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Showing 9 posts in Physician Payments.

Physicians: Have You Checked Your Numbers?

Posted In Health Care Law, Health Reform, Medicare, Physician Payments

As promised, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released information about Medicare payment to physicians and certain health care professionals on April 9th. The release is in conjunction with the policy change instituted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which allows CMS to respond on a case-by-case basis to Freedom of Information Act requests for Medicare payment information related to individual physicians (see more on the topic here). More >

Should Kentucky Physicians Follow California Physicians’ Lead In Challenging Medicaid Rates?

In recent years, Kentucky physicians have dealt with the state’s prescription drug abuse problem head-on – by adding substance disorder recovery services to their practices or establishing separate addiction recovery clinics. This trend has undoubtedly played a role in the 2013 decline of Kentucky deaths from overdoses of controlled substances – the first in many years. More >

2014 Work Plan Highlights for Physicians

On January 31, 2014, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) finally released its Work Plan for fiscal year 2014. The Work Plan is a dense summary of the OIG’s various enforcement priorities for the year. This overview is specifically for physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers. Some of this year’s plan’s significant focus areas are discussed below. More >

New Rule Brings Sweeping Changes to Physician Privacy, Part II

Earlier this week, we discussed the new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) policy on disclosure of Medicare reimbursement to individual physicians.  The policy, set to take effect on March 18, 2014, enables the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to evaluate requests for physician pay information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and, in some cases, release the data. This new policy marks a fundamental shift in HHS’ commitment to protect physician privacy. More >

New Rule Brings Sweeping Changes to Physician Privacy

On January 17, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would begin granting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for Medicare reimbursement to individual physicians on a “case-by-case basis.”  The new policy, effective March 18, 2014, is a departure from CMS’ long-standing practice of withholding information on physician reimbursement under the Medicare program. More >

Part II: Understanding All-Payer Claims Databases

Earlier this week, we discussed the benefits of all-payer claims database (“APCD”) systems. Nine states currently have APCDs in place, but Kentucky is not one of them. These systems provide a multitude of information on the cost, use, and quality of health care in a given state, but the question remains: how do providers feel about APCDs? More >

Part I: Understanding All-Payer Claims Databases

Over the last decade, many states have established all-payer claims database (“APCD”) systems that collect medical, pharmaceutical, and dental eligibility and claims information. Payers, including insurance providers, third-party administrators, prescription drug plans, Medicaid, and Medicare, are responsible for depositing eligibility and claims data into a collective system. The data can then be used to generate important information about cost and quality of care. By gathering detailed information in one place, a statewide picture emerges – information on service providers, patient demographics, and other important healthcare data. More >

The ACA Loophole Of Which Providers Should Be Aware, Part II

Earlier this week, we discussed the three-month grace period afforded to enrollees of qualified health plans (“QHPs”). To recap that article, the ACA requires that QHPs pay claims for the first thirty days of the grace period during which premium payment remains unpaid, but issuers may pend claims for the final sixty days of the grace period. If the balance remains unpaid, the issuer may deny any claims submitted within the final sixty days. More >

The ACA Loophole Of Which Providers Should Be Aware

Providers contracting with state health insurance exchanges may find themselves shortchanged for services provided due to a little-known loophole in the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).

Under the ACA, an individual who fails to pay his or her insurance premiums has a three-month grace period before the policy is cancelled. Insurers, however, are only responsible for paying claims during the first month of that grace period. The ACA will allow exchange plan, also known as “qualified health plan” (“QHP”), issuers to pend claims submitted by providers during the last two months of a federally subsidized patient’s three-month grace period for premium payment delinquency. If the patient is terminated at the end of the three months, the QHP is free to deny all claims submitted for that patient within the final two months.

Here’s what providers can expect during the three-month grace period:

First month of delinquency:

  • Claims are paid normally. The QHP treats this month as paid even if the enrollee is eventually terminated for non-payment.
  • Providers are not notified of the patient’s delinquency.

Second and third months of delinquency:

  • The QHP has the option to pend claims for services performed until the enrollee pays his or her outstanding premium balance.
  • Providers submitting claims during these two months are notified of the potential that claims submitted for services performed for the enrollee may be denied.
  • If the enrollee pays off the premium balance, providers’ claims are paid at that time.

Terminated after three months of delinquency:

  • The QHP has the option to deny all claims for services performed in the second and third months of delinquency.

Note that the timing of an enrollee’s grace period is based upon the date when a service was rendered, not the date of claim submission. In fact, a patient may enroll in a different QHP during the next open enrollment period regardless of whether they have paid off an outstanding premium balance with their previous insurer.

Providers have the option to seek payment from the patient for denied claims, but a patient who is unable to pay their insurance premium is also unlikely able to pay a provider’s bill. Further, the legal action necessary to recover payment is a costly endeavor for any provider. Check back on Thursday for more information on this topic.

This article is intended as a summary of federal and state law and does not constitute legal advice.

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