to approve or reject the CED process after reviewing comments from interested parties.

Blogs
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Reversing its prior position, CMS announced on December 28, 2021, that it would begin enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, established by the interim final rule, published November 05, 2021, in 25 states and the District of Columbia[1] in a phased approach beginning January 27, 2022. With the announcement CMS issued guidance for surveyors regarding enforcement in S&C Memo QSO 22-07-ALL (“Memo”), describing how CMS will enforce the rule and how facilities that are non-compliant may avoid enforcement action if meeting certain threshold criteria during periods up to 90 days after issuance of the Memo as follows:

Blogs
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On the evening of Wednesday, December 22, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it will hold a special session on January 7, 2022, to hear oral argument in cases concerning whether two Biden administration vaccine mandates should be stayed. One is an interim final rule promulgated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”); the other is an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). The CMS interim final rulepresently stayed in 24 states, would require COVID-19 vaccination for staff employed at Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and suppliers. The OSHA ETS, which requires businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure that workers are vaccinated against the coronavirus or otherwise to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, was allowed to take effect when a divided panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, to which the consolidated challenges had been assigned by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a ruling, on December 17, 2021, lifting a stay that had been previously entered by the Fifth Circuit. Multiple private sector litigants and states immediately challenged the decision.

Blogs
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As we previously reported, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS's) interim final rule (the “Rule”) requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for staff and others at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers (i.e., the “vaccine mandate”) was effectively stayed nationwide on November 30, 2021, by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (the “Louisiana Court”).  In yet another twist to the ongoing legal battles, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit lifted the nationwide stay and held that the Louisiana Court only had authority to block the vaccine mandate in the fourteen plaintiff states that brought suit in that court. Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia.

Due to the litigation in the Eastern District of Missouri, as reported here, enforcement of the vaccine mandate is also blocked in ten other states:  Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.  In total, the vaccine mandate under the Rule is now stayed in twenty-four states, but is now in effect in the remaining twenty-six states.

Blogs
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Important guidance regarding COVID-19 testing in the workplace was recently issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) in the form of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Over the Counter (“OTC”) Home Testing and CLIA Applicability.

CMS regulates clinical laboratory testing pursuant to the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (“CLIA”). Generally, a laboratory or clinical setting (such as a physician’s office) must obtain CLIA certification to perform laboratory testing. Some OTC tests, however, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for home use and the new FAQs address the use of OTC home tests in the workplace.

Blogs
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As we previously reported, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) interim final rule (“the Rule”) requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for staff and others at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers (i.e., the “vaccine mandate”) has been challenged in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Missouri (“the Missouri Court”) and the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division (“the Louisiana Court”).  As of the date of this writing, both Courts have granted preliminary injunctions placing the Rule on hold.

On November 29, 2021, the Missouri Court granted a preliminary injunction of the Rule, which applies to the coalition of ten states [1] that filed the challenge there. The following day, the Louisiana Court entered a similar injunction, which applies to the remaining forty states.

Blogs
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On November 12, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released final guidance confirming that hospitals can be co-located with other hospitals or healthcare providers.

CMS’ aim for the guidance is to balance flexibility in service provision for providers with ensuring patient confidence in CMS’ quality of care oversight functions.

The final guidance provides direction to state surveyors in the evaluation of a hospital’s compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation (“CoPs”) when it is sharing space or contracted staff through service arrangements with another co-located hospital or healthcare provider.  CMS also reiterated a key tenet of co-location arrangements: that each provider must independently meet its applicable CoPs, but, overall, the final guidance is less prescriptive than the draft guidance CMS released in May 2019, and in its wake raises new questions for providers.

Blogs
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[UPDATE, Nov. 30, 2021: The District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri grants injunction for the ten plaintiff states listed in the First Complaint.]

As we previously reported, effective November 5, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule (the Rule) requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for staff and others at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers as a Condition of Participation by January 4, 2022.

On November 10, 2021, a coalition of ten states lodged a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern ...

Blogs
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On September 15, 2021, CMS published a proposed rule that would repeal a final rule that created an expedited pathway for Medicare coverage of breakthrough devices and established formal criteria for applying the “reasonable and necessary” standard for coverage in Section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act, which has been the basic standard for coverage since the inception of the Medicare program.[1]  CMS has set a short period for comments, and interested parties must submit comments by October 15, 2021.

The new proposed rule reflects a significant policy change.  Where the initial rule focused on expanding access to new innovations, the current approach focuses more on Medicare program goals and outcomes data.

