On Friday, March 13, 2020, CMS issued blanket waivers under 42 U.S.C. 1320b-5 that impact long term acute care hospitals (LTCHs) and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) as a result of President Trump declaring a state of an emergency due to COVID-19. The blanket waivers temporarily allow facilities operating inpatient rehabilitation units to exclude patients admitted
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued broad waivers to assist in the national COVID-19 response. They impact all provider types and generally remove regulatory burdens that could restrict access to care. For example, the waivers remove bed limits on Critical Access Hospitals and will allow Long Term Hospitals to exclude from the 25 ALOS calculation patients who were admitted or discharged to “meet the demands of the emergency.” Restriction on the separation of patients in excluded units in IPPS hospitals are waived. The requirement for three days of hospitalization to receive skilled nursing coverage is also waived. There are a number of other waivers.
Continue Reading COVID-19: CMS Waiver Information for Providers
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Like it or not, the 2020 presidential election campaign is well underway. With it comes the latest in public policy ideas, including more attempts to overhaul health care in the U.S.
The phrase “Medicare for All” has captured the minds, if not the hearts, of several candidates and an impressive portion of the voting public. It has shifted the conversation about health care in politics, at least temporarily, away from both “repeal and replace” and “protect the Affordable Care Act.”
Continue Reading Medicare for All…or Is It?
On Feb. 12, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (“HHS”) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published its final rule regarding reporting and returning Medicare overpayments. This final rule comes nearly four years after its proposed rule regarding the reporting and return of Medicare overpayments that left the provider community nervous and uncertain about when an overpayment would be considered “overdue” under CMS’s vague 60-day standard.
Continue Reading Summary of the final HHS rule for reporting and returning of overpayments
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
On April 1, 2014, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs agreed to the dismissal of its December 2008 complaint against Florida Hospital of Orlando. This action follows DOL’s March 11, 2014 agreement to a five-year moratorium on compliance and enforcement actions against Tricare service providers. These developments reflect a significant rollback of OFCCP’s prior position as to the scope of its jurisdiction. In his March 11, 2014 letter to Congress, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez recognizes that Congress had intended to limit OFCCP’s jurisdictional authority over Tricare healthcare providers.
Continue Reading OFCCP’s five-year moratorium on enforcement actions against Tricare providers
Scrutiny of physician prescribing (particularly pain management) seems likely to increase in 2015 under new CMS regulations that were published on January 10, 2014. The proposed regulation makes policy and technical changes regarding the Medicare prescription drug program (Part D). Among the changes are the granting of explicit authority to deny (under 42 CFR §…