Category: Medicare

CMS Requests Information Regarding The Stark Law’s Potential Barriers to Coordinated Care

On June 25, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a Request for Information (“RFI”) in the Federal Register regarding section 1877 of the Social Security Act, also known as the “physician self-referral law” or the “Stark Law”. The Stark Law is a strict liability statute that: […]

OIG Advisory Opinion Permits Limited Provision of Free Telemedicine Hardware and Services

On May 31, 2018, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion No. 18-03 regarding an arrangement in which a not-for-profit Federally qualified health center look-alike (Provider) would provide, at no charge, certain information technology-related equipment and services to a County Department of Health health clinic (County Clinic) for […]

**UPDATED*** Administration Releases Long-Awaited Drug Pricing Reform Plan

***5/14/2018 Update***   This morning, HHS Secretary Azar gave a speech offering additional details on the Blueprint.  Included in his remarks are plans to publicly identify companies suspected of “using public health rules to pad their profits”; send letters to all Medicare Part D plan sponsors indicating gag clauses in pharmacy contracts are unacceptable […]

OIG Advisory Opinion Approves Ostomy Supply Distributor to Provide Free Product Samples

On Monday, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion No. 18-02 regarding an arrangement in which the Requestor who distributes and sells, but does not manufacture, certain ostomy products (Products) provides a limited number of free Product samples to patients and contracts with a third party (Contractor) to […]

OIG Permits Drug Companies To Provide Free Medications in Limited Circumstances to Patients for 2018 Following Advisory Opinion Rescission

As we discussed last month, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) rescinded Advisory Opinion 06-04 (Opinion 06-04), provided to a nonprofit, tax-exempt, charitable patient assistance program (PAP) because it determined that the PAP failed to fully, completely and accurately disclose all relevant and material facts to the OIG and failed […]

OIG Revokes Patient Assistance Program Advisory Opinion Protection

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) rescinded Advisory Opinion 06-04 (Opinion 06-04) on November 28, 2017, retroactive to its original issuance date of April 20, 2006. Opinion 06-04 had been modified by the OIG on December 23, 2015. Issued to a nonprofit, tax-exempt, charitable patient assistance program that provides aid […]

Price Confirmed for HHS Secretary, other key agency and department positions next to be filled

Around 2 a.m., the Senate voted along party lines to confirm Representative Tom Price to become Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  The vote was 52-47 with no Democrats voting in favor.  With repeated attacks on his policy record and questions about stock purchases, Price’s nomination was […]

Medicare Part B Demo Declared Dead

On Thursday, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would not move forward with its controversial Medicare Part B Payment Model  (Part B Demo).  The Part B Demo had come under heavy fire from industry groups, some patient organizations, providers and a bipartisan collection of policymakers in […]

CMS Issues Final MACRA Physician Payment Rule

On Friday, October 14th, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the long-anticipated final rule with 60-day comment period (Rule) for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Quality Payment Program (QPP). The QPP provides incentive payments for participation in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (Advanced APM).  […]

Washington Update: Senate proceeds towards “Cures”; CMS releases MA rates and Call Letter

Health care policy issues continue to stream out of Congress and the Administration.  The Senate held a markup of  various health bills as part of its effort to produce a companion to the House of Representatives-passed 21st Century Cures legislation and CMS released long awaited Medicare Advantage rates.