Blogs
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On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a coordinated law enforcement action against 14 telehealth executives, physicians, marketers, and healthcare business owners for their alleged fraudulent COVID-19 related Medicare claims resulting in over $143 million in false billing.[1] This coordinated effort highlights the increased scrutiny telehealth providers are facing as rapid expansion efforts due to COVID-19 shape industry standards.

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOJ has prioritized identifying and prosecuting COVID-19 ...

Blogs
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Only a few days remain before the enforcement delay that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) exercised due to COVID-19 will end and the agency will require certain payors to publish a Patient Access application programming interface (“API”) and a Provider Directory API under the requirements of the CMS Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule. Starting on July 1, 2021, all health plans that offer Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and most Qualified Health Plans offered through the Federally-facilitated ...

Blogs
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In this episode of the Diagnosing Health Care Podcast:  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") and the Office of Inspector General ("OIG") of the Department of Health and Human Services have at last published their long-awaited companion final rules advancing value-based care. The rules present significant changes to the regulatory framework of the federal physician self-referral law (commonly referred to as the “Stark Law”) and to the federal health care program’s Anti-Kickback Statute, or “AKS.”

Epstein Becker Green attorneys Anjali ...

Blogs
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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.

Blogs
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As consumerism in healthcare increases, companies and the individuals they serve are increasingly sharing data with third-party application developers that provide innovative ways to manage health and wellness, among numerous other products that leverage individuals’ identifiable health data.  As the third-party application space continues to expand and data sharing becomes more prevalent, it is critical that such data sharing is done in a responsible manner and in accordance with applicable privacy and security standards. Yet, complying with applicable standards requires striking the right balance between rules promoting interoperability vis-à-vis prohibiting information blocking vs. ensuring patient privacy is protected. This is especially difficult when data is sent to third party applications that remain largely unregulated from a privacy and security perspective.  Navigating this policy ‘tug of war’ will be critical for organizations to comply with the rules, but also maintain consumer confidence.

Blogs
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While providers struggle to provide health care to their patients amid the coronavirus contagion concerns, recent regulatory and reimbursement changes will help ease the path to the provision of healthcare via telehealth.

On March 6, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law an $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) response funding package. In addition to providing funding for the development of treatments and public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, the bill authorizes the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar (referred to herein as the “Secretary”), to waive Medicare restrictions on the provision of services via telehealth during this public health emergency.

Greater utilization of telehealth during the COVID-19 outbreak will reduce providers’ and patients’ exposure to the virus in health care facilities. Telehealth is especially useful for mild cases of illness that can be managed at the patient’s home, thereby decreasing the volume of individuals seeking care in facilities. To further facilitate the increased utilization of telehealth, the Centers for Disease Control’s interim guidance for healthcare facilities notes that healthcare providers can communicate with patients by telephone if formal telehealth systems are not available. This allows providers to have greater flexibility when telehealth technology providers lack the bandwidth to accommodate this increase in telehealth utilization or are otherwise unavailable.

Blogs
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On October 22, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) to obtain input on how CMS can utilize Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and other new technologies to improve its operations.  CMS’ objectives to leverage AI chiefly include identifying and preventing fraud, waste, and abuse.  The RFI specifically states CMS’ aim “to ensure proper claims payment, reduce provider burden, and overall, conduct program integrity activities in a more efficient manner.”  The RFI follows last month’s White House ...

Blogs
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued their long-awaited proposed rules in connection with the Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care today.  Transforming our healthcare system to one that pays for value is one of the Department’s top four priorities, and the Deputy Secretary launched the Regulatory Sprint to remove potential regulatory barriers to care coordination and value-based care.

OIG’s proposed rule revising the safe harbors under the anti-kickback statute ...

Blogs
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Based on findings of the Payment Accuracy Report recently issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), six Democratic United States Senators questioned the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) oversight and enforcement of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. In a letter dated September 13, 2019, the Senators highlighted their belief that MA plans have been overbilling the federal government for years, specifically in excess of $30 billion dollars over the last three years.

The Senators requested that CMS provide a response on how the Agency intends to ...

Blogs
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Interoperability and patient access to data has been pushed to the forefront as a primary concern for the health industry. This is largely due to proposed rules published this spring by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that seek to advance interoperability and support the access, exchange, and use of electronic health information. In August 2019, the ONC held its third annual National Coordinator for Health IT Interoperability Forum in Washington DC. The event brings together the ...

