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 issued major final rules to update Medicare payment and other policies under the physician fee schedule (including proposed changes to Physician Payment Sunshine Act regulations), hospital outpatient prospective payment system, the ASC payment system, the home health PPS, and the ESRD PPS (including provisions impacting DMEPOS reimbursement and coverage). CMS also has announced a Medicare prior authorization program for certain ambulance transports. HRSA has withdrawn a pending 340B rule, NIH has released a proposed rule on clinical trial registration and results submission requirements, and HHS is soliciting suggestions for reducing the Medicare appeals backlog.
  • Other HHS Developments. CMS has released 2015 HCPCS files, announced 2015 outpatient therapy caps, expanded certain nursing home surveys, and announced a delay in enforcement of HIPAA health plan enumeration/Health Plan Identifier regulations. FDA has revised guidance on drug inspections, and the HHS Office for Civil Rights has issued a bulletin on privacy obligations under HIPAA in emergency situations.
  • OIG Developments. The HHS OIG has released its FY 2015 Work Plan and a compilation of top HHS management and performance challenges.
  • Health Industry Events. CMS is hosting calls on Medicare physician quality reporting programs, the improving dementia care in nursing homes, and certifying patients for Medicare home health benefits. CMS is holding meetings on inpatient hospital new technology add-on payment applications and hospital outpatient payments.
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