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

  • Regulatory Developments. The Administration has issued several regulations making changes to operational policies, payment provisions, and other standards applicable to health plans and Health Insurance Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. CMS also has issued a final rule that increases Medicare payments for low-volume hospitals.
  • Other CMS Developments. Recent CMS announcements have addressed: ACA insurance coverage and exchange policies; the Medicare electronic health record “Meaningful Use” hardship exception; a new “Medicare Care Choices Model” to allow certain hospice patients to seek curative care; Medicare payment for hospice enrollees’ drug expenses; an upcoming deadline for using the revised 1500 form for Medicare paper claims; Medicare Part B drug payment files; and Medicare inpatient admissions criteria.
  • Legislative Developments. The clock is winding down for Congress to pass Medicare physician fee schedule reform legislation before steep payment cuts are triggered, and Congressional hearings have examined health policy issues.
  • Fraud & Abuse Developments. The OIG has released its Annual Report on Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Activities, along with reports on Medicare Part B drug pricing and diabetic test strip cost and compliance concerns. Medicare contractors have issued a joint open letter to physicians warning about DMEPOS Supplier “Marketing Schemes.”
  • Odds & Ends. MedPAC and MACPAC have issued reports to Congress making Medicare and Medicaid payment policy recommendations, respectively.
  • Health Industry Events. Upcoming CMS events will focus on HCPCS coding applications, clinical laboratory payments, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.