Blogs
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has published a final rule that will expand access to telehealth services for Medicare Advantage (“MA”) plan enrollees.[1] CMS Administrator Seema Verma characterized the agency’s latest policymaking efforts as “a historic step in bringing innovative technology to Medicare beneficiaries” and a way for the agency to provide “greater flexibility to Medicare Advantage plans, [so] beneficiaries can receive more benefits, at lower costs and better quality.”[2]

Traditionally, MA plans have been limited to ...

Blogs
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On February 14, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced the Emergency Triage, Treatment and Transport reimbursement model (the “ET3 Model”), a demonstration project that aims to provide improved flexibility to ambulance crews addressing 911-initiated emergency calls for Medicare beneficiaries.

CMS plans to release its Request for Applications (“RFA”) to solicit participation in the ET3 Model from Medicare-enrolled ambulance providers and suppliers in the summer of 2019. The ET3 Model start date is anticipated for January 2020 for ...

Blogs
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On March 15, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed changes to its methodology for calculating Civil Money Penalties (CMPs) for Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Prescription Drug Plan (MA and Part D) sponsors.  The proposed changes would impact both the calculation methodology for 2019 as well as the CMP amounts for 2019 and beyond in an effort to increase plan accountability.  CMS is accepting comments on these proposed changes until April 15, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET.

Though CMS has exercised its statutory and regulatory authority to impose CMPs on MA ...

Blogs
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Despite recent welcome news to the home health agency (“HHA”) industry in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas following an end to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ ("CMS’s") long-standing HHA provider enrollment moratoria, CMS subsequently announced that it would place some newly enrolled HHAs in a provisional period of enhanced oversight. The purpose of the enhanced oversight period and the corresponding additional restrictions placed on certain HHAs is to help CMS address and closely monitor fraud, waste, and abuse concerns in the HHA industry, thus ...

Blogs
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On February 11th, blockchain advocates, digital health enthusiasts, and patients received positive news from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) regarding patient data sharing.  These rules, taken together, seek to make data more liquid, which can promote patient access, continuity of care, research, collaboration across the industry and several other activities that previously faced challenges within a health care system built on data silos.

First, CMS ...

Blogs
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on November 1, 2018 that updates physician fee schedule (PFS) payments for calendar year (CY) 2019 and finalizes several policies. The final rule includes amendments to the regulations promulgated under Section 216 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (“PAMA”) intended to increase the number of clinical laboratories that qualify as an “applicable laboratory” for reporting purposes; specifically (1) removal of payments received from Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans for determining ...

Blogs
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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (“MedPAC”) held its monthly public meetings in Washington, D.C., on November 1-2, 2018. The purpose of this and other MedPAC public meetings is for the commissioners to analyze existing challenges and issues within the Medicare program and to provide future policy recommendations to Congress. MedPAC issues these recommendations in two annual reports, one in March and another in June. These meetings offer a comprehensive perspective on the current state of Medicare as well as future outlooks for the program.

As thought leaders in ...

Blogs
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On November 2, 2018 CMS announced the finalization of the 2019 OPPS and ASC payment rules which were initially proposed in July of 2018.[1] [2] While the final document will not be officially published until November 21st, an Inspection Copy is available for the public to review on the Federal Register website. These new payment rules in many ways expand the range of services that CMS will reimburse when performed at Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs), most notably, by including certain cardiac catheterization procedures on the approved list, and by lowering the threshold that ...

Blogs
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On October 25, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit feedback on its newly proposed International Pricing Index (IPI) model for Medicare Part B drug reimbursement.  The IPI model will be tested by the CMS Innovation Center as a potential means to dismantle and replace the current buy-and-bill model and advance the Trump Administration’s agenda for drug pricing reform, as described in its May 2018 Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.  The framework of the IPI model is ...

Blogs
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On October 15, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled its proposed rule requiring direct-to-consumer television advertisements for prescription drug and biological products to contain the list price (defined as the Wholesale Acquisition Cost) if the product is reimbursable by Medicare or Medicaid. Medical devices are not included in the proposed rule, although CMS seeks comment on how advertised drugs should be treated if used in combination with a non-advertised device. If finalized, the requirement will be sweeping and only purports to exclude ...

Blogs
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced this week that it has entered into a settlement agreement with Davita Medical Holdings (Davita) for $270 million dollars to resolve certain False Claims Act liability related to Medicare Advantage risk adjustment payments.

