Archives: Physicians

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Managing MACRA – Part VI: What do I have to do if I’m a specialist?

Specialists are generally subject to the MACRA merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) in the same manner as primary care clinicians but are treated differently under MACRA in two situations: Certain specialists may qualify as “non-patient-facing” (for example, pathologists or radiologists that do generally not see patients) and have reduced MIPS reporting obligations; and A specialist … Continue Reading

Slow repeal of the ACA and its effect on physicians

This is the second article in our series on the effect of a “slow repeal” of the ACA, which began January 3, 2017, when Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi introduced a budget resolution with instructions to the relevant Senate and House committees to develop a plan to repeal the ACA. The four committees that … Continue Reading

OIG updates policy regarding gifts of nominal value

On Dec. 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an update to its 2000 policy regarding gifts of nominal value given to a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary. The update increases the nominal value of gifts given to a Medicare or Medicaid beneficiary to $15 per occurrence … Continue Reading

CMS finalizes new timeshare exception to the Stark law

In the 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule published on Nov. 16, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the proposed exception for timeshare arrangements that we discussed in our earlier blog post [80 Fed. Reg. 70,886, 71,300 (Nov. 16, 2015)]. As we stated in our earlier post, a timeshare or part-time “space use” … Continue Reading

OIG issues FY 2016 Work Plan with more than 40 new focal areas

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently published its Fiscal Year 2016 Work Plan, which summarizes OIG’s priorities over the coming year. Notably, the 2016 Work Plan demonstrates the OIG’s expanded focus on delivery system reform and the effectiveness of alternate payment models, coordinated care … Continue Reading

November in Chicago: Fundamentals of Health Law conference

Attorneys, compliance officers, accountants, and other professionals who advise clients in the healthcare industry may want to consider attending a coming event next month in Chicago. Featuring Husch Blackwell attorneys Cori Turner and Bill Hopkins, the Fundamentals of Health Law will be held Nov. 15-17. The American Health Lawyers Association’s event will offer continuing education … Continue Reading

EPA proposes new rule for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals

On August 31, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued its long-awaited Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Proposed Rule, which is designed to prevent facilities from disposing of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals by flushing them down the toilet or drain. The proposal creates a new subpart under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s (“RCRA”) hazardous … Continue Reading

New timeshare exception on the horizon

Proposed Stark exception could impact hospital and physicians timeshare/ part-time agreement arrangements In July 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a proposed rule pertaining to payment policies under the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (“Proposed Rule”) (80 Fed. Reg. 41,685). In addition to changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and other … Continue Reading

Per-click leases back in business – but for how long?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion June 12, 2015, lambasting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (“CMS”) rationale in implementing the ban on “per-click” space and equipment leases under the Stark Law. This ban, which went into effect Oct. 1, 2009, was effectively challenged by the Council … Continue Reading

Husch Blackwell No. 7 among Modern Healthcare’s largest healthcare law firms; No. 5 on AHLA’s list

National healthcare publication Modern Healthcare yesterday announced Husch Blackwell LLP is the seventh-largest healthcare law firm in the U.S. according to its 2015 rankings, up from No. 12 last year. Utilizing differing measurement techniques, American Health Lawyers Association also ranked healthcare practices, placing Husch Blackwell as fifth-largest in the country in its 2015 list, released … Continue Reading

Physician compensation caution

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a special fraud alert on June 9, 2015, stating that physician compensation arrangements may result in significant liability. Hopefully this is not a surprise to any physician or entity that treats federal health plan beneficiaries. However, given that, historically, OIG regulatory … Continue Reading

Texas hangs up on telephone prescribers

New Texas Medical Board (TMB) rules effective June 3, 2015, limit the ability to prescribe drugs based only on telephonic consults. The rules also raise questions about the viability of some call-coverage arrangements. Specifically, for a physician prescribing medication, Tex. Admin. Code tit. 22 §190.8 now requires, among other things, a “defined physician-patient relationship” that … Continue Reading

