Tag Archives: Fraud and Abuse

CMS Announces Changes to HHA/Ambulance Supplier Enrollment Moratoria, New Exception Process Demo

CMS has announced a number of changes to its temporary Medicare enrollment moratoria for certain provider types in select geographic areas as a mechanism to address fraud, waste, and abuse. First, CMS is extending for six months and expanding statewide its current moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare Part B nonemergency ground ambulance suppliers … Continue Reading

OIG, CMS Focus New Scrutiny on Home Health Industry: Additional Investigative and Enforcement Activity Likely to Follow

On June 22, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a comprehensive report detailing its nationwide analysis of common characteristics in home health fraud cases. In tandem with this report, the OIG issued an Alert on improper arrangements and conduct by and among home health agencies (“HHAs”) and physicians. … Continue Reading

CMS Announces Pre-Claim Review Demonstration for Medicare Home Health Services

CMS has announced a new three-year Medicare “pre-claim review” demonstration for home health services in five states — Illinois, Florida, Texas, Michigan, and Massachusetts  — with “high incidences of fraud and improper payments for these services.”  The pre-claim review demonstration requires currently-mandated documentation to be furnished to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) earlier in the … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Changes to Payment Error Rate Measurement (PERM) & Medicaid Eligibility Quality Control (MEQC) Programs

CMS has issued a proposed rule to make changes to the PERM and MEQC programs to align with changes to state adjudication of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. The proposed rule also includes revisions to PERM and MEQC policies that are intended to reduce state burdens associated … Continue Reading

OIG Spring 2016 Semiannual Report to Congress Highlights Enforcement/Investigative Accomplishments

The OIG has issued its Spring 2016 Semiannual Report to Congress, which describes significant enforcement and investigative activities relating to HHS programs during the first half of FY 2016 (October 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016). The OIG reports expected recoveries of more than $2.77 billion ($554.7 million in audit receivables and about $2.22 billion … Continue Reading

Recent Congressional Health Policy Hearings

Recent Congressional hearings focusing on health policy topics include the following: House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings on HHS cybersecurity responsibilities, Medicare and Medicaid program integrity, the Administration’s proposed Medicare Part B drug payment model, and patient-focused health insurance reforms. House Ways and Means Committee hearings on implementation of the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization … Continue Reading

OIG Issues New Criteria for Implementing its Section 1128(b)(7) Exclusion Authority

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services has issued new, non-binding “Criteria for Implementing Section 1128(b)(7) Exclusion Authority” updating the factors OIG will consider in deciding whether to exclude persons “whose continued participation in the [federal health care programs] constitutes a risk to the programs and their beneficiaries.”  … Continue Reading

OIG Identifies Top 25 Unimplemented Recommendations for HHS Cost Savings/Quality Improvements

The OIG has released the 2016 edition of its “Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations,” which identifies what the OIG considers to be its top 25 unimplemented recommendations in terms of HHS program savings and/or quality improvements. About one-third of the priority recommendations involve Medicare Parts A and B policies, including recommendations to adjust payment policies for … Continue Reading

Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) Program Logs $2.4 Billion in Recoveries for FY 2015

The federal government won or negotiated more than $1.9 billion in judgments and settlements, and attained additional administrative impositions in health care fraud cases and proceedings in FY 2015, according to the latest HCFAC program annual report. These new efforts, together with prior year actions, resulted in a total of $2.4 billion in health fraud … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Program Integrity Enhancements to the Provider/Supplier Enrollment Process, including New Affiliated Provider Disclosure Requirements

On March 1, 2016, CMS is publishing a proposed rule that would make a variety of changes to the Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP provider and supplier enrollment requirements.  CMS believes that the proposal would assist in ensuring that individuals and entities posing risks to federal health care programs are removed or temporarily/permanently barred from participation … Continue Reading

Extensive Medicare & Medicaid Funding and Program Integrity Provisions in Obama’s Released FY 2017 Budget Proposal