As the settlement agreement describes, Davita acquired HealthCare Partners (HCP), a large California based independent physician association in 2012. HCP, subsequently Davita Medical Group (or Davita), operated as a medical service organization (MSO) who contracted with Medicare Advantage Organizations ...

Blogs
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A variety of traditional and non-traditional investors are starting to capitalize on the stability of the Medicare Advantage Program and expansion of the Medicare Advantage Health Plan Market.  These companies are leveraging sophisticated technological interfaces, data, and telemedicine to help improve the patient experience and to maximize the Triple Aim.

Why Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies subject to certain standards established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”).  While the Medicare ...

Blogs
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In the tech world, blockchain technology appears to be the panacea to all problems.  As blockchain technology becomes increasingly popular, many industries are trying to determine the best way to use the new phenomenon. Healthcare is no different in this quest. Health care is an optimal candidate to benefit from development of innovative ways to solve its impending issues using transformational technology. Blockchain could be the technology that helps to alleviate some of health care’s problems, such as the incredibly fragmented delivery of care and the painstakingly slow ...

Blogs
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On June 20, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published an advance copy of a request for information seeking public input on reforms to the Physician Self-Referral Law (or “Stark Law”).

The request for information stems from on-going efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to accelerate the government’s transformation from a fee-for-service to a value-based system focused on care coordination.  Dubbed the “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care” (#RS2CC), HHS expressed an intent to first identify regulatory ...

Blogs
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The long-running saga of the Medicare appeals backlog added a new chapter that may give frustrated stakeholders a new remedy.[1]  On March 27, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a home health agency may pursue a claim against the Secretary of HHS for failing to provide a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge within a reasonable time.  Family Rehabilitation, Incorporated v. Azar, No. 17-11337 (5th Cir., Mar. 27, 2018).

In this case, Family Rehabilitation (“Family”) received a notice from a Medicare Zone Integrity Program Contractor ...

Blogs
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued on April 2, 2018, an advanced copy of the final rule title “Medicare Program; Contract Year 2019 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Cost Plan, Medicare Fee-for-Service, the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs, and the PACE Program” (“Final Rule”). This Final Rule will be published in the April 16, 2018 issue of the Federal Register.

This Final Rule implements provisions of the proposed rule that CMS released titled “Medicare Program; Contract Year 2019 Policy and ...

Blogs
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Faced with the inability to repeal the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) outright, the Trump Administration and Congress have taken actions to provide more health insurance options for Americans.  Thus far, the Administration announced that they would no longer make cost sharing reduction (“CSR”) payments to insurers on the Exchanges and extended the time period in which short-term, limited-duration insurance (“STLDI”) plans could be offered.  Meanwhile, Congress removed the individual mandate in the 2017 tax bill. The Administration asserts that these efforts are all ...

Blogs
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In March 2018, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) made its 2018 report to Congress, which included the Commission’s evaluation of telehealth services provided through the Medicaid program. Chapter 2 of MACPAC’s report had a positive outlook on telehealth’s contribution toward better accessibility of health care services to underserved individuals as well as individuals with disabilities.

Unlike its larger counterpart, Medicare, federal policy has not placed many restrictions on state Medicaid programs in terms of adopting or designing ...

Blogs
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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (“MedPAC”) met in Washington, DC, on March 1-2, 2018. The purpose of this and other public meetings of MedPAC is for the commissioners to review the issues and challenges facing the Medicare program and then make policy recommendations to Congress. MedPAC issues these recommendations in two annual reports, one in March and another in June. MedPAC’s meetings can provide valuable insight into the state of Medicare, the direction of the program moving forward, and the content of MedPAC’s next report to Congress.

As thought leaders in ...

Blogs
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This is part 5 of 7 in the Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance series. All titles in this series can be viewed below. Subscribe to our blog to receive these future updates. Prior installments of this series can be accessed using the links provided.

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This is part 4 of 7 in the Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance series. All titles in this series can be viewed below. Subscribe to our blog to receive these future updates. Prior installments of this series can be accessed using the links provided.

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This is part 3 of 7 in the Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance series. All titles in this series can be viewed below. Subscribe to our blog to receive these future updates. Prior installments of this series can be accessed using the links provided.

Blogs
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This is part 2 of 7 in the Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance series. All titles in this series can be viewed below. Subscribe to our blog to receive these future updates. Prior installments of this series can be accessed using the links provided.

