Archives: Regulatory Developments

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CMS Sets CY 2020 Amount in Controversy Thresholds for Medicare Appeals

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is increasing the amount in controversy (AIC) threshold amounts for Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearings and judicial review under the Medicare appeals process for 2020.  The CY 2020 AIC threshold amounts are: $170 for ALJ hearings (compared with $160 in 2019), and $1,670 for judicial review (up … Continue Reading

Proposed Rules to Modernize Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute Released Today

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced proposed changes to modernize the regulations that interpret the Physician Self-Referral Law (the Stark Law) and the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute. In a press release, HHS states these proposed rules are intended to “provide greater certainty for healthcare providers participating in value-based arrangements and providing coordinated … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Final Rule to Streamline Medicare, Medicaid Provider Requirements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an “omnibus burden reduction” rule that finalizes a September 20, 2018 proposed rule intended to streamline various Medicare and Medicaid regulatory requirements, in alignment with the Administration’s “Patients over Paperwork” initiative.  The omnibus regulation also finalizes a November 4, 2016 proposed rule on fire safety … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Hospital/HHA Discharge Planning Requirements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized changes to the discharge planning conditions of participation (CoPs) for hospitals (including long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) and inpatient rehabilitation hospitals (IRFs)), critical access hospitals (CAHs), and home health agencies (HHAs).  CMS believes the rule, which implements statutory requirements under the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes DSH Allotment Reductions Starting in FY 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule implementing the agency’s methodology for making statutory reductions to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotments.  The DSH allotment reductions apply to fiscal years (FY) 2020 through 2025, with a $4 billion reduction applicable in FY 2020 and an $8 billion reduction applicable in … Continue Reading

SAMHSA Proposes Clarifications to Rules Governing the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has proposed revisions to federal rules governing the confidentiality of patient records created by federally-assisted substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs.  The proposed rule is intended to support coordinated care among providers that treat patients with SUDs, while maintaining … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Final FY 2020 Medicare IPPS/LTCH Update, Including New Medical Device Technology Policies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized Medicare acute inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and long-term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system (PPS) rates and policies for fiscal year (FY) 2020, which begins October 1, 2019.  Key provisions of the final rule are outlined below. IPPS Payment Update CMS projects total Medicare … Continue Reading

Medicare Payments to Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities to Rise 2.5% in FY 2020 under Final CMS Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its final rule to update the Medicare inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) prospective payment system (PPS) for fiscal year (FY) 2020.  CMS expects IRF PPS payments to increase by $210 million – or 2.5% – relative to FY 2019 payments under the final rule, due to … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Final Medicare Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Update for FY 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will increase Medicare inpatient psychiatric facility (IPF) prospective payment system (PPS) payments by 1.5%, or $65 million, in fiscal year (FY) 2020 under a recently-published final rule.  The final FY 2020 market basket increase is 2.9%, which is reduced by two statutory reductions for an IPF payment … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Medicare DMEPOS Policy Updates, Including New Methodology for Pricing New Codes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is planning a potentially-significant overhaul of Medicare pricing rules for new items of durable medical equipment (DME), prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) as part of its proposed annual DMEPOS policy update for calendar year (CY) 2020.  The proposed rule also includes DMEPOS competitive bidding program (CBP) updates … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Medicare ESRD PPS Update for CY 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed updating Medicare end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) rates by 1.7% for calendar year 2020.  This update reflects a proposed 2.1% market basket increase, partially offset by a -0.4% productivity adjustment.  After application of a wage index budget-neutrality adjustment, the proposed CY 2020 … Continue Reading

