Tagged: Medicare

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...

DOJ Levels False Claims Act at Pharmacies to Combat Opioid Crisis

John Marti

This month the Department of Justice rough a “first of its kind” action against two pharmacies, their owner, and three pharmacists for allegedly dispensing and billing Medicare for prescriptions in violation of both the Controlled Substances Act and the False Claims Act. For more on information on this, visit our FCA Now blog, linked here:...

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...

“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...

CMS Finalizes Site-Neutral Payments for Hospital Outpatient Clinics; Legal Battle with Hospitals Looms

Aaron Mohr

On Friday, November 2, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued its calendar year 2019 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (“OPPS”) and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System final rule. Despite significant resistance and concerns from hospitals, CMS finalized its proposed site-neutral payment policy for clinic visit services provided at off-campus provider-based...

CMS Proposed Rule to Require Drug Pricing Transparency

Randall Hanson

On October 18, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) proposed a new rule (“Proposal”) that would require direct-to-consumer (“DTC”) television advertisements of prescription drugs paid for by Medicare or Medicaid to include the drug’s wholesale acquisition cost (“List Price”). The Proposal comes as part of the current administration’s promise and attempt to...

President Trump Signs Federal “Gag Order” Pharmacy Bills

Nicole Burgmeier

Today, President Trump signed into law two bills that have gained bipartisan support including the “Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018” and the “Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act”. Together, these two bills ban “gag order” clauses in contracts for Medicare and Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries and commercial employer-based and individual insurance policies. “Gag...

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)...