Blogs
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (“CMS”) recently announced its intent to expand what may be considered “supplemental benefits,” broadening the scope of items and services that could be offered to Medicare Advantage (“MA”) plan enrollees over and above the benefits covered under original Medicare. However, in articulating the standards for covering this broadened group of items and services, CMS proposed a new requirement that could greatly limit enrollees’ ability to access all types of supplemental benefits and increase the already ...

Blogs
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Over the past week, the White House administration (the “Administration”) has issued two documents addressing drug pricing. First, on February 9, 2018, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers released a white paper titled “Reforming Biopharmaceutical Pricing at Home and Abroad” (the “White Paper”).  Second, on February 12, 2018, the Administration issued its 2019 Budget Proposal (“2019 Budget”).

Whereas the recommendations set forth in the White Paper are more conceptual or exploratory, the 2019 Budget purportedly reflects the ...

Blogs
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In response to Republicans' failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Trump Administration is using administrative action to modify the ACA and health insurance options for Americans. On October 12, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that instructs various departments to consider regulations related to association health plans and short-term insurance. Shortly after, the Administration announced that they would no longer make cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers on the Exchanges.  Section 1402 of the ACA requires insurance companies to ...

Blogs
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On November 1, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service ("CMS") released the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System ("OPPS") final rule ("Final Rule"), finalizing a Medicare payment reduction from Average Sales Price ("ASP") + 6% to ASP - 22.5%, for 340B discounted drugs in the hospital outpatient setting, as was proposed in the OPPS proposed rule earlier this year. This payment reduction is effective January 1, 2018, and would primarily impact disproportionate share hospitals, rural referral centers, and non-rural sole community hospitals.

340B ...

Blogs
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Throughout the campaign season and the first months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the current Administration has voiced a commitment to furthering telehealth advancement. For example, during the campaign, then-candidate Trump emphasized the importance of telehealth tools in reforming the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ("VA"). More recently, both U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma stated in their confirmation hearings that they were interested in promoting the ...

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On April 14, 2017, CMS issued the FY 2018 Medicare Hospital IPPS Proposed Rule that includes numerous proposed changes.   However, there is a very small provision in this proposed rule that organizations may not be aware of …. especially those that are not hospitals and who normally would not look at the Hospital IPPS rule.

Within the rule, there is a section proposing to revise the application and re-application process for Accrediting Organizations so as to require them to post provider/supplier survey reports and plans of corrections on their website.   Although the survey results ...

Blogs
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On March 15, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued an opinion that sheds insight on how courts view the "writing" requirement of various exceptions under the federal physician self-referral law (or "Stark Law"). The ruling involved the FCA qui tam case, United States ex rel. Emanuele v. Medicor Assocs., No. 1:10-cv-245, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36593 (W.D. Pa. Mar. 15, 2017), involving a cardiology practice (Medicor Associates, Inc.) and the Hamot Medical Center. The Court's detailed discussion of the Stark Law in its summary judgment ...

Blogs
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Congress is currently considering two bills that would dramatically alter the ways in which all federal agencies develop and publish rules. If enacted, both would create significant new obligations for agencies such as CMS and the FDA, expand the scope of judicial review of rules, and would increase the potential for political influence over the rulemaking process. Both bills passed the House on party-line votes, and are under consideration by the Senate.

The first bill, H.R. 5, would overhaul multiple phases of the federal rulemaking process. These proposed changes would make the ...

Blogs
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On October 24, 2016 the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") announced their intention to extend the Parallel Review pilot program indefinitely. The Parallel Review process is intended to provide timely feedback on clinical data requirements from FDA and CMS, and minimize the time required for receiving Medicare coverage nationally.  Sounds good.  So, why have so few manufacturers taken advantage of the program to date?

Despite its admirable goals, the current Parallel Review Process is too limited in scope ...

Blogs
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Health care providers, life sciences companies and other entities subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") should be aware that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") is increasing the maximum civil monetary penalty amounts that may be assessed by the agency.

The new maximum adjusted penalty amounts may have a significant impact on entities that violate or fail to meet mandatory reporting requirements set by FDA or CMS. Of the 299 enumerated increased fines, 137 fines (45.8%) have ...

Blogs
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If your organization has missed an opportunity to participate in the voluntary Medicare Bundled Payments for Care Initiatives and/or the mandatory CJR program, CMS' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation has issued a proposed rule introducing three new mandatory Episode Payment Models (EPMs) and a Cardiac Rehabilitation incentive payment model intended to be tested with a broad scope of hospitals which may not have otherwise participated in innovative payment model testing.