Medicare Hospice Payments to Rise by $520 Million in FY 2020 under Final CMS Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its final fiscal year (FY) 2020 Medicare hospice payment rule.  CMS forecasts that the final rule will result in an estimated $520 million increase in FY 2020 payments to hospices due to the final hospice payment update percentage of 2.6%. The final FY 2020 hospice … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rates and Policies for CY 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its proposed Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) rule for calendar year (CY) 2020.  In addition to updating rates for physician services, CMS proposes changes to numerous other Medicare Part B policies.  Highlights of the proposed rule include the following: The proposed 2020 conversion factor (CF) … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Medicare SNF PPS Rates and Policies for FY 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its final rule updating the Medicare skilled nursing facility (SNF) prospective payment system (PPS) for fiscal year (FY) 2020, which begins October 1, 2019.  CMS expects SNF PPS payments to increase by 2.4%, or $851 million, in FY 2020, down from the $887 million increase forecasted … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes 2020 Medicare OPPS and ASC Update, Floats Plan for Hospital Disclosure of Payer-Specific Prices

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its proposed Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) rates and policies for calendar year 2020.  In addition to making annual updates to the OPPS and ASC payment systems, CMS includes a controversial proposal to require all hospitals to disclose payer-specific … Continue Reading

HHS OIG Pulls CMP, Safe Harbor Proposed Regs Pending for More Than a Decade

Seeking to “eliminate any confusion,” the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has formally withdrawn proposed civil money penalty (CMP) and anti-kickback (AKS) safe harbor regulations that it no longer intends to finalize.  Specifically, the OIG is withdrawing: A 1994 proposed rule that would have codified the … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Final Rule Repealing the Prohibition on the Use of Pre-Dispute Binding Arbitration Agreements

On July 18, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule repealing the agency’s ban on the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in the long-term care (LTC) setting.1 This final rule follows CMS’s proposed rule, issued on June 8, 2017, reversing course on CMS’s initial ban on pre-dispute, binding arbitration … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Rolling Back LTC Facility Requirements to Reduce Regulatory Burden

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed simplifying and streamlining long-term care (LTC) facility rules and survey processes to “increase provider flexibility and reduce excessively burdensome regulations, while also allowing facilities to focus on providing high-quality healthcare to their residents.”  In addition to numerous other provisions, CMS proposes the following changes that … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Easing State Requirements for Demonstrating Medicaid Beneficiary Access to Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed rescinding current procedural standards that must be met for states to demonstrate that Medicaid fee-for-service (FFS) payments are sufficient to assure beneficiary access to covered services. As we previously reported, regulations adopted in 2015 require states to establish and periodically update access monitoring review plans … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes CY 2020 Medicare Home Health PPS Update, Infusion Therapy Benefit Policies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the proposed calendar year (CY) 2020 update to Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) rates and policies.  The proposed rule also would update transitional home infusion therapy rates for CY 2020 and institute permanent infusion therapy payment reforms beginning in CY 2021. With … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes New Mandatory Medicare Radiation Oncology Payment Innovation Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a new Radiation Oncology (RO) innovation model (RO Model) to test whether prospective site neutral, episode-based payments for radiotherapy (RT) episodes of care would reduce Medicare expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries.  Importantly, the RO Model would be mandatory … Continue Reading

States Banding Together on HIPAA Enforcement

In the first settlement of its kind, a medical software provider has agreed to pay $900,000 to 16 state attorneys general for alleged violations of state and federal privacy laws. The settlement, stemming from a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, demonstrates the resolution of the first-ever multistate … Continue Reading

OMB Reviewing OIG Proposed Rule Amending Federal Anti-kickback and Beneficiary Inducement Policies to Promote Value-Based Care

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is reviewing a long-awaited Trump Administration proposed rule to amend the safe harbors to the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and exceptions to the beneficiary inducement provisions of the Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) statute to better support coordinated care.  The proposed rule presumably builds on the related request … Continue Reading

CMS Releases Draft Guidance for Hospitals on Shared Space and Contracted Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a draft guidance for state survey agencies on May 3, 2019, impacting hospitals that share space, staff, and/or services with another co-located hospital or health care entity. The draft builds on informally followed principles by CMS employees which emphasized that certain payment rules, like those for … Continue Reading
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