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Michigan Health Care Providers May Now Prescribe Controlled Substances via Telemedicine

Keyboard StethoscopeGovernor Snyder recently signed into law Public Act 22 (Senate Bill 213), which revises the 2016 telehealth bill to clarify that health professionals in Michigan may prescribe controlled substances without an in-person examination. Michigan now joins a growing number of states that allow health professionals to prescribe controlled substances via telemedicine. Read More ›

Categories: Physicians, Technology

CMS Releases 2018 Inpatient PPS Proposed Rule

Medicare and Medicaid ServicesOn April 14, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued its 2018 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”). The Proposed Rule was published in the Federal Register on April 28, 2017, and comments will be accepted through June 13, 2017.

The Proposed Rule suggests a number of changes that would affect hospital rates, inpatient quality reporting and readmissions reduction programs. Some of the most significant changes are highlighted below. Read More ›

Categories: Compliance, Medicare/Medicaid, Providers

What’s Next After Health Care Bill’s Failure in Congress?

Affordable Care ActDespite controlling the presidency, and both houses of Congress, the Republican’s bid to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed. The Republican’s replacement bill - the American Health Care Act (AHCA) - was pulled before proceeding to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, as it apparently lacked the votes to pass. Here’s what businesses need to know now that this (first?) attempt to repeal the ACA failed. Read More ›

Categories: Compliance, Insurance

Obamacare Repeal and Replacement Plan- What does it mean for Employers?

Legislation introduced to repeal portions of the Affordable Care ActLate in the afternoon on March 6, two committees of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation that would replace and repeal significant portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or Obamacare. The new legislation, titled the American Health Care Act, addresses a number of key complaints that have been raised by employers since the ACA's implementation. Several provisions of the new legislation that are of particular interest to employers are described briefly below. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Health Care Reform, Providers

New Physician Assistant Statute Requires Practice Agreements by March 22, 2017

Under the new statute, a PA cannot engage in practice as a physician assistant unless a practice agreement is in place.Significant changes to practice by physician assistants in Michigan will take effect on March 22, 2017. Any physicians (medical, osteopathic and podiatric), health facilities, and health agencies that work with PAs should take the steps needed to ensure compliance with the requirement by the effective date. Read More ›

Categories: Physicians

CMS Releases Final Rule Revising Conditions of Participation for Home Health Agencies

health care written informationOn January 9, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued final rules that establish minimum standards for home health agencies (the “Rules”). According to CMS, the Rules are intended to improve the quality of health care services for Medicare and Medicaid patients and strengthen patients’ rights.

The Rules, which were published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2017, come more than two years after a draft proposal was introduced in October 2014. The Rules are mostly adopted as proposed, with a few clarifying changes. The Rules will become effective on July 13, 2017. This means agencies have less than six months to make changes necessary to comply with the revisions. Read More ›

Categories: Medicare/Medicaid, News & Events, Providers

HHS OIG Report Identifies Non-Compliance in Hospice Documentation

MedicareHospice care is intended to help terminally ill beneficiaries continue living with minimal disruptions and to provide support for a beneficiary’s family and caregivers. In a recent report, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that hospices are not always meeting two key coverage requirements for the Medicare hospice benefit: (1) that beneficiaries sign an election statement and (2) that a physician certifies that the beneficiary is terminally ill. The purpose of these requirements is, among other things, to properly inform beneficiaries of the implications of hospice care and to prevent Medicare fraud. Read More ›

Categories: Long Term Care, Medicare/Medicaid

CMS Announces New Conditions of Participation for Long-Term Care Facilities

Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a final rule (“Final Rule”) updating the Medicare Conditions of Participation (“CoPs”) for long-term care (“LTC”) facilities. It is the first time in over 15 years that substantial LTC CoP revisions have been released.

LTC facilities affected by the Final Rule include skilled nursing facilities for Medicare and nursing facilities for Medicaid, or those facilities that are duly certified. The Final Rule took effect on November 28, 2016, however CMS has planned for a phased implementation. LTC providers must complete the three implementation phases by November 28 in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively. CMS has estimated that the costs of compliance will be $62,900 in the first phase of implementation, and $55,000 per year for phases two and three. Read More ›

Categories: Compliance, Long Term Care, Medicare/Medicaid, News & Events, Pharmacy, Providers

DOJ Starts Cracking Down on Individual Health Care Executives for False Claims Act and Stark Law Violations Committed by Their Companies

Healthcare executives and physicians take note: The Department of Justice is now cracking down on individuals, and not just companies, for False Claims Act, Stark law, and anti-kickback statute violations. Read More ›

Categories: Hospitals, Medicare/Medicaid, News & Events, Physicians

CMS Final Rule on Reporting and Returning of Overpayments Has Potentially Only an Eight-Month Safe Harbor

The Final Rule on Reporting and Returning of Overpayments (“Final Rule”), which became effective on March 14, 2016, requires Medicare providers to report and return Medicare overpayments by the later of (i) 60 days after the date on which the overpayment was identified, or (ii) the date on which any corresponding cost report was due. This 60-day deadline for returning overpayments is suspended when any of the following occurs: Read More ›

Categories: Billing/Payment, Compliance, Medicare/Medicaid