In the proposed rule issued August 2, 2016, CMS introduced EPMs for Acute Myocardial infarction ...

Blogs
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On July 7, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") imposed several administrative penalties on Theranos, a clinical laboratory company that proposed to revolutionize the clinical laboratory business by performing multiple blood tests using a few drops of blood drawn from a finger rather than from a traditional blood draw that relies on needles and tubes. However, after inspecting the laboratory, CMS concluded that the company failed to comply with federal law and regulations governing clinical laboratories and it posed an immediate jeopardy to patient ...

Blogs
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In February 2012, two years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") issued a proposed rule, which was subject to significant public comment, concerning reporting and returning certain Medicare overpayments ("Proposed Rule"). On February 12, 2016, four years from the issuance of the Proposed Rule (and six years after passage of the ACA), CMS issued the final rule, which becomes effective on March 14, 2016 ("A and B Final Rule").

The A and B Final Rule applies only to providers and suppliers under Medicare Parts A and B ...

Blogs
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The last year has seen a flurry of lawsuits and demand letters to health care and other companies, and even a variety of nonprofits, alleging that those entities have websites that are not accessible to those who are blind or have low vision and thus allegedly violate the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’(HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces nondiscrimination and accommodation obligations as to health care entities providing services to Medicare and Medicaid recipients with disabilities.  In an ironic twist, the ...

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House Republican leaders introduced legislation on Monday, finalizing a two-year budget agreement between Congressional leaders and the White House. This legislation is currently being considered and may be up for a vote as early as Wednesday on the bipartisan budget deal.

Hospitals should note the language in Section 603 (which is on pages 35-39 of the draft bill) codifies the definition of a "provider-based off-campus hospital outpatient department" (PBD HOPD) as a location that is not on the main campus of a hospital and is located more 250 yards from the main campus.  The section ...

Blogs
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On September 28, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") issued a request for information ("RFI") seeking comments on two key components of the physician payment reform provisions included in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 ("MACRA"), the law enacted on April 16, 2015, repealing the sustainable growth rate formula used to update payment rates under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule.  The RFI was originally open for a 30-comment period.  However, CMS has announced that it is extending the comment period for an additional 15 days.  Comments ...

Blogs
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In January 2015, CMS announced that it was considering developing voluntary clinical templates to help physicians adequately document their encounters with Medicare patients who receive home health services.[1] CMS initially proposed a sample paper template progress note and suggested clinical template elements for an electronic progress note. CMS hosted three Special Open Door Forums to solicit feedback on the proposed templates from physicians, home health agencies, and other interested stakeholders to provide feedback on the proposed templates.

On August 12, 2015, CMS ...

Blogs
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Providers, take note: the Chronic Care Management (CCM) CPT Code 99490 is now payable by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Effective January 1, 2015, the Medicare program began making payments under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for certain non-face-to-face management and care coordination services provided to beneficiaries covered under the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program. CCM services include, but are not limited to, development and maintenance of a plan of care, communication with other treating health care professionals, and ...

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CMS announced on February 13  (and to be published in a Federal Register notice this week) that despite the general guideline that final rules be issued within 3 years of a proposed or interim final rule, CMS will be taking an additional year to finalize the "Medicare Program; Reporting and Returning of Overpayments" final rule.   In February 2012 (see EBG's February 22, 2012 Client Alert), CMS issued a proposed rule on the requirements under the ACA to report and return overpayments within 60 days to the Medicare program for providers and suppliers of services under Parts A and B.  CMS ...

Blogs
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In the most recent updates to the Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System,[1] CMS made significant changes to the face-to-face encounter documentation requirements by eliminating the physician narrative requirement for most home health services for care episodes beginning on or after January 1, 2015.[2] In making this change, CMS stated that the medical records of the certifying physician or the acute/post-acute care facility (if a patient in that setting was directly admitted to home health) must contain sufficient documentation to support the physician's ...

Blogs
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Stakeholders received insight on the Obama administration's expected approach to the certification and oversight of qualified health plans ("QHPs") late Friday, December 19, 2014, with the release by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") of its Draft 2016 Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces ("Draft Letter"). This annual release comes more than a month earlier than the release of the 2015 version of this document.

While the Draft Letter largely mirrors the provisions of its 2015 predecessor, or restates earlier proposals, CMS does ...

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In response to multiple requests, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") have extended the deadline for comments on the proposed changes to the home health conditions of participation ("CoPs").  Home health providers and other interested stakeholders now have until 5:00 p.m. EST on January 7, 2015 to submit comments to CMS.

