Dorsey Health Law Blog

Significant Changes in Healthcare Laws Enacted Through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018: Stark, Civil and Criminal Penalties, Telehealth, ACOs and More

Benjamin Fee

Overview On February 9, President Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (“BBA”) into law. The BBA funds the federal government through March 23 and included a bipartisan agreement to increase annual spending authority for a two-year period. In addition, the legislation contains significant policy changes impacting Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health agencies....

How HHS’s New Division in the Office for Civil Rights Will Enforce Rights of Conscience and Religious Freedom

Aaron Mohr

    When the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), it framed a problem and a solution. The press release stated that “fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom” are not being fully enforced on...

Stark Law Reform a Focus of Recent Regulatory and Legislative Initiatives; 2018 DHS Code List and CPI-U Updates

Laura B. Morgan

Stark Law Reform Initiatives The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma recently identified federal physician self-referral law (or “Stark Law”) reform as a top policy priority and reported that an inter-agency group is being formed to review the law. Specifically, in a January 17 American Hospital Association Town Hall webcast focused...

Cap-Subject H-1B Visa Petitions to be filed on April 2, 2018

Rebecca Bernhard

The annual H-1B cap season will be opening April 2, 2018.  As usual, the application window period is 5 business days.  65,000 H-1B visas are allotted every year. An additional 20,000 visas are set aside for individuals with a U.S. Master’s or higher degree. In general, first time H-1B visa applicants, such as foreign students...

Two Recent Justice Department Memoranda May Have Significant Consequences for Pending and Future False Claims Act Enforcement

John Marti

In recent weeks, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued two memoranda that might change the calculus of False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases.  The memoranda at a minimum provide organizations with new—or at least invigorated—defenses to qui tam actions and civil enforcement matters. First, on January 10, Michael Granston, Director of DOJ’s Civil Frauds section,...

Applying Escobar’s Materiality Standard, Florida Federal Court Reverses $350 Million False Claims Act Verdict against a Nursing Home Operator

Alissa Smith

If the government does not take action and continues to pay for Medicare/Medicaid claims after it learns of non-compliance related to the claims, is the non-compliance material to the government’s decision to pay? This is a question being answered in the negative by courts across the country, who have concluded that the government (or a...

OIG Issues Favorable Advisory Opinion Addressing Gainsharing CMP Arrangement

Nicole Burgmeier

On January 5, 2018, the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG”) released a favorable Advisory Opinion 17-09 that addresses Section 1128A(b)(1) of the Social Security Act (the “Gainsharing CMP”) and Section 1128B(b) of the Social Security Act (the “Anti-Kickback Statute”) with respect to a cost-reduction...