The Reed Smith Health Industry Washington Watch blog has been updated to report on recent health policy developments, including the following:

  • Regulatory Developments. CMS has published several major proposed rules that would update FY 2014 Medicare payment policy for acute inpatient hospitals and long-term care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and hospices. CMS also has published rules addressing rewards to Medicare fraud tipsters and provider enrollment rules, along with a notice on the ACA Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. HHS is considering HIPAA Privacy Rule amendments to allow reporting of mental health data to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The IRS has published regulations to implement certain ACA insurance premium tax credit and medical loss ratio provisions.
  • Other HHS Developments. Recent CMS policy announcements have addressed Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) reductions, Quality Improvement Organization service areas, ordering and referring denial edits, hospital charge data, Physician Payment Sunshine Act implementation, sequestration guidance for state surveyors and Medicare Part C & D plans, gapfill payments for new molecular pathology codes, draft Medicaid Federal Upper Limit files, and potential Physician Quality Reporting System measures. HHS has released enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health Care, and it has highlighted enforcement efforts in this area. HHS has provided an update on the status of efforts to promote health information technology.
  • OIG Developments. The OIG has released an updated Provider Self-Disclosure Protocol and an updated Special Advisory Bulletin on the Effect of Exclusion from Participation in Federal Health Care Programs.
  • Legislative Developments. Current legislative efforts are focusing on drug distribution security and Medicare physician fee schedule reform, and recent Congressional hearings and markups have addressed a number of health policy issues.
  • Health Industry Events. Upcoming events include meetings/calls on the Data.Medicare.Gov data portal, the “Sunshine Act”/National Physician Payment Transparency Program, and HCPCS code applications.