Accountable Care Organizations

dollar-signiStock_000013001848_LargeThe 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

dollar-signiStock_000013001848_LargeIn 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 the changes will reduce the number of employees who qualify for exempt status.
Continue Reading Changes coming to FLSA regulations – Time to get ready

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 HHS makes moves toward value-based payments

CMS continues to emphasize readmissions as a marker of quality.  CMS research shows that approximately 45% of hospital admissions among those receiving either Medicare skilled nursing services or Medicaid skilled nursing services could have been avoided.  Husch Blackwell attorneys Mark Chouteau and Michael Crowe recently authored an article in the October issue of AHLA Connections

In response to healthcare reform, terms such as “physician alignment strategies” and “physician integration” have resurfaced in our vocabulary as healthcare providers.  In our new healthcare environment, many experts advocate that only hospitals that are aligned, or integrated, with their physician providers will be able to organize delivery systems that are capable of meeting current and future demands for efficiency, quality, price and services expected from patients and payers.  As the demands on health care providers continue to escalate, will experts also someday advocate that only hospitals that are aligned with other hospitals, or other health systems, be positioned to meet the then-current and future expectations related to providing high-quality and cost-efficient health care?

As the future of hospital and physician alignment strategies continue to evolve, more physicians, hospitals and health systems are affiliating.  Even large organizations such hospitals and health systems are teaming together to form loose associations in order to better manage the demands for efficiency, quality, price and service being thrust upon all providers by health reform, payers and patients.

There are a number of recent examples of health systems and hospitals forming strategic alignments to better manage healthcare costs and patient care. 
Continue Reading Provider Alliances: Trend or True Benefit?

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 28, 2012, decision upholding the constitutionality of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers who had been awaiting the decision should now focus on compliance. We expect additional guidance will be released to implement several pending provisions, including those related to the 2014 employer

On July 10, 2012, two members of the Husch Blackwell Healthcare Group, Kate Mihalevich and Cori Turner, presented a webinar on ACO strategic physician alignment billing compliance.  The webinar:

  • highlighted compliance risks associated with ACOs and other physician alignment models; and
  • provided practical suggestions for evaluating and addressing risk in these areas.

To watch