Archives: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Regulations

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HHS expands access to telehealth services in response to COVID-19

As discussed in our client alert, recent legal developments have greatly expanded funding for and access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 crisis. Among the changes instituted by HHS are expanded Medicare coverage and payment for services, reduced or waived cost-sharing obligations for physicians, and loosening of the HIPAA enforcement policies for covered entities (which … Continue Reading

HHS waives requirements for health care providers under section 1135 in response to COVID-19

Shortly after President Trump declared a national emergency related to COVID-19, CMS issued blanket waivers under section 1135 of the Social Security Act that are intended to ensure there are sufficient health care items and services available to meet the increased need, as well as reduce related administrative burdens on health care providers. Our comprehensive … Continue Reading

CMS Rolls Out New Medicare Part D “Senior Savings Model” Designed to Drive Down Insulin Copayments

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a new voluntary Part D Senior Savings Model (the Model) intended to reduce Medicare beneficiary cost sharing for insulin.  Under the Model, participating insulin manufacturers and participating sponsors of Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage Part D plans (MA-PDs) will make … Continue Reading

CMS Plans to Add Outpatient Hip/Knee Replacements to CJR Model, Seeks Comments on ASC Joint Procedure Bundled Payment Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule that would extend and modify the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Model, under which CMS makes a “bundled” payment to participant hospitals for an “episode of care” for lower extremity joint replacement (LEJR) surgery, covering all services provided during the inpatient … Continue Reading

CMS Releases Proposed Medicare Advantage and Part D Rules for Contract Year 2021 and 2022

CMS has put on display a proposed rule that would update Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit policies for contract year 2021 and 2022.  CMS projects that its proposed policies would decrease federal spending by $4.4 billion over 10 years, primarily as a result of a proposal to remove outliers prior … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Updates to ACA Exchange Plan Policies for 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed updates to its standards for health plan issuers offering plans through federally-facilitated and state-based Exchanges for 2021.  The proposed rule would, among other things:  revise the risk adjustment methodology; update issuer user fees and cost-sharing limits; amend medical loss ratio regulations (including with regard to … Continue Reading

HHS Adopts New Retail Pharmacy HIPAA Transaction Requirements for Schedule II Drug Prescriptions

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has modified HIPAA retail pharmacy transaction requirements to differentiate between partial fill and full refills of opioids and other Schedule II drug prescriptions.  Specifically, HHS has finalized the requirements for use of the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) Telecommunication Standard Implementation Guide, Version D, Release … Continue Reading

CMS Updates List of DMEPOS Items Subject to Medicare Prior Authorization

CMS is adding six types of lower limb prosthetics to the list of equipment subject to Medicare prior authorization (PA) requirements, and extending certain current PA requirements.  Specifically, CMS is requiring PA as a condition of Medicare payment for the following items on the basis of their being “frequently subject to unnecessary utilization”: L5856 Addition … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes 2021 Funding Methodology for ACA Basic Health Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the methodology and data sources it proposes to use to determine federal payment to states that establish a Basic Health Program (BHP) for 2021.  Through the BHP, which was authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states may offer health benefits to certain low-income individuals otherwise eligible … Continue Reading

HHS Proposes Rules to Modernize Organ Transplant System

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released two proposed rules intended to increase the availability of organs for transplantation and improve the accountability of organ procurement organizations (OPOs), in conformance with President Trump’s Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health. First, the Health Resources and Services Administration has proposed expanding the scope … Continue Reading

Controversial CMS Final Rule Requires Hospitals to Disclose Payer-Specific Charge Data; New Proposed Rule Would Impose Health Plan Transparency Requirements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a “price transparency” rule that requires hospitals to make detailed charge data – including payer-specific negotiated charges – available for all inpatient and outpatient services.  Additionally, the final rule mandates that hospitals make “consumer-friendly” charge information available for at least 300 “shoppable” services.  While CMS deferred … Continue Reading

CMS Adopts Medicare OPPS and ASC Rates, Policy Updates for 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system rates and policies for 2020.  The final rule provided a 2.6% update to both OPPS and ASC rates for 2020 for facilities meeting quality reporting requirements (compared to an anticipated 2.7% … Continue Reading

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

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published its final Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) rule for calendar year (CY) 2020.  In addition to updating rates for physician services, the final rule revises numerous other Medicare Part B policies.  Highlights of the final rule include the following:  The final 2020 conversion factor is $36.0896, up slightly from … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes CY 2020 Medicare Home Health PPS, Infusion Therapy Policies

Aggregate Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) payments in calendar year (CY) 2020 will increase by 1.3%, or $250 million, compared to 2019 levels, under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final CY 2020 rule.  In addition to updating home health agency (HHA) policies, the final rule establishes a permanent home … Continue Reading

Medicare ESRD PPS Payments to Rise 1.6% for 2020 under Final CMS Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule updating Medicare end-stage renal disease (ESRD) prospective payment system (PPS) rates for 2020 – which CMS expects to increase total payments to ESRD facilities by 1.6% compared with 2019.  The final 2020 ESRD PPS base rate is $239.33, compared with the 2019 rate of … Continue Reading

CMS Updates Basic Health Program Policies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized the methodology and data sources it will use to determine 2019 and 2020 federal payment amounts to individual states that establish a Basic Health Program (BHP) under the Affordable Care Act.  A BHP provides health benefit coverage to low-income individuals otherwise eligible to purchase coverage … Continue Reading

CMS Updates Medicare DMEPOS Policies, Including Overhaul of Pricing Framework for New HCPCS Codes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has adopted — with limited changes — its controversial plan to rewrite Medicare pricing rules for new items of durable medical equipment (DME), prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) as part of its annual DMEPOS policy update for calendar year (CY) 2020.  The rule also makes minor changes to DMEPOS … Continue Reading

OIG, CMS Propose Changes to Stark, Anti-Kickback Rules to Promote Value-Based Arrangements:  Reed Smith Analysis

As previously reported, the Department of Health and Human Services has published highly anticipated proposed changes to align the regulations under the Physician Self-Referral Law, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, and the Civil Monetary Penalties Law with value-based health care arrangements.  Reed Smith is providing a series of client alerts and teleseminars that analyze key aspects … Continue Reading

Expansive New CMS Enrollment and Participation Rules Set to Go Live November 4, Although Comments Still Being Accepted

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a final rule with comment period establishing sweeping disclosure and monitoring obligations for providers and suppliers enrolled or enrolling in federal health programs, and expanding CMS’s authority to deny or revoke enrollment status.  In particular, the rule establishes an expansive new “affiliations” disclosure requirement that … Continue Reading

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

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

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
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