Archives: Payment Methodologies

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President Obama Signs 21st Century Cures Act Into Law

On December 13, 2016, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act (the Act), into law. This sweeping healthcare law addresses the discovery, development and delivery of new drugs and medical treatments; it also includes substantial mental health reforms and assorted Medicare- and Medicaid-related provisions. The law is a product of the … Continue Reading

CMS Releases Final Rule Implementing Site Neutral Payment Rule for Hospital Outpatient Departments

On November 1, CMS released final rules implementing Section 603 of the Bipartisan Balanced Budget Act of 2015 (the Final Rule).  Section 603 effectively reduces Medicare compensation paid to certain off-campus hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) beginning January 1, 2017 by eliminating their eligibility for compensation under Medicare’s Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS).  The Final … Continue Reading

MACRA and Medicare Payment Reform: CMS Plans Increased Flexibility on Provider Participation

On Thursday, CMS announced that it intends to allow providers to “pick their pace of participation” for the first compliance year of Medicare’s new payment reform model emphasizing quality patient care.  The start of the first compliance year is January 1, 2017. Thursday’s announcement lays out four options that allow providers more flexibility to comply … Continue Reading

CMS Releases Proposed Rules Implementing Section 603

On July 6, CMS released its long-awaited proposed rules implementing Section 603 of the Bipartisan Balanced Budget Act of 2015 (Proposed Rules).  As we’ve discussed previously, Section 603 effectively reduces Medicare compensation paid to certain off-campus hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) beginning January 2017 by eliminating eligibility for compensation under Medicare’s Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System … Continue Reading

House Approves Site-Neutral Payment Relief for Some Hospitals but Bill Faces Uncertain Future in Senate

On June 7, the House passed H.R. 5273, the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016 which, in part, modifies the Medicare payment rules for certain hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) which were adopted as part of the “site-neutral” payment provisions under Section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Pub. L. No 114017). … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Proposed Rule on MACRA Physician Payment Systems

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) establishing two physician payment systems introduced by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).  These two systems, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Alternative Payment Models (APM), change the way Medicare incorporates quality metrics … Continue Reading

With New Primary Care Compensation Model, CMS Continues Efforts to Promote Value-Based Payments

Beginning in January 2017, primary care physicians and their practices (PCPs)  will be able to participate in a multi-payer payment reform and care delivery transformation aimed at strengthening primary care. Dubbed the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) initiative, the recently unveiled primary care medical home model is CMS’s latest effort to encourage value-based payment methodology, … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Budget Act Eliminates Provider-Based Reimbursement for Some HOPDs

Many hospitals may have to reassess their plans to develop new off-campus hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs).  The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the Act), signed into law by President Obama on November 2, changes the compensation available for off-campus HOPDs established on or after such date, which will likely result in reduced Medicare payments for non-emergency … Continue Reading

Settlement With DOJ Opens a New Chapter For Tuomey

The cautionary tale of Tuomey (summaries can be found here and here), which illustrated the risks for hospitals structuring arrangements with physicians, is finally coming to a close. When the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina first ordered Tuomey Healthcare System, Inc. (“Tuomey”) to pay $237 million for violations of the Stark … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Medicare Part C and Part D Program Changes for Contract Year 2015: Moderate Deviations from Proposed Rule

On January 8, 2014, we noted several proposed changes to the Medicare Part C and D programs as delineated in CMS’ January 8th proposed rule (hereinafter “Proposed Rule”). On Monday, May 19, 2014, CMS issued the final rule, titled Medicare Program; Contract Year 2015 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare … Continue Reading

Is Your Name on the List?

