Category Archives: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

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CMS Proposes Changes to Lower Drug Prices

pharmacy
On November 30, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published 83 Fed. Reg. 62152, which proposes changes to Medicare Part D (prescription drug benefit) and drug plans offered by Medicare Advantage (managed care) in an effort to reduce out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries. The proposed rule is part of the Trump Administration’s  four … Continue reading this entry

Off-Campus Hospital Outpatient Departments Take Another Hit in CMS Final Rule

On November 2, 2018, CMS released an on-line display copy of its Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) Final Rule implementing payment changes effective January 1, 2019. The official Federal Issuance is expected on November 21, 2018.  One anticipated set of changes in the Final Rule is related to off-campus outpatient hospital departments (OCODPs).… Continue reading this entry

Some Helpful Managed Care Guidance Provided in Advisory Opinion 18-11

Granston Memo
Practitioners in the Medicare or Medicaid managed care space place heavy reliance on the protection of the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) Safe Harbor found at 42 C.F.R. § 1001.952(t), generally known as the “EMCO [eligible managed care organization] Safe Harbor,” as they look at incentive arrangements between providers and managed care plans. Although the language of … Continue reading this entry

Understanding Medicare’s New Remote Evaluation of Pre-Recorded Patient Information (Asynchronous Telemedicine)

medicaid
Starting January 1, 2019, the Medicare program will cover certain medical services delivered via asynchronous telemedicine technologies. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just published the final rule for the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule, introducing a new code, officially titled “Remote Evaluation of Pre-Recorded Patient Information” (HCPCS code G2010). This article provides the … Continue reading this entry

Top 10 FAQs on Medicare’s Virtual Check-In Codes: The New Brief Communication Technology-Based Service

medicaid
Telemedicine providers rejoice: Medicare will cover new virtual care services starting January 1, 2019.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just published the final rule for the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule, introducing a new code: Virtual Check-Ins, officially titled “Brief Communication Technology-Based Service” (HCPCS code G2012).  This article discusses the new code and … Continue reading this entry

Medicare Remote Patient Monitoring Reimbursement FAQs:   Everything You Need to Know About Chronic Care Remote Physiologic Monitoring Codes 

monitoring
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is the next big thing in medical care; patients just don’t know it yet.  And, it seems, neither do many physicians.  On Thursday, CMS published the final rule on its new RPM codes, officially titled “Chronic Care Remote Physiologic Monitoring.”  There are three new RPM codes, all of which will go live starting January 1, 2019.  These codes … Continue reading this entry

Health Care Policy Happenings - October 1 - 5, 2018

Public Affairs
In case you missed it, here are some key health care policy headlines from the past week. Congress Legislation and Committee Activity Alexander: Senate Sends Opioids Legislation Called “Landmark” by Leader McConnell  to President – On Wednesday, the U.S.  Senate passed by a vote of 98-1, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, sponsored by … Continue reading this entry

Proposed Overhaul to the Medicare Shared Savings Program Would Mean More Risk for ACOs

hospital staff
On August 9, 2018, CMS introduced a proposed rule that would substantially overhaul the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), requiring Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that participate in the MSSP to accept some downside risk and tightening other requirements to increase program integrity. At the same time, the proposed rule would allow ACOs increased flexibility in … Continue reading this entry

CMS Continues to Tighten the Belt on Hospital Off-Campus Provider-Based Departments

hospital
Hospitals with off-campus provider-based departments (PBDs) may want to rethink their end of summer vacation plans in order to focus on a recent slate of proposed regulations from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that seek to rein in Medicare reimbursement for outpatient hospital services – including at excepted/grandfathered off-campus locations.… Continue reading this entry

When Is Compensation Unreasonable?

cardiologist
Just what is reasonable compensation in the Medicare world is not a clearly defined, black and white concept. Instead, it is somewhat in the eye of the beholder, with the parties to each situation where that is an issue seeking to reach out for third party support for their conclusions. But sometimes when the government … Continue reading this entry

Health Care Information Exchanges and Price Transparency Initiatives: CMS Requests Input from Providers

data mining
On July 12, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule introducing changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule, and soliciting comments from providers on CMS data sharing initiatives.  In the proposed rule, CMS requests comments on methods to promote the exchange of health care information between health care providers, … Continue reading this entry

Medicare Proposes (and Rejects) New Telehealth Services for 2019

The telemedicine industry was pleased to learn CMS recently proposed adding new services to its list of Medicare-covered telehealth services.  But what may be more interesting are the services CMS declined to add, and why.  This article summarizes the newly-proposed additions as well as the services CMS rejected, explores some reasons for CMS’ decisions, and … Continue reading this entry

340B: DC Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Challenge to 2018 Reimbursement Cuts for 340B Hospitals; New Cuts Already Being Proposed by CMS for 2019

On Tuesday, July 17, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ended a challenge brought by hospitals and hospital associations to the nearly 28 percent reimbursement cuts for 340B hospitals under the Medicare program. The payment cuts were finalized in the calendar year (CY) 2018 Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System … Continue reading this entry

CMS Proposes to Ever-So-Slightly Expand Stark Law Exceptions for Compensation Arrangements

The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) proposes to revise regulations issued pursuant to the Federal physician self-referrals Statute (Stark Law) to harmonize the regulations with the newly enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-123, enacted on February 9, 2018).… Continue reading this entry

Medicare’s New Chronic Care Remote Physiologic Monitoring Codes: Everything You Need to Know

remote monitoring
Earlier this year, in a first-of-its-kind move, CMS made remote patient monitoring (RPM) a separately-reimbursable service under Medicare.  Now, CMS has proposed three new codes for RPM services, retitled “Chronic Care Remote Physiologic Monitoring,” which do a far better job reflecting how providers can more effectively and efficiently use RPM technology to monitor and manage … Continue reading this entry

CMS Recoupment Efforts Stopped by Court While Overpayment Appeals Are Pending

Overpayment
Providers and suppliers who have been assessed overpayments for Medicare services are entitled, by statute, to a stay of recoupment while the provider or supplier’s appeal is pending – but only at the first two levels of administrative appeal. If both appeals are unfavorable to the provider or supplier, the next step is an appeal … Continue reading this entry

Health Care Policy Newsletter

Foley & Lardner LLP’s (“Foley”) Bipartisan Public Policy Team is pleased to share our “Public Policy Weekly* Health Care Newsletter” in which we compile the latest Health Care policy news and legislation. *Please note that we publish this newsletter only when Congress is in session.… Continue reading this entry

New Demonstration Program Would Reward Clinicians for Accepting Risk in Medicare Advantage

government building
CMS recently announced that it wants to launch a new demonstration program, the Medicare Advantage Qualifying Payment Arrangement Incentive (MAQI) Demonstration. If approved and adopted as a demonstration project, the MAQI Demonstration would waive Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) requirements for clinicians who participate sufficiently in qualifying risk programs of Medicare Advantage plans by making … Continue reading this entry

Health Care Policy Newsletter

Foley & Lardner LLP’s (“Foley”) Bipartisan Public Policy Team is pleased to share our “Public Policy Weekly* Health Care Newsletter” in which we compile the latest Health care policy news and legislation. *Please note that we publish this newsletter only when Congress is in session.… Continue reading this entry

Direct Provider Contract Alternative Payment Model - CMS/CMMI Issues Request for Information

sign
On April 23, 2018, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation issued a Request for Information (the RFI) on a direct provider contracting model for primary care. The RFI seeks input on how direct provider contracting between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and physicians or physician group practices may be designed and … Continue reading this entry