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Legal Insights and Perspectives for the Healthcare Industry
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of General Counsel (OGC) offered the healthcare industry the benefit of its legal analysis of the recent US Supreme Court opinion in Azar v. Allina Health Services (Allina) with respect to its impact on Medicare payment rules, sharing its Memorandum to the Principal Deputy Administrator & Director of the Center for Medicare dated October 31, 2019 (OGC Memo) with the public.
We invite you to join us on Thursday, October 17, for an overview discussion about federal rulemaking, including procedural and de facto changes under the current administration. In this A–Z of Federal Rulemaking webinar, Susan Harthill, Jonathan Snare, and Timothy Lynch will discuss the impact of participating in federal rulemaking, how to get involved, the roles of the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and more.

Paired with the recent decision in Azar v. Allina, the healthcare industry in particular can hope for a greater voice in the regulatory process in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s directives. With Allina’s requirement that all statements of policy or guidance with substantive legal effect must proceed through notice and comment rulemaking, and Kisor’s instructions for greater judicial diligence with respect to interpreting agency rules, the healthcare industry may have increased confidence that the courts can provide a meaningful role in protecting regulated parties from unchecked agency authority. This is of great value in an era of rapidly changing and thoroughly regulated healthcare delivery systems.

In an opinion of significant importance to the administration of the Medicare program, the US Supreme Court issued a 7–1 decision requiring the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to follow notice and comment rulemaking when adopting a “statement of policy” that establishes or changes a “substantive legal standard.”
The healthcare industry awaits the US Supreme Court’s decision in Azar v. Allina Health Services with nervous anticipation.