Tag Archives: CMS

Site-Neutral Payments Stand: D.C. Court of Appeals Overturns Ruling and Allows Lower Payments to Off-Campus Provider-Based Departments

On July 17, 2020, in a blow to health care providers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned a lower court’s more favorable ruling and held that the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) “site-neutral payment” policy may stand.… Continue Reading

CMS Issues Proposed Home Health Agency Rule On Making Certain Telehealth Flexibilities Permanent, Increasing Medicare Payment Rates And Home Infusion Therapy Service Payment Rates For CY 2021

On June 25, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced its proposed Home Health Prospective Payment System Rule, for calendar year 2021 (the “Rule”), which aims to increase home health agency Medicare payment rates.  This Rule also includes a provision to make permanent the regulatory changes related to telecommunication technologies in providing … Continue Reading

The Decision is in: Hospitals Will be Required to Disclose Rates in 2021

In a June 23, 2020 decision, Judge Nichol of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and against the plaintiff hospital associations challenging CMS’s transparency rule. As a result,  hospitals will (pending any appeals) have to post private negotiated rates … Continue Reading

Balancing Provider Pricing Transparency and Anti-Competitive Behavior

On November 15, 2019, CMS issued a final rule that requires hospitals to disclose to patients the hospital’s “standard charges,” which include the reimbursement rates the hospitals negotiate privately with insurers.  This rule is in line with President Trump’s Executive Order, dated June 24, 2019, which focused on increasing price and quality transparency for American … Continue Reading

Nursing Home Liability Waivers and Nursing Home Investigations and Enforcement: A Delicate Balance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As we discussed in our April 27, 2020 blog post, nursing homes have become the focus of significant attention during the COVID-19 crisis.  In many respects, the attention is well deserved: Nursing homes traditionally serve seniors who often struggle with chronic health conditions. As a result, nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus infection … Continue Reading

CMS Updates Waivers, Provides More Flexibility for Providers Responding to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 emergency continues to heavily impact the U.S. and its health care system, CMS has issued additional flexibilities for providers and payors seeking to respond to the pandemic.  These new flexibilities are described both in revisions to CMS’ blanket waivers and in a new Interim Final Rule with comment period, both issued on … Continue Reading

Summary of Key Provisions of Interim Final Rule: CMS Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

On March 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (the “IFC”) to address numerous regulatory and administrative changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This Interim Final Rule was announced in conjunction with many other revisions and relaxations, and in addition to previously issued … Continue Reading

Telehealth and Federal and State Government Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the coronavirus strain (COVID-19) continues to spread, the government, insurance companies and medical providers are rushing to find paths to more efficiently and effectively provide care for those in need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) warns that the virus is spread mainly from person to person and that people are most … Continue Reading

Home Health Agencies and Dialysis Centers Take Note: CMS Provides Additional Guidance to Healthcare Providers to Stop the Spread of the Coronavirus

On March 10, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) supplemented the guidance that we previously discussed in our March 6, 2020 blog post in order to provide additional guidance to healthcare providers, specifically home health agencies and dialysis facilities, in addressing the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”).… Continue Reading

CMS Announces Actions to Address the Threat of Coronavirus

On March 4, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced several measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (“COVID-19”).  Described by CMS Administrator Seema Verma as representing “a call to action across the health care system,” these actions serve to ensure health care facilities have updated information to … Continue Reading

Health and Human Services Exchange Program Integrity Final Rule

On December 20, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on program integrity for Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange plans.  This rule implements a number of provisions from the ACA, including the requirement that each state have the opportunity to establish an Exchange, as well as the steps the Secretary … Continue Reading

340B Program-Participating Hospitals Object to CMS’s Proposed Cuts to 340B Program Reimbursement: CMS’s Recent Information Collection Request

Information Collection Request. On November 27, 2019, 340B Health, a nonprofit membership organization comprised of hospitals and health systems that participate in the federal 340B drug pricing program (“340B Program”), submitted comments (“340B Comments”) to Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), objecting to an announcement by CMS on … Continue Reading

CMS and OIG Propose Regulatory Changes Impacting the Scope of the Stark Law and the Federal Health Care Program Anti-Kickback Statute

On October 9, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) released proposed rules in conjunction with HHS’ “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care.” The Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care “aims to remove potential regulatory barriers to care coordination and value-based care created by four key … Continue Reading

D.C. District Court Vacates CMS Final Rule, Finds that CMS’ Lesser Reimbursement of Services Provided at Grandfathered Off-Campus Provider-Based Departments Was Improper

On September 17, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), vacating CMS’ 2018 Final OPPS Rule, which cut Medicare reimbursement rates for certain outpatient hospital services provided at certain off-campus provider-based departments (“PBDs”).… Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Rule Expanding its Authority to Deny and Revoke Medicare Program Enrollment, Among Other Changes

On September 5, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released a final rule with comment period entitled, “Program Integrity Enhancements to the Provider Enrollment Process” (the “Final Rule”). The Final Rule, aiming to “address various program integrity issues and vulnerabilities by enabling CMS to take action against unqualified and potentially fraudulent entities … Continue Reading

Long-Term Care Providers and Corporate Compliance Programs: The Impending November 28, 2019 Deadline is Fast Approaching

A 2016 Final Rule from CMS created a new regulatory requirement for long-term care facilities, 42 C.F.R. § 483.85, that mandates such facilities have in operation, by November 28, 2019, a compliance and ethics program that is “reasonably designed to be effective in preventing and detecting criminal, civil, and administrative violations under the [Social Security] … Continue Reading

Proposed and Expanded Disclosure Obligations for Hospitals Regarding not Only Gross Charges, but Third Party Payor Pricing as Well

On July 29, 2019, CMS released its proposed outpatient prospective payment system (“OPPS”) rule outlining a variety of changes it may implement for calendar year 2020. One proposal that has inspired immediate reactions from industry members would require hospitals to disclose certain additional pricing information, including some prices negotiated with third party payors, to the … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes New Home Health Agency Rule Including Potential Changes to Reimbursement, Coverage, Quality, and More: CMS Accepting Comments until September 9, 2019

On July 11, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced a proposed rule for home health agency Medicare reimbursement that would increase payments by an aggregate 1.3% for 2020, amounting to $250 million. In doing so, CMS would begin a transition to payments that are value-based, implementing the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (“PDGM”), … Continue Reading

Recent Activity in Medicare Audit Programs: CMS Announces Increase in Audit Contractor Oversight

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) healthcare audit programs – including the Unified Program Integrity Contractors (“UPICs”) audit program, the Recovery Audit Contractor (“RAC”) program, the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (“CERT”) program, etc. – have been the subject of regular complaints and calls-for-action by the Medicare/Medicaid provider community for many years.… Continue Reading

CMS Issues Long-Awaited Draft Guidance for Hospital Co-Location with Other Hospitals or Healthcare Facilities

On May 3, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released long-awaited draft guidance (the “Guidance”), proposing to allow hospitals to co-locate with other hospitals or healthcare facilities in certain circumstances. In welcome news for the industry – particularly for hospitals that co-locate provider-based space with non-provider-based facilities – CMS has proposed that … Continue Reading

Blog Series Part 2: CMS Proposed Rule on Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, Medicaid Fee-For-Service, and Medicaid Managed Care Programs for Years 2020 and 2021

Requirements for MA Plans Offering Additional Telehealth Benefits As part of the proposed rule issued November 1, 2018 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) regarding updates to the Medicare Advantage (“MA”) and Medicare prescription drug benefit programs, CMS addressed expanding the ability of MA plans to offer telehealth benefits to their enrollees. … Continue Reading
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