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Health Care Policy Newsletter

Policy
Foley’s Bipartisan Public Policy Team  is pleased to share our “Public Policy 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

The VA Mission Act of 2018 and Potential Opportunities for Providers

Veterans
After a concerted effort, the bipartisan bill to reform the way care is delivered to Veterans has been signed into law. While there are a number of significant reforms, perhaps none are so critical as those related to the ability of Covered Veterans (the Veteran)  to receive their care outside of the current VA system, … Continue reading this entry

Telemedicine Prescribing of Controlled Substances: the Dark Side of the New Congressional Bill

FDA
Congress has taken another step forward to require the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to activate a special registration allowing physicians and nurse practitioners to prescribe controlled substances via telemedicine without an in-person exam. The House Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee approved the Special Registration for Telemedicine Clarification Act of 2018, part of a larger … Continue reading this entry

CMS Announces an Advanced Alternative Payment Model - BPCI Advanced

On January 9, 2018, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new voluntary bundled payment model program – Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced). The episode payment model, which is a second generation version of the BPCI program, will qualify as an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) under the Quality … Continue reading this entry

Tax Reform and Tax-Exempt Bonds: Risks Presented by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Policy
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 … Continue reading this entry

Graham-Cassidy Proposal Falls Short on Votes While Other Deadlines Loom

Efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with the Graham-Cassidy legislation were unsuccessful as lawmakers rushed to meet the September 30th deadline when the Senate would have lost its current reconciliation vehicle.  Changes to the bill were incorporated in order to gain Republican support from a number of holdouts, but with Senator Susan Collins … Continue reading this entry

Senate Unveils Changes to the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017: Significant Changes, but Uncertainty Remains

Policy
On July 13th, the Senate released the updated version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) of 2017. While the new version makes some significant changes to the original Senate proposal, the major components of the original bill remain intact.… Continue reading this entry

Senate Releases Repeal and Replace Legislation on ACA: The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

After weeks of secrecy, the Senate has released a discussion draft of legislation that is the counterpart of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) previously passed by the House.  The Senate legislation, entitled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 or BCRA, closely tracks the language in AHCA. Foley Attorneys are continually monitoring and analyzing … Continue reading this entry

Senate Sets Timeline to Take up Repeal and Replace Legislation on ACA

With Congress returning to Washington, D.C. from its Memorial Day work period, Senators are focusing heavily on the timeline and details of legislation that would significantly alter the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Over the last week, many senior Senators have expressed skepticism regarding whether they can pass a bill, but Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell … Continue reading this entry

Republican Health Care Bill Moves Forward to the Senate

Public Affairs
In a surprising reversal, last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would significantly modify the Affordable Care Act. The legislation, known as the American Health Care Act (the “AHCA”, H.R. 1628), passed on Thursday with a 217-213 party line vote.  After cancelling an expected vote on AHCA in March, the House Republicans … Continue reading this entry

Key Takeaways From FHA’s Health Law Summit

Foley recently co-hosted the Florida Hospital Association’s (FHA) 2017 Health Law Summit, which brought together more than 40 in-house attorneys and compliance officers from FHA member hospitals to discuss the current state and future direction of the health care industry.… Continue reading this entry

House Committees Reveal Draft of Bill to Modify and Repeal Portions of the Affordable Care Act

Policy
On Monday, two House committees with oversight over health care and taxation, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, released draft reconciliation bills designed to repeal and alter significant portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  These long-awaited draft bills, collectively entitled the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would make significant modifications … Continue reading this entry

Rand Corporation Issues Report on U.S. Blood System

blood system
“A robust, sustainable blood system is a crucial component of every health care system.”  That is how Rand Corporation’s recently issued comprehensive report entitled “Toward a Sustainable Blood Supply in the United States” (the “Report”) begins.  Issued as a result of research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), the Report … Continue reading this entry

Obamacare in the Cross Hairs — but Procedural Hurdles Loom

Policy
President-elect Trump and congressional Republicans have promised to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but there is deep division regarding which provisions will be rescinded and around the details of the replacement and the length of any transition period.… Continue reading this entry

Hawai’i Receives Approval for the First State Innovation (Section 1332) Waiver

The federal Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Treasury (the Departments) agreed that certain small employer health insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be waived for the state of Hawai’i, beginning with January 1, 2017. The waiver was authorized pursuant to Section 1332 of the ACA, which allows … Continue reading this entry

New Presidency Will Compel Action in Key Areas of Health Care in 2017

As we enter the final stretch of the U.S. presidential election, health care remains one of the most contested issues with great potential for change, particularly to existing insurance and patient care systems. Compounding matters is the opening of enrollment season for exchange plans, which places the already hotly debated Affordable Care Act (ACA) at … Continue reading this entry

IRS Denies Exempt Status for Non-MSSP Accountable Care Organizations

In April, the IRS released a private letter ruling denying section 501(c)(3) status to an accountable care organization (“ACO”) that contracted with third-party payers outside of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (“MSSP”). I.R.S. Priv. Ltr. Rul. 2016-15-022 (Jan. 15, 2016). The ACO was formed by a non-profit, tax-exempt health system to coordinate a clinically integrated … Continue reading this entry

Additional Opioid Policy Changes Announced: What You Need to Know

Despite the July 4 holiday, the past week featured significant regulatory and legislative action addressing the use of opioids and pain management. The changes are in keeping with the Government-wide push to better understand and reduce opioid drug abuse. We discuss here the week’s two most notable developments. Updating the HCAHPS Hospital Survey and Value-Based Purchasing … Continue reading this entry

“Site Neutrality” for Off-Campus Outpatient Departments: Proposed Rule is Worse than You Expected!

Please note, Cheryl Storey, CPA with Moss Adams LLP is also a co-author of this post. CMS issued its Outpatient Prospective Payment System (“OPPS”) Proposed Rule for 2017 (the “Proposed Rule”) on July 6, 2016. The Proposed Rule will  be published in the Federal Register on July 14, 2016. One highly-anticipated section of the Proposed Rule … Continue reading this entry

Injunction Enjoining Enforcement of HHS Attestation Rule Affirmed

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the District Court’s decision in Central United Life v. Burwell on July 1, 2016. This decision is very significant for those assessing the future strength of, and compliance framework for, the fixed indemnity market. Central United Life v. Burwell enjoined the U.S. Department of Health … Continue reading this entry

DOJ and North Carolina Challenge Anti-Steering and Tiering Provisions in Managed Care Contracts

CMS Releases Medicare Part B Supplier Billing and Payment Data
The Department of Justice’s antitrust division (the “DOJ”)and the State of North Carolina (“NC”) jointly sued, on June 9, 2016, Carolinas HealthCare System (“CHS”), the largest healthcare system in North Carolina, over anti-steering restrictions in its managed care contracts that the DOJ believes limits competition. In its complaint, the DOJ and NC claim that CHS used its … Continue reading this entry

Shining a Brighter Light on Massachusetts Public Records - HB 4333

If, as Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants,” Massachusetts public records have just received a substantial splash of bleach. On June 3, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the first update to Massachusetts’s public records law since 1973.  The law, as amended, will change how Massachusetts … Continue reading this entry

California’s End of Life Option Act: Key Requirements and Considerations

On June 9, 2016, California’s End of Life Option Act (the “Act”) will go into effect.  The Act authorizes an adult who is suffering from a terminal disease and meets other qualifications to request an aid-in-dying drug that may be prescribed for the purpose of ending his or her life.  California is the fifth state … Continue reading this entry