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Showing 5 posts from May 2014.

FINALLY SOME RELIEF TO PROVIDERS—CMS ORDERED TO NO LONGER APPLY A COMMON RULE OF THUMB WHEN AUDITING

Health care providers are always at risk of a payor audit, and contracted auditors seem to be more aggressive now than ever. While MIC, MAC, and ZPIC audits as well as pre-payment reviews of late have become more efficient with the use of rules of thumb to flag specific codes commonly misapplied, the U.S. District Court of Vermont’s ruling in Jimmo v. Sebelius puts the brakes on such fishing expeditions.   In holding that, in the case of skilled nursing services, there is no “improvement standard” and claims should be reviewed on a case by case basis, the court has limited CMS in its ability to apply arbitrary standards in denying reimbursement for covered services. More >

Electronic Data Breach Leads to Largest HIPAA Settlement to Date

Recently, the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) of the Department of Health and Human Services entered into a $4.8 million dollar settlement with two New York-based health care organizations after a data breach involving electronic protected health information occurred. The agreement is the largest HIPAA settlement thus far. More >

Time to “Face” The Risks

In 2011, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), as part of the reform instituted by the Affordable Care Act, required that home health agencies and hospice patients receive a face-to-face visit (at specified time periods) by a physician or nurse practitioner to ensure that they continue to meet Medicare and Medicaid eligibility criteria. More >

All Eyes on Hospice Care

In 2013, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) charged the nation’s largest for-profit hospice chain, Vitas Innovative Hospice Care (“Vitas”), with false Medicare billings, inappropriately admitting patients with “aggressive marketing tactics,” and misleading patients and families about Medicare hospice benefits. This suit is just one of many recently filed against hospice providers, indicating that they are being watched keenly by enforcement authorities and government agencies. More >

Important Reminder for Association Group Health Plans

In Kentucky, most trade association-sponsored health plans renew on July 1, 2014. Now is an excellent time for trade association executives to review association and Health Plan materials to ensure compliance with applicable Federal and State requirements prior to renewal. More >

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