Category: Healthcare Payment and Reimbursement

Calls for Modernizing the Stark Law Continue; CMS Seeks Public Input on Stark Law Reforms

Laura B. Morgan

Many regulatory and legislative calls for modernizing the federal physician self-referral law (or “Stark Law”) in light of the move to value-based payment under Medicare have been made in recent months.  Most recently, a hearing on “Modernizing the Stark Law to Ensure the Successful Transition from Volume to Value in the Medicare Program” took place...

CMS Expands Health Related Supplemental Benefits in Medicare Advantage Plans

Aaron Mohr

Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced new flexibility in what Medicare Advantage plans may cover as “supplemental health care benefits.” The announcement was part of CMS’ release of Calendar Year 2019 Medicare Advantage and Part D Rate Announcement and Call Letter. The Medicare Managed Care Manual (Chapter 4, Section 30.1)...

FDA Chief and HHS Secretary Cite Prescription Drug Prices as Top Priorities for Agencies; President Trump Scheduled to Speak on Issue on May 11, 2018.

Nicole Burgmeier

All eyes are on the federal government as top officials have recently signaled upcoming actions which could impact the prices of prescription drugs. In the past two weeks, leaders from both the FDA and HHS have made statements signaling that the agencies are focused on reducing prescription drug prices. In remarks at the Food and...

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....

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...

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...

CMS continues to tinker with new physician Quality Payment Program created by MACRA

Benjamin Fee

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an advanced copy of its latest proposed rule revising the Quality Payment Program created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The proposed rule, among other things, would further streamline reporting requirements and ease administrative burdens for small and rural providers. By...

Expected Executive Order to take on High Drug Prices; Senate Committee Hears Recommendations on Drug Supply Chain from Experts

Nicole Burgmeier

According to an article posted today on the BioCentury website, the Trump administration is drafting an executive order that will take on the high costs of pharmaceuticals by instructing “executive agencies to use value-based contracts for drug purchases, and to pursue trade policies that enhance the intellectual property rights of American pharmaceutical companies.” This is...

OIG Announces Drug Pricing and Reimbursement Web Portfolio

Nicole Burgmeier

On February 17, 2017 the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) posted a Drug Pricing and Reimbursement Web portfolio on its website that, according to the OIG announcement, “pulls together the HHS OIG’s body of work since 2010 as well as other relevant items that relate to drug pricing and reimbursement in HHS programs.” The...

CMS Finalizes Payment Changes for Off-Campus Provider-Based Departments

Benjamin Fee

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2017 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System Final Rule (Final Rule) on Tuesday. The Final Rule implements section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 relating to payment for items and services furnished by certain off-campus provider-based departments...