Tag Archives: Medicare

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

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

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

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

Telehealth Billing Compliance: Medicare Says Goodbye to the GT Modifier

medicaid
For over a decade, Medicare has required providers to append special modifiers to their CPT and HCPCS codes when billing for telehealth services. The two primary modifiers for telehealth services were GT (indicating the service was delivered via an interactive audio and video telecommunications system) and GQ (indicating the service was delivered via an asynchronous … Continue reading this entry

Top 5 Ways Telehealth Will Change Under the New Federal Funding Bill

The telemedicine industry has been abuzz upon learning that provider-friendly legislation was included in the new federal Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, signed into law by the President on February 9, 2018.  But telehealth providers, hospitals, and entrepreneurs need to cut through the hype and understand what the provisions will really do for telehealth.  This … Continue reading this entry

New Funding Legislation’s Impact on Health Care Programs

Congress passed a funding bill early this morning just after the February 8th deadline. The new legislation will make several changes to the Medicare program, delay cuts to disproportionate share hospitals, provide two years of funding for community health centers, and renew certain expired or expiring health care programs. The legislation increases government funding caps … 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

New OIG Project Expands Telemedicine Audits to State Medicaid Programs

medicaid
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, … Continue reading this entry

Medicare Payments for Telehealth Increased 28% in 2016: What You Should Know

Telehealth providers can celebrate another successful year of growth, as CMS reported a 28% increase over total 2016 payments for telehealth services under the Medicare program. Providers continue to successfully integrate telehealth services into their traditional health care delivery approaches, and are realizing payment opportunities both within the Medicare FFS program and in other sources … Continue reading this entry

Ninth Circuit Victory Opens the Door to Medicaid Reimbursement Challenges Based on Equal Access Requirement

reimbursements
The Ninth Circuit held August 7 that the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary erred in approving a Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA) that cut reimbursement for outpatient hospital services in California by 10% for eight months in 2008-2009. The Hoag Memorial decision sided with the 57 hospitals that challenged the SPA under the … Continue reading this entry

Medicare Claims Appeals: D.C. Circuit Reverses and Remands in Case Seeking Relief From Processing Delays

hospital
Summary of AHA v. Price, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14887 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 11, 2017)   On August 11, 2017, the D.C. Circuit reversed the district court and held that the district court abused its discretion by ordering the Secretary of HHS to clear the backlog of administrative appeals of denied Medicare reimbursement claims within … Continue reading this entry

OIG to Audit Medicare Telehealth Services: What You Need to Know

medicare telehealth
For what may be the first time, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recently announced a new project to review Medicare payments for telehealth services. Accordingly, providers who bill the Medicare program for telehealth services may expect to have those claims reviewed to confirm the patient … Continue reading this entry

DOJ and OIG Focus on Opioid Abuse: Medical Professionals Who Overprescribe May Be Targets

controlled substances
Two recent announcements reflect that the U.S. Government is taking aggressive steps to address opioid abuse by identifying and targeting the involvement of medical professionals in facilitating opioid abuse involving Federal health care program beneficiaries.  The U.S. Department of Justice announced on July 13, 2017 fraud charges involving 412 defendants in 41 federal districts across … Continue reading this entry

What To Know About New HHS OIG Exclusion Regs

Regulatory-Developments
On Jan. 12, 2017, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the third and final installment of its recent three-part rulemaking effort — a final rule updating its exclusion regulations, 82 Fed. Reg. 4100 (Jan. 12, 2017). This final rule follows two others that were published in December updating the OIG’s civil monetary … Continue reading this entry

CMS Revokes Billing Privileges for Competitive Bid Supplier

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has demonstrated that it will not hesitate to use one of its most crippling administrative enforcement tools—the revocation of Medicare billing privileges—against one of its largest suppliers, as is evident in its case against Arriva Medical, LLC. Medicare billing privileges may be revoked for any one (or … Continue reading this entry

OIG Rings in the New Year With New Anti-Kickback Statute Safe Harbors

Just in time for the New Year, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued final regulations (Final Regulations) that revised two existing Anti-Kickback Statute safe harbors, added two regulatory safe harbors to complement existing statutory safe harbors, and created an entirely new safe harbor regarding local … Continue reading this entry

CMS Finalizes Mandatory Cardiac Care Bundled Payment Model and More

On December 20, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule (the Final Rule) which includes three new mandatory episode-based payment programs for cardiac care, as well as the expansion of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model (CJR). The models are implemented by the CMS Innovation Center, under authority … Continue reading this entry

AHCA Sues to Enjoin Prohibition on Binding Arbitration

On October 4, 2016 CMS issued its Final Rule entitled “Reform of Requirements for Long Term Care Facilities” which updates the requirements for all SNFs and NFs participating in Medicare and Medicaid. Many of the changes impact quality of care, discharge, behavioral health issues and related issues associated with the general direction of CMS to … Continue reading this entry

Hospital Short-Stay Review Ban Lifted by CMS

Effective September 12, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) lifted the temporary ban on patient status reviews of hospital short stays for Medicare beneficiaries. Those reviews are currently conducted by the Beneficiary and Family Centered Care (BFCC) Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs).1 As of October 1, 2015, the responsibilities of the BFCC-QIOs include … Continue reading this entry