Tag Archives: Medicare

No Longer Implied: Supreme Court Expressly Recognizes Implied Certification as a Theory of Liability Under the False Claims Act

Court Rejects the First Circuit’s “Expansive View” of the Theory by Articulating “Rigorous” Standards of Materiality Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-anticipated decision on the viability of the “implied certification” theory of liability under the False Claims Act (FCA). In Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, a unanimous Court … Continue Reading

FY 2017 IPPS Proposed Rule Results in Modest Increase for Hospitals

CMS recently issued a proposed rule updating fiscal year (FY) 2017 Medicare payment policies and rates under the Medicare inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and the long-term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system. Highlights of the proposed rule applicable to IPPS hospitals are the focus of this summary. With the proposed rule, CMS continues to emphasize its … Continue Reading

Escobar Oral Arguments: Justices Imply Outcome – False Claims Act Implied Certification May Survive

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held oral arguments in the case of Universal Health Services, Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, No. 15-7, which is set to decide the viability of implied certification under the FCA. As discussed in our last update on the Escobar case, implied certification is a judicially-created theory under the FCA that establishes liability for a … Continue Reading

New Medicare Part B Payment Model is Most Recent Payor Response to Increasing Drug Prices

Recent activity by the federal government along with commercial payors may be indicative of further changes to how payors, providers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers engage in prescription drug arrangements. A recently announced proposed rule by CMS would create a new Medicare Part B prescription drug payment model intended to improve quality of care and deliver better value for … Continue Reading

I’ll Gladly Pay You 10 Years From Today for Care Already Provided

Most providers whose claims have been determined to be improper by the Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) under the Medicare Recovery Audit Program have discovered that the appeals backlog “is incontrovertibly grotesque.” Two Courts of Appeals have recently acknowledged that the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) has a 10-year backlog of more than 800,000 … Continue Reading

CMS Pitches Controversial Payment Model for Medicare Part B Drugs

CMS recently announced a proposed rule that would potentially create a new Medicare Part B prescription drug payment model. The proposed model is intended to improve quality of care and deliver better value for Medicare Part B beneficiaries. However, many providers and drug manufacturers have expressed concern that the new payment model will emphasize cost-cutting measures at … Continue Reading

CMS Doubles Down on Targeting Part D Enrollee Prescription Drug Abuse, But Will Stakeholders Agree?

With the release of its 2017 draft call letter, CMS continues its push to curb opioid dependence, overdose and death among Medicare Part D enrollees. To that end, CMS proposes that Part D plan sponsors edit their benefit designs to target opioid overutilization at the point-of-sale. The letter also reminds Part D sponsors that benefit designs … Continue Reading

The Deeper Dive: The Final Overpayment Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued its final rule for Reporting and Returning of Overpayments (Final Rule). The Final Rule implements section 1128J(d) of the Social Security Act, which requires Medicare providers and suppliers to report and return overpayments within 60 days after the overpayment was identified in most instances. Failure to report … Continue Reading

Providers Oppose CMS Proposal Targeting Prescription Drug Abuse by Part D Enrollees

Providers have voiced opposition to a proposal aimed at targeting Medicare Part D enrollees with “potential opioid or acetaminophen overutilization issues that indicate the need to implement appropriate controls on these drugs for the identified beneficiaries.” Under a recently proposed rule on revised discharge planning requirements, CMS solicited comments on whether providers should be required to consult … Continue Reading

Breaking News: 60-Day Overpayment Rule Finalized

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final rule implementing Section 6402(a) of the Affordable Care Act that requires Medicare providers and suppliers to report and return overpayments within 60 days after the date on which the overpayment was identified in most instances. Failure to report and return overpayments in accordance with … Continue Reading

Drug Manufacturer Discount Cards: Accept With Caution

Pharmaceutical manufacturer discount card usage by government program beneficiaries has been an active area for government action in recent years.  In a September 2014 Special Advisory Bulletin, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) stated, “[t]hese coupons constitute remuneration offered to consumers to induce the purchase of specific items.” … Continue Reading

Implied Certification and the FCA: Legally False or a False Legality? The Supreme Court Is Set to Decide

The United States Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in the case of Universal Health Services, Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, No. 15-7, which places implied certification under the False Claims Act (FCA) squarely in the judicial crosshairs. Implied certification is a frustrating theory of liability for providers and contractors that receive government reimbursement, due to … Continue Reading