Still no word from DOL on changes to FLSA regulations

The DOL’s self-imposed February deadline for announcing new FLSA regulations redefining “white collar” exemptions has come and gone with without any action from the DOL. No new deadline has been announced; however, the DOL’s website suggests that it still hopes to release the new regulations soon. Stayed tuned, and we will report back when the … Continue Reading

Physician assistance for physician assistants

Changes to Texas Medical Board regulations regarding the supervision of physician assistants went into effect March 12, 2015, and will reduce both: (i) physician oversight obligations; and (ii) conflict with prescriptive delegation regulations. Specifically, requirements of Tex. Admin. Code tit. 22 §185.16 were reduced to only prohibiting a physician assistant from independently billing patients “except where provided … Continue Reading

Don’t let research on 'little' subjects get you in big trouble

Over the last few decades, the healthcare industry has come to recognize that research on children is necessary to determine the safest and most effective treatments for pediatric patients. Whether your institution is part of a nationally renowned research program or participates in a few pharmaceutical research studies a year, the following two issues are … Continue Reading

UPDATE: FTC victory creates challenge for physician acquisitions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a lower court’s findings Feb. 10, 2015, that the acquisition by St. Luke’s Health System (“St. Luke’s”) of Saltzer Medical Group (“Saltzer”), a physician group consisting mostly of primary care physicians, violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act. This is the first case in which … Continue Reading

Changes coming to FLSA regulations – Time to get ready

In March 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to prepare and propose new FLSA regulations. These new rules were to be announced late last year, but have been repeatedly delayed. Now it appears the new rules will be announced later this month. While the scope of the changes is unknown, it is anticipated … Continue Reading

Update: Texas Medicaid 'incident to' rule now in effect

The Texas Health & Human Services Commission’s (HHSC) final rules regarding physician billing for services provided by an APRN or PA became effective Jan. 1, 2015, and include limitations on such billing arrangements. See 39 Tex. Reg. 9884 (Dec. 19, 2014). The adopted rule requires that a physician billing for services provided by an APRN or PA … Continue Reading

HHS makes moves toward value-based payments

On Jan. 26, 2015, Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced the goals and a timeline of the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”) to move the Medicare program, and the healthcare system at large, toward paying providers based on quality, rather than quantity, of care they give to patients.… Continue Reading

Husch Blackwell Partner Brian Flood featured in Financier Worldwide forum on 'Managing Fraud and Bribery Risks in the Healthcare Sector'

Brian G. Flood of Husch Blackwell LLP‘s Austin office participated in a recent forum on “Managing Fraud and Bribery Risks in the Healthcare Sector.” The Q&A Forum forms part of a Special Report on Corporate Fraud & Corruption, which appears in the February 2015 issue of Financier Worldwide magazine. For the Q&A Forum, Financier Worldwide … Continue Reading

Unique Considerations in Healthcare M&A Part 1 – Due Diligence

Due diligence is often perceived as a mundane part of the mergers & acquisitions (M&A) process, but its importance in healthcare transactions is critical. Due diligence is one of the first steps of any transaction and involves a buyer undertaking an in-depth examination of the target to evaluate the business and uncover potential issues or … Continue Reading

Healthcare employers: Plan now for filing H-1B petitions for foreign national candidates, OPT employees

It’s time to begin preparing H-1B petitions for an early April filing and Oct. 1, 2015, effective date. Advance planning is crucial. Due to the improving economy and the backlog of demand from April 2014, the H-1B cap will likely be exceeded again this year. Employers that fail to file H-1B petitions on April 1 … Continue Reading

Big Redial – Texas telephone medicine terminated?

After a protracted legal battle resolved in the favor of Teladoc, Inc. (Teladoc) on Dec. 31, 2014, (see Teladoc, Inc. v. Texas Medical Board, No. 03-13-00211-CV, Tex. App. 3rd, Austin) and clarifying that Teladoc physicians could prescribe dangerous drugs based on a telephonic evaluation, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) wasted no time in issuing an … Continue Reading
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