Jeff Wurzburg (US)

Subscribe to all posts by Jeff Wurzburg (US)

HHS Memorandum Addresses Implications of Allina Decision

On November 21, an internal HHS memorandum addressed to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Principal Deputy Administrator Demetrios Kouzoukas entitled “Impact of Allina on Medicare Payment Rules” became publicly available.  The memorandum addresses the HHS Office of the General Counsel’s (OGC) “views on the impact of Azar v. Allina Health Services, 139 S. … Continue reading

CMS Publishes CY 2020 OPPS & ASC Price Transparency Requirements Final Rule and Transparency in Coverage Proposed Rule

On November 15, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Calendar Year (CY) 2020 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) & Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Price Transparency Requirements for Hospitals to Make Standard Changes Public final rule and the Transparency in Coverage proposed rule. CMS intends through this rulemaking to increase price transparency … Continue reading

CMS Proposes Major Changes in Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule

On November 12, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule for public inspection entitled Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation. CMS states that the intent of the proposed rule is to ensure that state supplemental payments and financing arrangements under the Medicaid program are consistent with federal statutory requirements. In a … Continue reading

CMS Releases Final Rule on CY 2020 Physician Fee Schedule Updates and Implements Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Programs

On November 1, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that updates the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) rates and policies for calendar year (CY) 2020 and expands Medicare coverage to opioid treatment programs (OTPs) that treat beneficiaries with opioid use disorder (OUD). In a fact sheet accompanying the … Continue reading

CY 2020 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System Final Rule

On November 1, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its CY 2020 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System final rule.  The final rule implements a number of significant changes to payment policies and rates for services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries in hospital outpatient … Continue reading

U.S. District Court Upholds Ruling that CMS Exceeded Its Statutory Authority in Reducing Medicare Payments for Clinic Visit Evaluation and Management Services Furnished in Hospital Excepted Off-Campus Provider-Based Departments

On October 21, 2019, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer denied the government’s request to modify the Court’s previous ruling on September 17, 2019, that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) exceeded its statutory authority when it reduced Medicare payment rates for clinic visit evaluation and management (E&M) services provided to Medicare patients … Continue reading

Republican Study Committee Releases Affordable Care Act Replacement plan

The Republican Party will soon be the party of health care. You watch. -President Donald J. Trump, March 23, 2019 Opening with the above quote from President Trump, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) released the first part of its healthcare plan entitled: A Framework for Personalized, Affordable Care. An accompanying press release from the RSC … Continue reading

CMS requests comments on the use of new technologies in the Medicare and Medicaid programs

On Monday, October 21, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted a request for information (RFI) soliciting comments on the use of new technologies in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In a blog post accompanying the release of the RFI, CMS Administrator Seema Verma referenced the Government Accountability Office’s designation of “Medicare … Continue reading

Medicaid Update: D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Reviews CMS Approval of Medicaid Work and Community Engagement Eligibility Requirements

Today, October 11, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is hearing oral arguments in Stewart v. Azar (Case No. 19-5095), an appeal from the federal district court’s rulings invalidating three prior approvals of Section 1115 Waivers in Kentucky and Arkansas that would have implemented work and community engagement requirements as … Continue reading

The Joint Commission releases sentinel event statistics for first six Months of 2019

On August 14, 2019 The Joint Commission (TJC) released sentinel event statistics for the first half of 2019, which included 426 events.  83% of the events were voluntarily self-reported by an accredited or certified organization.  The five most frequently reported sentinel events were: Unintended retention of a foreign body part – 60 Wrong-site surgery – … Continue reading

CMS releases FY 2020 IPPS and LTCH PPS final rule

On August 2, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS) final rule (CMS-1716-F). The final rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on August 16, 2019. … Continue reading

The Joint Commission Issues Sentinel Event Alert on Direct Oral Anticoagulants

On July 30, 2019, The Joint Commission (TJC) issued Sentinel Event Alert 61: Managing the risks of direct oral anticoagulants (“DOACs”).  The alert may be found here.  According to TJC, “anticoagulants have been named second of the top medications involved in error incidents causing death or serious harm.”  Because there are not FDA-approved reversal agents … Continue reading

