Archives: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Regulations

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CMS Signals Potentially Big Changes Ahead for Medicare SNF Payment Policy

Using unusually blunt language, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recently noted that it “is increasingly frustrated with the lack of statutory or regulatory action” to lower Medicare skilled nursing facility (SNF) payments and revise the payment system to link payments to patients’ characteristics and costs of care.  It appears, however, that the Centers for … Continue Reading

Coming Soon: Proposed 2018 Medicare Payment Rules

CMS has sent several major proposed Medicare 2018 payment rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for regulatory clearance before publication in the Federal Register. OMB has already cleared the proposed fiscal year (FY) 2018 acute inpatient prospective payment system/long-term care hospital prospective payment system (PPS) rule; it could be released … Continue Reading

CMS Clarifies Medicaid DSH Rules for Treatment of Third Party Payments in Calculating Uncompensated Care Costs

CMS has published a final rule intended to codify its existing interpretation of how third-party payments are considered in the calculation of Medicaid uncompensated care costs for the purpose of making Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments. Under the final rule, CMS specifies that uncompensated care costs for purposes of calculating hospital-specific DSH limits are … Continue Reading

CMS Considering 6-Month Delay of Obama Administration Home Health COP Rule

As previously reported, in January 2017 the Obama Administration finalized major changes to the conditions of participation (CoPs) that home health agencies (HHAs) must meet to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. The rule is currently scheduled to go into effect July 13, 2017, except that the requirement to implement data-driven performance improvement projects is effective … Continue Reading

Price, Verma Taking a Fresh Look at Obama Administration’s EPM/CJR Final Rule; Changes Pushed Back to at Least October 1, 2017

HHS Secretary Thomas Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma have signaled that the Trump Administration is eyeing changes to one of the last major Medicare policies issued by the Obama Administration.  Specifically, CMS is delaying a January 3, 2017 final rule that established mandatory Medicare episode payment models (EPM) for acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery … Continue Reading

Regulatory “Freeze” Thaws for HHS: Medicare FY 2018 IPPS/LTCH Rulemaking Process Gets Underway

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is moving ahead on its annual Medicare hospital payment update rule – and it actually is ahead of last year’s pace.  Specifically, on March 8, 2017 CMS sent to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for regulatory clearance its proposed rule updating the Medicare hospital inpatient prospective … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Changes to Stabilize ACA Health Insurance Markets

At the same time Republican Congressional leaders are attempting to develop legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), CMS has published a proposed rule that is intended to help stabilize the Affordable Insurance Exchanges for 2018. According to CMS, “[t]he health and competitiveness of the Exchanges, as well as the individual and … Continue Reading

Trump Temporarily Tables Effective Date of the New Episode Payment Model Rule – But No Change to July 1, 2017 Implementation

As mandated by the Trump Administration’s regulatory review policy, CMS is delaying the effective date of its January 3, 2017 final rule establishing mandatory Medicare episode payment models (EPM) for acute myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass graft, and surgical hip/femur fracture treatment procedures furnished in designated geographic areas.  Specifically, CMS is extending the effective date … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Stringent New Medicare Standards for Providers and Suppliers of Prosthetics and Custom-Fabricated Orthotics

CMS has issued a proposed rule that would set forth qualifications that providers and suppliers must meet in order to furnish, fabricate, or bill for prosthetics and custom-fabricated orthotics under the Medicare program. The very prescriptive rule comes more than a decade after the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 directed CMS … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Rule to Reduce Medicare Appeals Backlog

In the face of growing scrutiny and now judicial pressure, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule on January 17, 2017 implementing certain administrative and procedural actions in an effort to reduce the significant Medicare appeals backlog. The final rule comes on the heels of intense criticism from various branches … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Tighter Rules for New Medicaid Managed Care Pass-Through Payments

CMS has finalized without change its proposed rule to block states from adopting or increasing Medicaid managed care “pass-through” payments to hospitals, nursing facilities, and physicians beyond those in place when pass-through payment transition periods were established in a May 6, 2016 final Medicaid managed care rule.  As we previously reported, CMS considers pass-through payments … Continue Reading

