Tag Archives: Fraud and Abuse

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

OIG Issues Annual Solicitation of Suggestions for New Fraud Alerts, Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is inviting public recommendations for new or modified safe harbor provisions under the federal anti-kickback statute.  The OIG also invites suggestions for new OIG Special Fraud Alerts to provide guidance to health care providers regarding “practices OIG finds potentially fraudulent … Continue Reading

OIG Semiannual Report Highlights FY 2016 Fraud Recoveries, Enforcement Actions

The HHS Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) latest Semiannual Report to Congress highlights top audits, investigations, and enforcement activities for the period of April 1 to September 30, 2016 and summarizes overall accomplishments for fiscal year (FY) 2016. Notably, the OIG reports: Expected FY 2016 recoveries will exceed $5.66 billion, including nearly $1.2 billion in audit … Continue Reading

OIG Issues CMP, Anti-kickback Safe Harbor Final Rules

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published a final rule amending the safe harbors to the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) rules to protect certain payment practices and business arrangements from criminal prosecution or civil sanctions under the AKS (Final Rule). … Continue Reading

Medicare, Medicaid Payment Policies, Fraud Authorities Enacted as Part of 21st Century Cures Act

Included in the 21st Century Cures Act are numerous changes to Medicare and Medicaid policies, including provisions with significant reimbursement impacts for certain types of Medicare providers and suppliers, along with changes intended to reduce the regulatory and administrative burdens associated with the use of electronic health records.  Furthermore, the law once again expands the … Continue Reading

Looking Ahead to a Trump Administration: Health Care and Life Sciences Industry Perspectives

Observers are digesting what the Trump Administration will mean for the health care and life sciences industry.  Forecasting is more challenging for this incoming Administration than most given the relatively sparse policy details released during the campaign and the lack of a government service record to examine for clues.  Today President-elect Trump’s transition team released … Continue Reading

OIG Determines Most Medicare Chiropractic Service Claims Don’t Comply with Medicare Rules

The OIG estimates that CMS made $358.8 million in improper Medicare payments for chiropractic services in 2013 – totaling 82 percent of Medicare chiropractic services in that period (note, however, that these findings were based on a small pool of 105 services for which Medicare paid $2,712). According to the OIG, the documentation provided by … Continue Reading

House of Representatives Approves Bill to Delay LTCH 25% Rule Implementation, Make Other LTCH Reforms, and Tighten Medicare Enrollment Moratorium Authority

On September 21, 2016, the House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 5713, the “Sustaining Healthcare Integrity and Fair Treatment Act of 2016” or “SHIFT Act.”  The primary focus of the SHIFT Act is to provide an additional delay in full implementation of the “25 Percent Rule” for long-term acute care hospitals (LTCHs).  The legislation … Continue Reading

OIG Report Highlights MFCU Achievements

The OIG has released its Medicaid Fraud Control Units Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report, which compiles data on investigations and prosecutions by the 50 MFCUs. According to the OIG, MFCUs attained 1,553 convictions in FY 2015, the highest in the last five years. Almost one-third of these convictions involved personal care services attendants, and 71% … Continue Reading

Congressional Hearings Focus on Health Policy Issues

A number of recent Congressional hearings have focused on health policy issues, including:  Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearings on laboratory testing in the era of precision medicine, and the safety of cosmetics. A House Judiciary Committee hearing on “Treating the Opioid Epidemic: The State of Competition in the Markets for Addiction Medicine.” … Continue Reading

HHS Proposes Changes to State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Rules

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) have proposed amendments to the regulations governing State Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs). The proposed rule would reflect statutory changes and policies adopted since the MFCU regulations were initially issued in 1978. Among other things, the rule would incorporate statutory … Continue Reading

GAO, OIG Issue Reports on Medicare Part B Drug Payment Issues

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued several reports on various Medicare Part B drug reimbursement issues. In a report entitled “Medicare Part B: Data on Coupon Discounts Needed to Evaluate Methodology for Setting Drug Payment Rates,” the GAO assessed the impact of manufacturer coupon programs on … Continue Reading

OIG Updates Corporate Integrity Agreement Independent Review Organization Guidance

The OIG has updated its guidance for providers under Corporate Integrity Agreements regarding the circumstances that might affect the independence and objectivity of independent review organizations (IROs). The updated guidance reflects 2011 revisions to Government Accountability Office (GAO) auditing standards (known as the “Yellow Book”).… Continue Reading

HHS Inflation Adjustment Rule Hikes CMPs Across Department Programs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is increasing maximum civil monetary penalty (CMP) amounts applicable to HHS agencies and programs, in compliance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (which was part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015).  The magnitude of the individual CMP increases varies depending … Continue Reading

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
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