The proposed changes to the CoPs were published on October 9, 2014[1] and represent the most significant changes to the home health CoPs in seventeen years.  According to CMS, the new CoPs are intended to better reflect modern home health practice by ...

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Our colleaguesEmily E. Bajcsi, Clifford E. Barnes, Marshall E. Jackson Jr., and Serra J. Schlanger recently published a client alert on legislative and regulatory efforts impacting the hospice and home health industries:

  • President Obama signed the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 ("the IMPACT Act") into law;
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ("CMS") published the Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System final rule for calendar year 2015 ("Final Rule"); and
  • CMS published proposed changes to the home health conditions of participation ...
Blogs
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Earlier this week, the American Telemedicine Association reported an important clarification regarding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (“CMS’s”) plans for expanding reimbursement for telehealth services provided to Medicare beneficiaries.  The October 31, 2014 final rule with comment period regarding payments to physicians generated much excitement in the telehealth community, particularly because it opens a door, albeit only slightly, to possible Medicare coverage for remote patient monitoring services.

However, the ATA has clarified with CMS ...

Blogs
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On November 13, 2014, CMS published the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule ("MPFS") finalizing the following changes to the Sunshine Open Payments regulations.  The MPFS:

  1. Deleted  the provision exempting certain payments to CME providers from the reporting requirements;
  2. Added  three new forms of payment designations;
  3. Made  the reporting of the marketed name of a covered device no longer optional; and
  4. Deleted the definition of covered device.

These changes will be effective January 1, 2016, with reports to CMS in 2017.

(A summary of the final Open Payment regulations can be accessed ...

Blogs
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Who knew?!  Buried among more than 1,000 pages of a new final rule with comment period on payments to physicians, released on October 31, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) finally has given telehealth providers a glimpse of its plans to expand reimbursement for telehealth services provided to Medicare beneficiaries. 

The final rule includes a provision that would cover remote chronic care management using a new current procedural terminology (“CPT”) code, 99490 (with a monthly unadjusted, non-facility fee of $42.60).  This new CPT code can be ...

Blogs
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Healthcare Fraud and Abuse is an ever growing problem.  The Federal government has taken several steps in its enforcement efforts to cut down on health care fraud.  It is estimated that health care fraud costs the United States about $80 billion per year.  And it continues to rise in an alarming manner, as total U.S. health care spending continues to rise, currently topping $2.7 trillion.

In the last year, spending on home health care has increased over 5 percent from previous years.  Since 2000, the senior population has increased by 15.1% versus 9.7% for the population as a whole.  According ...

Blogs
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By Arthur J. Fried

The Controversy - 2012 Rulemaking Attempts

Roughly two years ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the Department of Health and Human Services ("CMS") published final regulations announcing two controversial rule changes addressing hospital governance.  The industry was taken by surprise, to say  the least, as neither of these requirements had been in the proposed rule.  The changes, promulgated as amendments to the Governing Body Condition of Participation (CoP) included (i) the requirement that a hospital's board include at least one member of ...

Blogs
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Our colleagues at Epstein Becker Green have issued a client alert: "Federally Facilitated Exchanges Are Almost Ready," by Linda V. Tiano.

Following is an excerpt:

On March 1, 2013, the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight ("CCIIO") and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") released lengthy and detailed draft guidance regarding the federally facilitated exchanges ("FFEs") that will operate in the 26 states that have chosen not to establish their own exchange or partner with CMS. Although the guidance was issued in draft form, CCIIO and CMS allowed ...

Blogs
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The Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which was incorporated into Section 6002 of the Affordable Care Act, requires pharmaceutical, medical device, biological and medical supply manufacturers to file annual reports on payments to physicians and teaching hospitals. Despite the requirement in the law that manufacturers submit their first report in March 2013 disclosing payments made during 2012, two events have pushed back that obligation or taken the sting out of noncompliance.

First, although Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was required to publish standards for ...

Blogs
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On May 16, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the Department of Health and Human Services (“CMS”) published regulations announcing various changes to the Medicare Conditions of Participation (“CoP”) applicable to hospitals.  According to the regulatory preamble, these revisions responded directly to the President’s “Executive Order 13563, by reducing outmoded or unnecessarily burdensome rules, and thereby increasing the ability of hospitals and [critical access hospitals] to devote resources to providing high quality patient care.”  ...