Obama Administration Finalizes Changes to Home Health Conditions of Participation

CMS has finalized extensive changes to the conditions of participation (CoPs) that home health agencies (HHAs) must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The rule is intended to provide HHAs with enhanced flexibility while focusing on “a patient-centered, data-driven, outcome-oriented process that promotes high quality patient care at all times for all patients.” … Continue Reading

CMS Again Extends HHA/Ambulance Enrollment Moratoria in Selected States

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending for six months its current moratoria on the Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment of new nonemergency ground ambulance suppliers and home health agencies (HHAs) in selected states, effective January 27, 2017.  The temporary moratoria on new HHA enrollment (including new subunits … Continue Reading

CMS Corrects Final 2017 OPPS/ASC Rule, Results in Slight Payment Increase

CMS has published a notice correcting technical errors in its November 14, 2016 final rule with comment period updating the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and ambulatory surgical center payment systems for 2017.  Among many other things, CMS is correcting the OPPS weight scaler, which very slightly increases OPPS rates that are adjusted … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Final Mandatory Episode Payment Models for Cardiac and Orthopedic Cases, Plus New Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model and CJR Program Refinements

In the waning days of the Obama Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has unveiled a lengthy and complex final rule to establish mandatory Medicare bundled payment programs for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), and surgical hip/femur fracture treatment (SHFFT) procedures furnished in designated geographic areas.  The rule … Continue Reading

CMS Announces New Medicare Prior Authorization Requirements for Two Types of Power Wheelchairs

Beginning in March 2017, CMS is phasing in new Medicare prior authorization (PA) requirements for two types of power wheelchairs under a policy adopted in a final rule issued late in 2015. As previously reported, CMS finalized regulations to require Medicare PA for certain durable medical equipment (DME), prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) items that … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Final ACA Benefit and Payment Policies for 2018; Questions Loom Over Implementation

On December 16, 2016, CMS released its Affordable Care Act (ACA) Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters final rule and the final Annual Letter to Issuers for the 2018 plan year. Notably, the final rule revises the risk adjustment methodology to “further promote stable premiums in the individual and small group markets.” The final risk … Continue Reading

Conflict of Interest Concerns Prompt New CMS Restrictions on Dialysis Facility Payment of Beneficiary Health Plan Premiums; Allows Plans to Reject Third-Party Payments

Citing “differences between providers’ and suppliers’ financial interests and patients’ interests” that “may result in providers and suppliers taking actions that put patients’ lives and wellbeing at risk,” CMS is imposing stringent new requirements on Medicare-certified dialysis facilities that seek to make payments of premiums for individual market health plans. By way of background, earlier … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Additional ACA Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility, Appeals, Enrollment Regulations

CMS has published a final rule that implements various Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility, appeals, and related administrative changes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that were proposed in January 22, 2013 but not included in a July 15, 2013 rule finalizing selected provisions. According to CMS, the rule will support “modernization … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Restrictions on New Medicaid Managed Care Pass-Through Payments

CMS is proposing to prohibit states from adopting new or increased “pass-through” payments to hospitals, nursing facilities, and physicians under their Medicaid managed care contracts beyond those in place when the pass-through payment transition periods were established in a May 6, 2016 final Medicaid managed care rule. CMS considers pass-through payments to be amounts that … Continue Reading

CMS Publishes Final Rule Updating 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rates and Policies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its final Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) for calendar year (CY) 2017.  In addition to updating MPFS rates and policies, the final rule makes numerous other Medicare policy changes, including updates to Stark Law regulations related to unit-based compensation and new enrollment requirements for providers and … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Medicare OPPS, ASC Rates and Policies for 2017

CMS has published its final rule with comment period updating the Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and the Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System rates and policies for CY 2017.  CMS will accept comments on a limited number of provisions until December 31, 2016. Major provisions impacting outpatient hospital department services include the … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Updated Fire Safety Standards for Dialysis Facilities

CMS has issued a proposed rule that would require certain dialysis facilities participating in Medicare or Medicaid to meet updated fire safety standards.  The proposed fire safety rule, published November 4, 2016, would apply only to dialysis facilities that do not provide one or more exits to the outside at grade level from the treatment … Continue Reading
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