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

  • HHS Regulatory Developments. The HHS OIG has proposed major rules to expand its exclusion and CMP authorities. CMS has issued several proposed rules to update Medicare prospective payment systems (PPS) for FY 2015, including the Medicare inpatient PPS, the long-term care hospital PPS, the skilled nursing facility PPS, the inpatient rehabilitation facility PPS, the inpatient psychiatric facility PPS, and the hospice payment system. CMS also has published a final rule that reforms Medicare regulations that CMS has identified as unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on health care providers and suppliers. Moreover, CMS has published a final rule to adopt a PPS for federally qualified health centers and amend CLIA proficiency testing rules. CMS is seeking comments on the Sunshine Act “Open Payments” dispute resolution/corrections process. The FDA has announced plans to promote updated drug and biological labeling.
  • Other HHS Developments. CMS has announced reforms to the Quality Improvement Organization program, extended its “hardship exemptions” policy for certain health insurance purchasers, and set its schedule for implementing ordering/referring denial edits for HHA certifying physicians. HRSA has released the results of audits of covered entity compliance with 340B drug discount program rules.
  • OIG Reports. The OIG has issued reports on Medicare Part B payments for compounded drugs and payments to Medicare Advantage plans for unlawfully-present beneficiaries.
  • Legislative Developments. Recent Congressional hearings have addressed the nomination of Sylvia Burwell to be HHS Secretary, along with various health policy issues. Next week the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee is holding a hearing on Medicare hospital issues.
  • 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, the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, and Medicare hospital outpatient payments and policies.
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