MEDICAID UPDATE: New Hampshire Work Requirements Vacated / Utah’s Partial Expansion Request

New Hampshire “We’ve all seen this movie before” – Judge James Boasberg, Philbrick v. Azar On July 29 HHS approval of work and community engagement requirements as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid was again found to be arbitrary and capricious.  This time Judge James Boasberg ruled that New Hampshire’s efforts to impose work requirements … Continue reading

Allina Update: Supreme Court holds Medicare statute requires notice and comment for DSH payment change

In a decision with potentially far reaching implications for Medicare hospital reimbursement, on June 3  the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-1 against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) in Azar v. Allina Health Services.   The Court affirmed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decision that vacated a rate calculation … Continue reading

Texas Attorney General addresses prompt pay requirements for out-of-network emergency services

An Attorney General Opinion (KP-0250) released on May 22 provides that a court would likely find that the deadline provisions in the Texas Insurance Code applicable to Health Maintenance Organizations (“HMOs”) and Preferred Provider Organizations (“PPOs”) relating to prompt payment apply to out-of-network emergency care providers, while the penalty provisions contained do not apply to … Continue reading

MEDICAID ALERT: Work and community engagement requirements blocked by federal court

“As Opening Day arrives, the Court finds its guiding principle in Yogi Berra’s aphorism, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”” – Judge James Boasberg, Gresham v. Azar. On March 27, United States District Court for the District of Columbia Judge James Boasberg ruled that Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Azar’s approval of work … Continue reading

The Joint Commission releases sentinel events for 2018

On March 13, 2019, The Joint Commission released Sentinel Event statistics for 2018.  There were 801 sentinel events in 2018, with 87% being voluntarily self-reported.  According to the Joint Commission, it is estimated that less than 2 percent of all sentinel events are reported.  The Joint Commission defines a sentinel event as: Any unexpected occurrence … Continue reading

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation announces emergency transportation model

On February 14, 2019, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) announced the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model that aims to transform the ambulance system.  Medicare-enrolled ambulance service suppliers and hospital-owned ambulance providers will participate in the model.   CMMI believes this model will improve quality and lower costs by reducing hospitalizations and … Continue reading

FDA publishes new 510(K) guidance

On January 22, 2019, the FDA released nonbinding guidance expanding the Abbreviated 510(k) program used to show the safety and efficacy of medical devices.  A new “safety and performance-based pathway” for certain, well understood device types, may be used by manufacturers to demonstrate substantial equivalency to devices already on the market. Under the 510(k) process, … Continue reading

Hospital alert: CMS hospital transparency requirements in effect January 1, 2019

On January 1, 2019, all hospitals are required to make public a list of their standard charges.  As a reminder, Section 2718(e) of the Public Health Service Act, as enacted by the Affordable Care Act, requires: “each hospital operating within the United States” to “make public (in accordance with guidelines developed by the Secretary) a … Continue reading

Judge declares ACA unconstitutional

On Friday, December 14, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court in the Northern District of Texas issued a declaratory judgment holding the shared responsibility provision (also referred to as the “Individual Mandate”), and with it, the entire Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), to be unconstitutional. The case is Texas v. United States and California … Continue reading

Medicaid update: CMS again approves Kentucky HEALTH Medicaid demonstration

On November 20, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) again approved the Kentucky HEALTH 1115 demonstration.  Kentucky HEALTH  was the first Section 1115 demonstration that CMS approved with a work and community engagement requirement as a condition of eligibility for coverage under Medicaid.  The demonstration requires certain Medicaid beneficiaries to engage in … Continue reading

CMS publishes CY 2019 physician fee schedule final rule

On November 2, 2018, CMS published its CY 2019 physician fee schedule final rule.  The final rule implements a number of significant changes to the way practitioners receive reimbursement for items and services provided to Medicare beneficiaries, including: Eliminating the requirement for a practitioner to document the medical necessity of a home visit in lieu … Continue reading
LexBlog