Category: Medicare / Medicaid

A Massive Number of New Health Law Regulatory Proposals as Part of the “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care”: Proposed Changes to the Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, Beneficiary Inducement CMP, Privacy Laws Governing Substance Use Disorder Records, and the Stark Law Advisory Opinion Process

Laura B. Morgan

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) each released their long-anticipated proposed rules to revise the federal self-referral law (or “Stark Law”) regulations, the safe harbors under the federal anti-kickback statute (AKS), and the civil monetary penalty law (CMP)...

At Long Last, CMS Issues Proposed Guidance on Hospital Co-Locations

Alissa Smith

For years, CMS has informally applied restrictions for hospitals which share space, equipment, staff or services in the same physical location (i.e., “co-locate”) with other hospitals or health care entities.  Although these sub-regulatory interpretations by CMS were not formal guidance, the penalties were so severe that many hospitals unwound the co-location or shared services arrangements...

CMS’s New “Primary Cares Initiative” Places Primary Care at the Center of the Shift to Value-Based Care

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On April 22, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced two sweeping new payment innovation models under the Primary Cares Initiatives. The models will seek to incentivize primary care and other providers to take on greater responsibility and risk for the lives of covered beneficiaries. Both new models are scheduled to be...

CMS Continues Expansion of Supplemental Benefits in Medicare Advantage Plans

Aaron Mohr

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced increased flexibility for Medicare Advantage health insurance plans to offer supplemental benefits (those benefits not covered under Medicare Parts A or B). Beginning in 2020, Medicare Advantage plans may offer chronically ill enrollees supplemental benefits that are not necessarily health-related but are reasonably expected...

CMS “Actively Working” on Stark Law Reforms to be Issued Later this Year; “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care” Continues

Laura B. Morgan

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is “actively working” on updates to regulations under the federal physician self-referral law (or “Stark Law”), according to CMS Administrator Seema Verma during a March 4, 2019 speech. Verma stated that the updated regulations will be issued later this year, and “will represent the most significant changes...

New Transportation Model Creates Value-Based Care Payment Opportunities for Ambulance Providers and Suppliers

Randall Hanson

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (“CMS Innovation Center”) issued a press release on February 14, 2019, announcing the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport Model (the “ET3”). The ET3 is a five-year payment model that will test two new Medicare ambulance supplier and provider payments for: Treatment...

Drug Rebates Threatened Under Proposed Anti-kickback Rule

Benjamin Fee

The Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG”) released a proposed rule to eliminate safe harbor protection under the anti-kickback statute for drug price reductions that pharmaceutical manufacturers pay to Medicare and Medicaid plan sponsors and their pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”). The OIG proposed replacing the current safe harbor...

Changes to Medicare Advantage Risk Adjustment Model Proposed to Phase-In Beginning 2020

Neal N. Peterson

On December 20, 2018, CMS announced the first part of its two-part advance notice to implement changes to the Medicare Advantage (“MA”) risk adjustment methodology for 2020 (the “Advance Notice”), which can be found here. A key element of the CMS proposal in the Advance Notice is to incorporate into the risk adjustment methodology the...

“Pathways to Success” – CMS Finalizes Overhaul of National ACO Program

Alex Stoflet

On December 21, 2018, CMS announced a final rule, subsequently published in the December 31 issue of the federal register, significantly overhauling the Medicare Shared Savings Program (“MSSP”). Among the important changes in the final rule is a redesign of MSSP’s participation options. Under MSSP, providers of services and suppliers participating in an Accountable Care...