Thomas Dowdell (US)

Subscribe to all posts by Thomas Dowdell (US)

COVID-19 Update: HHS Renews COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration

On October 2, 2020, Secretary Azar of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) renewed his public health emergency (“PHE”) declaration because of “the continued consequences” of the COVID-19 pandemic. This renewal will become effective on October 23, 2020 when the previous July 23 renewal was set to expire and will continue to January … Continue reading

CMS launches website intended to assist hospitals in complying with the price transparency requirements effective January 1, 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in its 2020 outpatient prospective payment system final rule requires hospitals to publicly post standard charge information beginning January 1, 2021. On September 30, CMS launched a website intended to assist hospitals in complying with the price transparency requirements. The website is available at link here. The website … Continue reading

CMS Withdraws Proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule

On Monday, September 14, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) Administrator Seema Verma announced on Twitter that CMS was withdrawing the proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (“MFAR”) from its regulatory agenda. The MFAR, which was proposed in November of 2019, would have added new reporting requirements for state governments to receive state … Continue reading

CMS Publishes Proposed Rule on Medicare Coverage for Innovative Technologies 

On September 1, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a proposed rule that would establish a new Medicare coverage pathway, Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (“MCIT”), for medical devices that are designated by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) as breakthrough devices. Under the proposed MCIT pathway, CMS would provide national … Continue reading

CMS Issues FY 2021 IPPS and LTCH PPS Final Rule

On Wednesday, September 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the FY 2021 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) final rule. The final rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on September 18 and most of its provisions will be effective … Continue reading

COVID-19 Update: CMS Updates Conditions of Participation for Hospitals and CAHs to Require COVID-19 Reporting

On Tuesday, August 25, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released an interim final rule that updates the Medicare Conditions of Participation to require all hospitals to which 42 CFR Part 482 applies, as well as critical access hospitals (“CAHs”), to electronically report information including the number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 … Continue reading

HHS Issues Proposed Rule on Good Guidance Practices

On August 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued a proposed rule that would impose requirements regarding the issuance and reliance on HHS guidance documents. This proposed rule results from the 2019 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Azar v. Allina Health Services (139 S. Ct. 1804). In this case the … Continue reading

Supreme Court to Hold Oral Arguments on Certain Republican States’ Challenge to the ACA on November 10

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on certain red states’ challenge to the Affordable Care Act on November 10, one week after the November 3 presidential election, according to the court’s online docket released on Wednesday, August 19.  The central argument in the case is whether the entire ACA is invalid without a … Continue reading

CMS Publishes CY 2021 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System Proposed Rule

On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published the calendar year (“CY”) 2021 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (“OPPS”) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (“ASC”) Payment System proposed rule. The proposed rule would increase hospital Medicare OPPS payment rates by 2.6 percent and ASC payment rates by 2.6 percent … Continue reading

CMS Publishes CY 2021 Proposed Policy, Payment, and Quality Provision Changes to Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On Monday, August 3, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the CY 2021 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) proposed rule. We describe certain material provisions from the proposed rule below. Telehealth CMS proposes to add services to the Medicare telehealth list on a Category 1 basis.  The additional services include group psychotherapy, … Continue reading

President Trump unveils executive orders on lowering drug prices

On Friday, July 24, 2020, President Trump issued three executive orders, and announced a potential fourth executive order, with the stated intention of lowering the cost of prescription drugs in the United States. The general consensus among legal commentators is that the executive orders are not self-executing and implementation of the policies therein will, therefore, … Continue reading

Court of Appeals Upholds HHS Site-Neutral Payment Cuts to Off-Campus Provider Based Departments

On Friday, July 17, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found in favor of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) by holding that Medicare Part B payment cuts to certain services provided to Medicare beneficiaries in off-campus provider-based departments (“PBDs”) are within the agency’s statutory authority. More specifically, … Continue reading

CMS Administrator Publishes Blog Post on Expansion of Medicare Telehealth Services

On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Seema Verma, published a blog post on the Health Affairs Blog discussing CMS’ efforts to expand telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic and reviewing the potential of adopting some flexibilities as permanent measures. Historically Medicare has covered telehealth … Continue reading

COVID-19 Update: CMS releases guide encouraging patients to seek in-person healthcare

On Tuesday, June 9, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released a guide for patients who are considering their in-person care options following certain healthcare facilities re-opening for all medical services. As COVID-19 cases decline in some areas of the country, CMS created this guide to give patients recommendations, and to help … Continue reading

CMS Announces COVID-19 Adjustments for CMMI Models

On June 3, 2020, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) Administrator Seema Verma announced adjustments to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (“CMMI”) models in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Despite the accommodations being provided, Administrator Verma praised value-based incentives in a Health Affairs blog post, stating that “[t]hese models are … Continue reading

CMS Proposed Rule Includes Significant Changes to Medicare GME Funding

On May 11, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system (PPS) proposed rule. We previously reported on the hospital IPPS and LTCH PPS proposed changes. See link here . In this rulemaking, … Continue reading

CMS Issues FY 2021 Hospital IPPS and LTCH PPS Proposed Rule

On May 11, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system (PPS) proposed rule. Under the proposed rule Medicare IPPS payment rates would increase an estimated net 3.1 percent for hospitals that successfully … Continue reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules that the Federal Government “Shall” Pay Health Insurers $12 Billion Under the Risk Corridors Program

On Monday, April 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in an 8-1 decision, that the federal government is required to pay health insurers $12 billion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) risk corridors program. Background of the Case Congress in the ACA created three premium stabilization programs to support insurers during … Continue reading

COVID-19 Update: HRSA holds a webinar on its COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal

On Thursday, April 30, 2020, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) held a webinar on its COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal. On the webinar, HRSA and UnitedHealth Group employees explained that providers can begin using the Portal to be reimbursed for COVID-19 testing or treatment that has been provided to uninsured individuals in the U.S. … Continue reading

CMS Issues Second Round of Regulatory Waivers and Rule Changes

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an additional round of regulatory waivers and rule changes to support the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The changes include new rules to expand COVID-19 diagnostic testing, increase care capacity and the healthcare workforce, and further promote telehealth services. Medicare no longer requires an … Continue reading

CMS Pauses Accelerated and Advanced Payments Programs

CMS announced on Sunday, April 26, that it is suspending payments under the Advanced Payments Program to Part B suppliers immediately and reevaluating payment amounts under the Accelerated Payment Program.  The Accelerated and Advanced Payments Programs enable Medicare providers and suppliers to receive advance Medicare payments and address cash flow issues during a disruption in … Continue reading

HHS Releases Information on Remaining CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payments

On April 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (“HHS”) announced how the remaining $70 billion of CARES Act funds in the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (“Relief Fund”) will be distributed.  HHS explained that $50 billion of the Relief Fund is allocated for general distribution.  Between April 10 and … Continue reading
LexBlog