Medicare: Congress Ends 2015 With Some Last-Minute Reforms

Congress chose to end 2015 with some last-minute Medicare reforms impacting healthcare providers. Significantly, the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama on December 28, 2015, includes provisions aimed at identity theft protections, exception from meaningful use requirements, radiation therapy rates, fee awards for Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), and payment for … Continue Reading

The Deeper Dive: Medicare’s Fundamental Shift Toward P4P

What priorities should providers focus on in navigating the changing payment environment? While Medicare’s path toward pay for performance (P4P) has evolved over time, 2015 is proving to be a landmark year. July marked the 50th anniversary of the Medicare program. And in self-described “historic announcements” earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and … Continue Reading

CMS Continues Its Focus on Quality Initiatives with the FY 2016 IPPS Final Rule

On July 31, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule (Final Rule) updating fiscal year (FY) 2016 Medicare payment policies and rates under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System. While many hospitals will see increased Medicare reimbursement rates based on … Continue Reading

Kane and the “60-Day Rule”: The Unforgiving World of Medicare and Medicaid Overpayments

The Southern District of New York has spoken on one of the first issues to confront those seeking compliance with the new “60-day rule” under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and it does not bode well for defendant hospitals and providers. On August 3, 2015, the district court in Kane v. Healthfirst, Inc., issued its … Continue Reading

CMS Releases CY 2016 OPPS Proposed Rule With Updates to Two-Midnight Rule and Other IPPS Proposals

On July 1, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the calendar year (CY) 2016 outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS)/ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system proposed rule that updates payment policies and rates for hospital outpatient departments and ASCs. The proposed rule also includes certain proposals relating to the hospital inpatient prospective … Continue Reading

HHS OIG Creates New Taskforce to Pursue Civil Monetary Penalties and Exclusions

If you have any questions concerning this article, please contact: B. Scott McBride at smcbride@bakerlaw.com or 713.646.1390; Greg Saikin at gsaikin@bakerlaw.com or 713.646.1399 from our Healthcare Investigation and Enforcement team; John J. Carney at jcarney@bakerlaw.com or 212.589.4255; George A. Stamboulidis at gstamboulidis@bakerlaw.com or 212.589.4211 from our White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations team; or Hilary … Continue Reading

New Data on Part D Prescription Drugs Available

On April 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made available a dataset that provides detailed information on medications that physicians and other healthcare providers prescribed under the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program in 2013. CMS intends for this dataset to provide “key information to consumers, providers, researchers, and other stakeholders … Continue Reading

Five Things to Know About the Medicare SGR Fix

H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), was signed into law by President Obama on April 16, 2015. A broad bipartisan compromise measure, MACRA repeals the much-maligned sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula used to determine physician payment rates and replaces it with a new incentive payment system; extends funding for the Children’s … Continue Reading

CMS Fines Insurer for Misleading Medicare Part D Beneficiaries

The federal agency that oversees Medicare’s prescription drug program has alleged that a major U.S. insurance company misled beneficiaries about the pharmacies included in the company’s drug plan, and imposed a $1 million fine. According to a civil monetary notice issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Aetna Inc. improperly reported that … Continue Reading

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Changes for 2016 Released

On February 6, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule regarding changes to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D to take effect in 2016. According to CMS, this final rule “implements statutory requirements, improves program efficiencies, strengthens beneficiary protections, clarifies program requirements, improves payment accuracy, and makes technical changes … Continue Reading

New Limitations on RAC Program

In March 2014, CMS temporarily suspended the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program until it secured new contracts. The contracts for the program expired in June 2014, and in August, CMS said that it would restart the program on a restricted basis under a new contract that allows recovery auditors to review a limited number of … Continue Reading

IRS Interim Guidance Creates New Category of Permissible Arrangements

Public Comments Due January 22, 2015 On October 24, 2014, the IRS issued Announcement 2014-67, which “amplifies” Rev. Proc. 97-13 regarding certain management contracts that do not result in private business use. Prior to this Announcement, Rev. Proc. 97-13 provided that a per-unit fee arrangement must not exceed three years and must be terminable, without … Continue Reading
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