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

  • CMS Regulatory Developments. CMS has published a proposed rule that would amend fire safety standards applicable to certain Medicare- and Medicaid-participating health care facilities, and CMS has sent several major fiscal year 2015 Medicare payment rules to the White House for final regulatory clearance.
  • Other HHS Developments. CMS has announced that it will implement fingerprint-based background checks for certain Medicare and Medicaid providers and suppliers in 2014. Other CMS policy announcements involve Medicare inpatient psychiatric facility quality data, the Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care Initiative, Physician Quality Reporting System quality measures, and Medicaid disproportionate share hospital audits. President Obama has formally nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace Kathleen Sebelius as HHS Secretary. The FDA has released draft guidance on pathways to speed medical devices to market.
  • Fraud & Abuse Developments. Recent HHS OIG reports have focused on Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system payments, Medicare home health face-to-face documentation requirements, and Medicaid program integrity activities. GAO reports have addressed advanced diagnostic imaging accreditation and CMS physician feedback efforts.
  • Health Industry Events. Upcoming CMS events will focus on HCPCS coding applications, clinical laboratory payments, a new “Suggested Electronic Clinical Template for Home Health,” the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments Individualized Quality Control Plan, and the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes. Congressional hearings will examine health policy issues.