Thomas Dowdell (US)

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US regulators to align key health care regulations with transformation to value-based care system; CMS and OIG propose major overhaul of Stark Law and AKS regulations

On October 9, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued two sweeping proposals aimed at revising the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) regulations to adapt to and promote the US health care system’s transformation to value-based payment … Continue reading

U.S. District Court vacates CY 2019 OPPS final rule reducing Medicare payment rates for evaluation and management services furnished in hospital excepted off-campus provider-based departments

On September 17, United States District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled that CMS in its CY 2019 OPPS final rule reducing Medicare payment rates for evaluation and management (E/M) services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries in hospital excepted off-campus hospital provider-based departments exceeded its statutory authority and … 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

CMS Publishes FY 2020 Medicare Hospital 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 Care 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, … Continue reading

CMS Publishes FY 2020 Final Rules for Inpatient Psychiatric Facility PPS and Skilled Nursing Facility PPS

On July 30, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published two federal fiscal year 2020 final rules: (i) inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPFs) prospective payment system (PPS) and quality reporting updates; and (ii) skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) PPS and consolidated billing, including updates to the quality reporting program and value-based purchasing program.… Continue reading

CMS Publishes CY 2020 Proposed Rules for Hospital OPPS and ASC, MPFS, and ESRD and DMEPOS Policies and Payments

On July 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published three proposed rules for Calendar Year (CY) 2020: Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Proposed Rule; Proposed Policy, Payment, and Quality Provisions Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS); and End State Renal Disease … 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

CMS publishes draft “Guidance for Hospital Co-location with Other Hospitals or Healthcare Facilities”

On May 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its long-awaited draft “Guidance for Hospital Co-location with Other Hospitals or Healthcare Facilities.”  The draft guidance is specific to compliance with the general Conditions of Participation for hospitals (CoPs) and does not address the specific location and separateness requirements that apply to other … Continue reading

CMS publishes 2020 IPPS and LTCH Proposed Rule

On Tuesday, April 23, 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 Proposed Rule and Request for Information.  The proposed rule is available here.  A CMS Fact Sheet describing the final rule … Continue reading

CMS rings in the new year with overhaul of MSSP ACOs

On December 21, 2018, CMS issued a mammoth 957 page “Pathways to Success” final rule, which overhauls shared savings/losses tracks for Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (MSSP ACOs) to push ACOs into shared risk models more quickly, among other program changes. Largely consistent with the proposed rule as we summarized here, the final … Continue reading

CMS significantly expands its Medicare site-neutral payment policy

We previously summarized certain provisions of CMS’s CY 2019 OPPS/ASC final rule published on November 2. See here. In this final rule CMS significantly expands its Medicare site-neutral payment policy beginning January 1, 2019. As we previously described, CMS did not finalize its proposal that an excepted off-campus provider-based department (PBD) will be paid under … Continue reading

CMS publishes CY 2019 changes to hospital outpatient prospective payment and ambulatory surgical center payment systems and quality reporting programs final rule

On November 2, CMS published its CY 2019 hospital outpatient prospective payment and ambulatory surgical center payment systems and quality reporting programs final rule. In the final rule CMS implements its proposal to pay clinic visit services performed in excepted off-campus provider-based departments (PBDs) a Medicare Physician Fee Schedule – equivalent payment rate. These services … Continue reading

CMS publishes CY 2019 Home Health and Home Infusion Therapy final rule

Earlier this summer the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its Calendar Year (CY) 2019 home health agency (HHA) and home infusion therapy supplier payment updates proposed rule. On October 31, CMS published its CY 2019 final rule, which alters Medicare quality and payment reporting processes for HHAs under the Home Health Prospective … Continue reading

CMS proposes significant Medicare OPPS and ASC payment system changes for 2019

On July 25, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published its 2019 Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system proposed rule.  A fact sheet describing the proposed rule is available here. The proposed rule can be accessed here. CMS proposes to update hospital OPPS payment rates … Continue reading

GAO releases report on the differences between 340B and non-340B hospitals

On June 18, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the 340B program, entitled “Drug Discount Program: Characteristics of Hospitals Participating and Not Participating in the 340B Program.” The 340B Drug Discount Program requires drug manufacturers to provide discounts on outpatient drugs to certain categories of eligible hospitals. Hospitals that serve … Continue reading

CMS issues CY 2019 home health proposed rule

On July 12, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its calendar year (CY) 2019 proposed rule for Medicare payment updates and proposed quality reporting changes for home health agencies (HHA) under the home health prospective payment system (HH PPS). CMS proposes certain changes to Medicare payment and quality reporting standards for … Continue reading

House Subcommittee on Health holds hearing on 340B program

On July 11, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on the 340B program, entitled “Opportunities to Improve the 340B Drug Pricing Program.” In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess (R-TX) stated that it is reasonable to review the 340B program because healthcare has “evolved significantly” since … Continue reading

Status of Medicaid reform in Kentucky, Mississippi and Maine

On January 11, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a letter to State Medicaid Directors that signaled their support of section 1115 demonstration projects that include work or community engagement requirements, as previously summarized in the Health Law Pulse. CMS prompted State Medicaid Directors to respond to this letter with proposals … Continue reading

Coalition of conservative groups release outline of plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act

On June 19, the Health Policy Consensus Group, a coalition of conservative groups including the Heritage Foundation, the Galen Institute and the Hoover Institution, released an outline of a new proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The plan is similar to the Graham-Cassidy bill that Congress failed to enact last year.  … Continue reading

MedPAC recommends to Congress a 30 percent reduction in Medicare payment rates for services provided in certain hospital off-campus emergency departments

In its June 2018 Report to the Congress the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommends that Congress reduce Medicare Type A emergency department payment rates by 30 percent for services furnished in hospital off-campus emergency departments that are located within six miles of a hospital on-campus emergency department.  MedPAC also recommends that Congress should enable … Continue reading

Budget Act codifies Stark liberalizations

As we previously reported, on February 9, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (the “Act”) and President Trump subsequently signed the bill into law.  Section 50404 of the Act includes several amendments to the Stark Law.  Specifically, Section 50404 endorses recent liberalizations of the Stark Law requirements … Continue reading

US Congress agrees to and President Trump signs budget deal that includes health care provisions

Early this morning, Friday, February 9, the US Senate voted 71 – 28 to approve a budget proposal.  Subsequently, the House of Representatives passed by a 240 – 186 vote the budget package and President Trump has signed the bill into law.  The legislation reportedly:  (i) funds federal agencies until March 23; (ii) includes US$89.3 … Continue reading

U.S. Senate passes tax bill eliminating penalties for failure to comply with ACA individual health insurance mandate

On December 2, the U.S. Senate passed a tax bill by a 51-49 vote.  The legislation would not repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual health insurance mandate but instead would eliminate tax penalties for con-compliance with the mandate.  Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) announced her support for the bill in a press release in which … Continue reading
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