On February 9, 2016, the Obama Administration released its proposed fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget, which contains significant Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and program integrity legislative proposals – including $419 billion in Medicare savings over 10 years. These proposed policy changes would require action by Congress, and Republican Congressional leaders have already voiced general opposition … Continue Reading

CMS Announces Extension of Moratoria on Enrollment of HHAs, Ambulance Suppliers in Designated Areas

CMS published a notice February 2, 2016 announcing an additional 6-month extension of its current temporary Medicare enrollment moratoria for new ground ambulance suppliers and home health agencies (HHAs), subunits, and branch locations in designated metropolitan areas.  The moratoria, which also apply to enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, apply to: New … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes New Medicare Prior Authorization Rules for DMEPOS Subject to “Unnecessary Utilization,” But Policy Questions Remain

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule to require Medicare prior authorization (PA) for certain durable medical equipment (DME), prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) items that the agency characterizes as “frequently subject to unnecessary utilization.” Notably, however, key policy decisions — including the items that will initially be subject … Continue Reading

Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act Signed Into Law; Includes Additional Medicare Reforms

On December 28, 2015, President Obama signed into law S. 2425, the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act, which includes a number of Medicare provisions that were not included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. Most significantly, the law: Extends the timeframe for eligible professionals and hospitals to apply for a hardship exception from meaningful use … Continue Reading

DOJ Reports $1.9 Billion in Health Care False Claims Recoveries in FY 2015

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently reported $3.5 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims in FY 2015 – $1.9 billion of which came from companies and individuals in the health care industry. DOJ notes that the $1.9 billion reflects only federal recoveries; in many cases, there were … Continue Reading

OIG Issues Fall 2015 Semiannual Report to Congress

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued its Semiannual Report to Congress covering April 1 – September 30, 2015. The report summarizes significant OIG audits, investigations, and enforcement activities during this period and includes key accomplishments for the full fiscal year (FY) 2015. According to the report, the OIG expects recoveries of about … Continue Reading

HHS Posts Fall 2015 Regulatory Agenda Listing Rules in Pipeline

The Obama Administration has released its latest regulatory agenda, which lists major pending or planned regulatory actions and the anticipated timing of rulemaking activity. The agenda includes numerous pending HHS proposed and final rules affecting a wide range of policy areas, including Medicare payment rules, fraud and abuse authorities, the 340B drug pricing program, and … Continue Reading

CMS/OIG Finalize Fraud Authority Waivers for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) have finalized a rule designed to “remove legal and regulatory barriers that can impede care coordination in furtherance of the Shared Savings Program” and “reduce burden on ACOs, ACO participants, and ACO providers/suppliers.”  Specifically, the rule allows ACOs, ACO participants, … Continue Reading

CMS Sends Long-Awaited Medicare 60-Day Overpayment Rule to OMB for Final Clearance

CMS is moving ahead on its much-anticipated final rule implementing Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements on reporting and returning of Medicare overpayments.   Under the ACA, enrolled providers and suppliers (and certain other enrollees) receiving Medicare funds must report and return Medicare overpayments by the later of 60 days after the date on which the overpayment was … Continue Reading

Medicare FFS RACs Identified Almost $2.4 Billion in Overpayments in FY 2014

According to CMS, the Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) Recovery Auditor Program identified and corrected $2.57 billion in improper Medicare payments in FY 2014. The lion’s share of this amount — $2.39 billion — represented overpayments collected, compared to $173.1 million in underpayments repaid to providers. Considering all program costs (other than expenses incurred at the third … Continue Reading

Yates Memo Promises to be a Game-Changer for Health Care Executives

The Department of Justice’s “Yates Memo” sets forth regulatory principles, applicable to both civil and criminal investigations, to ensure that individuals are held accountable for corporate wrongdoing. While several U.S. Attorney Offices had been applying many of these principles already, the Yates Memo now establishes the principles expected to be followed by all U.S. Attorney Offices and … Continue Reading
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