Dorsey Health Law Blog

VA Proposed Rule Would Expand Telemedicine and Override State Licensure Barriers

Grace Fleming

On October 2, the Veterans Administration (VA) proposed a new rule that would expand access to quality care and availability of mental health, specialty, and general clinical care for VA beneficiaries through the use of telemedicine. In their proposed rule, the VA explains the difficulty it has faced attracting a sufficient number of providers to...

CMS To Expand Use of TPE Audits Nationwide by End of 2017

Neal N. Peterson

Perhaps lost amid the healthcare news coverage of competing proposals regarding “Medicare for All” and the repeal of Obamacare, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) last month announced the expansion of its Targeted Probe and Educate (“TPE”) claims review program to the entire country by the end of the year. CMS’s announcement can...

OIG issues Advisory Opinion on a Retail Pharmacy’s Paid Membership Program Which Includes Federal Health Care Program Beneficiaries

Nicole Burgmeier

On September 7, 2017, the OIG posted an advisory opinion regarding a retail pharmacy chain’s proposal to extend to federal health care program beneficiaries the option to participate in a paid membership program that includes discounts on certain prescriptions and clinical services offered by the retail chains’ pharmacies and in-store clinics.  Presently, the pharmacy chain’s...

State Scrutiny of Payments to Providers Growing in Response to Opioid Crisis

Grace Fleming

Several states have proposed and enacted new laws to address the opioid crisis, including laws that focus on reducing financial incentives that drug manufacturers can give to providers. Most recently, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie proposed a new regulation that would cap how much NJ prescribers can earn from drug companies at $10,000 per year. ...

Consultant found guilty of illegal kickbacks by “referring” doctors’ patients to another medical provider in exchange for remuneration

Alex Hontos

Under 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)(1)(A) it is a felony for a physician to solicit or receive a kickback “in return for referring” a Medicaid or Medicare patient to another medical provider. But as a recent decision by the Eighth Circuit in United States v. Iqbal demonstrates, physicians are not the only ones capable of making illegal...

Creation of Health Care Fraud Unit in Chicago and Recent “Takedown” Shows Continued Emphasis on Health Care Fraud Enforcement

Laura B. Morgan

On July 18, 2017, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois announced that it was creating a new unit located in Chicago within the office’s Criminal Division dedicated to prosecuting criminal health care fraud (the Health Care Fraud Unit). The office explained that it expected the unit, which will include five...

Opioid Epidemic Declared a National Emergency; Proposed Law Calls for Mandatory E-Prescribing of Controlled Substances to Curb Drug Abuse

Nicole Burgmeier

  Today, in a move that is widely supported by those in both political parties and across the country, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency.  Doing so will allow for additional resources to be used toward fighting the opioid crisis, which could include expanding treatment facilities and supplying first responders with the...

CMS’s 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule Would Slash Non-Excepted Provider-Based Department Payments

Benjamin Fee

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule on July 13, 2017. The proposed rule, among other things, proposes to cut Medicare payments for services provided at non-excepted, off-campus provider-based departments from 50% to 25% of the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) rate for the 2018...

Medicare Proposes Continued Relief for Critical Access and Rural Hospitals Through 2-Year Moratorium on Direct Supervision Requirements

Alissa Smith

On July 13, 2017, CMS released a proposed rule as part of its 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposals [available here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2017-14883.pdf] that is aimed at helping to reduce some of the burdens rural hospitals experience in recruiting physicians. Specifically, CMS proposes a two-year moratorium, for CY 2018 and CY 2019, on the direct supervision requirements...

New Medicare Proposals that Reduce Payment to Hospitals for 340B Drugs in 2018

Nicole Burgmeier

On July 13, 2017, CMS released several proposed rules impacting health care, including the 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) proposed rule [available here https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2017-14883.pdf] which, among other proposals, could have a significant impact on 340B covered entities.  The proposed rule states that CMS will change how Medicare pays hospitals that participate in the 340B...