Blogs
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On March 9, 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") released a final rule that modifies several of the durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies ("DMEPOS") supplier standards. Most notably, the final rule modifies restrictions on the "direct solicitation" of Medicare beneficiaries by DMEPOS suppliers. CMS stated in the final rule that its reason for making this modification is that the definition of "direct solicitation" was not feasible and has been criticized for being overly broad. DMEPOS suppliers and other providers need to be ...
Blogs
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by Jesse M. Caplan and Serra J. Schlanger

Since November 2011 the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (“CCIIO”) in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has completed 22 reviews of health insurance premium rate increase filings in the individual and small group markets. Under the new federal rate review regulations, CCIIO has determined that six of the reviewed premium rate increases represented “unreasonable” increases while 16 of the rate increases were deemed “not unreasonable.”

This Implementing Health and Insurance Reform alert ...

Blogs
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by Jason B. Caron, O. Benton Curtis III, Anjali N.C. Downs, and Jennifer K. Goodwin

Almost two years after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released a proposed rule regarding overpayments to providers and suppliers, as provided for under Section 6402(a) of the ACA. To date, regulators, courts, clients, and members of the bar have interpreted the requirements of Section 6402(a) in various ways. The proposed rule provides CMS's view on this matter, and, given that CMS is proposing a ...

Blogs
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by Kathleen A. Peterson, Benjamin S. Martin, Wendy C. Goldstein, and Constance A. Wilkinson

This issue of Implementing Health & Insurance Reform summarizes and discusses some issues raised by the proposed rule ("Proposed Rule") that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") published on February 2, 2012, to implement changes to the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program ("MDRP") and to reimbursement limits for outpatient drugs covered by Medicaid.

In Part 1, we discuss proposals relating to the MDRP that would change the manner in which pharmaceutical manufacturers calculate ...

Blogs
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by Gretchen Harders, Daly D.E. Temchine, and Joseph J. Kempf, Jr.

On December 7, 2011, final rules on the medical loss ratio (“MLR”) requirements for insured health plans (and an interim final rule for non-federal governmental plans) were issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The MLR requirements are effective January 1, 2012, and any issuer who does not meet the MLR requirements for the 2011 MLR reporting year must pay rebates by August 1, 2012. This alert ...

Blogs
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According to a new report released in December 2011 by the Office of Inspector General ("OIG"), more than 25 percent of all durable medical equipment ("DME") suppliers faced enforcement actions by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during their first year of participation in the Medicare program. In its report, the OIG reviewed a sample of 229 newly enrolled suppliers and examined multiple data sources in order to assess the extent, if any, that the suppliers in the sample had program integrity issues. According to the report, during the first year of participation in the ...
Blogs
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by Lynn Shapiro Snyder and Lesley R. Yeung

On December 16, 2011, the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight ("CCIIO") within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") released a "bulletin" to provide information and solicit comments on the regulatory approach that the Department of Health and Human Services plans to propose to define essential health benefits ("EHB") under section 1302 of the Affordable Care Act. The "bulletin" provides information to stakeholders (i.e., consumers, states, employers, and health insurance issuers) about what ...

Blogs
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by Sarah K. Giesting, Wendy C. Goldstein, Kathleen A. Peterson, and Natasha F. Thoren

On December 14, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued long-awaited proposed rules (“Proposed Rules”) related to the federal Physician Payment Sunshine Act applicable to pharmaceutical, medical device, biological and medical supply manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (“GPOs”). The Proposed Rules outline CMS’s proposals regarding implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act and seek comments regarding these proposals. This health ...

Blogs
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by Jesse M. Caplan and Serra J. Schlanger

On November 21, 2011, the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight, in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), announced its determination that a health insurance premium rate increase of 11.58 percent in the small group market in Pennsylvania represented an “unreasonable” rate increase, while an 11.10 percent increase in the individual market in Montana did not. These long-awaited determinations represent the first application of CMS’s rate review regulations under federal health reform.

This ...

Blogs
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Expansion of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program; Legislative Inquiry Related to Fraud and Abuse Enforcement Actions; and Automated Pre-Enrollment Provider Screening

by George B. Breen, Amy F. Lerman, Emily E. Bajcsi, Deepa B. Selvam

In order to be prepared for upcoming changes and to respond to new initiatives, providers and suppliers participating in Medicare must be aware of recent Congressional activity that would hold the federal government accountable for its intended enforcement efforts designed to curb health care fraud, waste, and abuse, as well as an effort by the ...

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