Given the 880,000 names of physicians released by Medicare Wednesday, physicians who treat Medicare patients can expect their names to be on the list.  The list, searchable here, contains the name of the provider, the specialty area, the city, county and state as well as the total payments made to the provider by Medicare for … Continue Reading

CMS Adds to the Growing Guidance on Third Party Premium Payments

On February 7, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memorandum that adds to the growing library of federal guidance on the permissibility of and limitations for health care providers and other entities paying the premiums of patients covered by qualified health plans (QHPs) in the health insurance exchanges or marketplaces.  … Continue Reading

CMS Ushers in the New Year with Medicare Part C and Part D Proposed Rules: HHS Hopes to Save $1.3 Billion

On January 10, 2014, CMS will publish the proposed rule titled Medicare Program: Contract Year 2015 and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs (the “Proposed Rule”).  The Proposed Rule propositions extensive reforms to the Medicare Advantage (“Part C”) and Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program (“Part D”), partly through … Continue Reading

District Court Deals Major Blow to Halifax in Bank Busting Qui Tam Suit

On November 13, U.S. District Court Judge Gregory A. Presnell of the Middle District of Florida partially granted the U.S. government’s summary judgment motion against Halifax Hospital Medical Center (“Halifax”).  Judge Presnell ruled that Halifax failed to demonstrate that bonus compensation arrangements it made with medical oncologists satisfied a Stark Law exception.  Judge Presnell found … Continue Reading

Tuomey Ordered to Pay $237 Million

Capping a case that has drawn the attention of healthcare lawyers and hospital executives nationwide, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina has ordered Tuomey Healthcare System, Inc. (“Tuomey”) to pay over $237* million for violations of the Stark Law and False Claims Act arising from certain employment agreements between Tuomey and … Continue Reading

Corporate Health Exchanges: The Next Big Thing in the Obamacare Era?

Last Wednesday, September 18, 2013, Walgreen Company (“Walgreen”) announced its plan to move approximately 160,000 employees to Aon Hewitt’s private health exchange (the “Aon Exchange”) in 2014. This move marks a significant decrease in risk for Walgreen as the company will shift to a defined contribution model for funding its employees’ health insurance. Under the … Continue Reading

HHS Releases “Rate Review” Impact Data: Policyholders Save $1.2 Billion Nationwide

Last Thursday, September 12, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) reported that the rate review provisions (the “Rate Review Provisions”) of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) saved an estimated $1.2 billion on health insurance premiums in 2012 for 6.8 million policyholders.  The Rate Review Provisions are intended to increase transparency behind premium … Continue Reading

CMS Pledges to Reassess All Critical Access Hospitals’ Certification

In response to a recently released Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) report that concluded CMS is overpaying many Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), CMS pledged to reassess all CAHs’ certification.  The report asserts that CMS could realize substantial savings by decertifying non-compliant CAHs because nearly two-thirds of CAHs would not meet the location requirements if required … Continue Reading

Physicians Practice Interview on ACO Payments: Risk, Reward, and Reviewing Your Healthcare Partners

We’re getting some good traction in the hospital and physician trade press regarding our analysis of the ACO regs. I provided an interview with Physicians Practice discussing the shared savings models of the proposed rules for accountable care organizations and balancing risk versus reward in establishing new health care partnerships.  The interview centered on how the … Continue Reading

ACOs: Will High Start up Costs and Downside Risk Limit Interest in This Health Care Reform Darling?

Providers considering applying to CMS to become an ACO should be aware that the proposed ACO rules are modeled in significant part after Medicare’s Physician Group Practice demonstration project.  Five years in the planning and launched in April 2005, the PGP Demonstration included 10 multi-specialty group practices in various regions of the country comprised of … Continue Reading

Prospective or Retrospective Beneficiary Assignments to Calculate Eligibility for Shared Savings

CMS has considered two basic options for assigning beneficiaries to an ACO to calculate eligibility for shared savings.  The first option is that beneficiary assignment would occur at the beginning of the performance year on a prospective basis.  The second option is for beneficiary assignment to occur on a retrospective basis based on the actual … Continue Reading

Introducing Risk Through a Shared Savings Program: The Two-Sided Model – A Carrot and Stick Approach

The Accountable Care Act permits the Secretary of HHS to implement partial capitation models or any other payment model the Secretary determines will improve quality and efficiency. The Proposed Rule states that the Secretary will test partial capitation models in the Innovation Center. Pursuant to the “other payment model” authority, however, the Proposed Rule would … Continue Reading
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