Following on the heels of its plans to review Medicare payments for telehealth services, the federal Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) just announced a new project to review state Medicaid payments for telemedicine and other remote services. Accordingly, providers who bill state Medicaid programs for telemedicine, telehealth, or remote patient monitoring services may expect to have those claims reviewed to confirm payment was correctly made in accordance with the conditions for coverage. The project will be added to the OIG’s 2017 Work Plan.
When we launched Foley’s inaugural Telemedicine and Digital Health Survey in 2014, it was apparent that health care executives weren’t ready to make telemedicine a significant focus of their business and patient strategies. The interest was there but, despite tremendous technological breakthroughs and imaginative applications, most telemedicine programs were in the early stages and there was little acceptance by the broader health care community.
In a striking blow to 340B hospitals, the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) rule adopting its earlier proposal to significantly reduce Medicare reimbursement for separately payable outpatient drugs purchased by hospitals under the 340B program. The final rule confirms that CMS will drop the reimbursement rate from the average sales price (ASP) plus 6 percent to ASP minus 22.5 percent. The payment changes are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2018.
On November 2, 2017, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” was introduced in the House of Representatives. This act has immediate and far-reaching implications for tax-exempt finance.
Among other things, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would:
- Repeal the authority to issue “qualified private activity bonds” after December 31, 2017. These bonds generally include all tax-exempt bonds that are not “governmental bonds,” and include tax-exempt bonds issued for the benefit of 501(c)(3) organizations and many other types of tax-exempt bonds.
- Repeal the authority to issue advance refunding bonds after December 31, 2017. The repeal applies to advance refundings of governmental bonds as well as bonds issued for the benefit of 501(c)(3) organizations.
- Repeal the authority to issue tax-exempt bonds for professional sports stadiums after November 2, 2017.
- Repeal the authority to issue “tax credit bonds” after December 31, 2017. This repeal concerns a much more limited type of special tax-advantaged bonds.
For the second year in a row, Foley & Lardner LLP was named the Outstanding Committee Sponsor of the Year Award by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) for Foley’s work on behalf of the ACC’s national Health Law Committee. Attorneys Alan Einhorn and Jana Anderson, Foley’s liaisons to the Health Law Committee, were presented with the Award on October 15th at the ACC’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes a firm that has provided exceptional support to an ACC committee, including assistance with the committee’s quality of programs and development, and assistance in helping the committee achieve its goals.