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Legal Insights and Perspectives for the Healthcare Industry
We hosted a very informative Fast Break session last month on CMS telehealth and RPM updates. If you weren't able to join us, the session was led by healthcare litigation associates Jake Harper and Tesch West, with special guest Ben Steinhafel, director of policy and external affairs at the Center for Telehealth and eHealth Law.

In the complex world of Medicare reimbursement, there are a multitude of payment formulae, mathematical adjustments, and reimbursement calculations that translate congressional policy into operational payments for hospital providers. But sometimes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) doesn’t get the math right. Recently, the US District Court for the District of Columbia found that academic medical centers have been subject to one such calculation error that implicates the amount such teaching hospitals receive as payment in support of direct graduate medical education (GME). Milton S. Hershey Med. Ctr. v. Xavier Becerra, Civ. Action No. 19-2680 (May 17, 2021). Based on the court’s reasoning, teaching hospitals operating above their full-time equivalent (FTE) resident cap may have been systematically underpaid as a result of the regulatory payment formula for determining the weighted FTE amount of residents used to calculate the GME payment. Other hospitals have recently followed Hershey Medical into the DC District Court seeking similar decisions.

A notable headline from the August 12 MLN Connects Newsletter for healthcare providers states “CMS Resumes Targeted Probe & Educate Program.” Designed to help providers reduce claim denials and appeals, CMS suspended prepayment reviews under the Targeted Probe and Educate (TPE) program in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) in March 2020. But unlike post-payment audits which have been active since CMS authorized its contractors to begin new audits in August 2020, TPE prepay reviews remained on hold.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a table copy of its calendar year 2022 Medicare physician fee schedule proposed rule. The proposed rule is chock full of policy updates concerning telehealth, remote physiologic monitoring (RPM), and new remote therapeutic monitoring codes. Coming on the heels of the significant telehealth waivers put in place during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), CMS proposes to continue the steady expansion of virtual care options with this rule.
We hope you were able to join us for last month's Fast Break on the Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care, which has been a longstanding initiative of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Office of the Inspector General to navigate a path to value-based payment models, culminating in the December 2020 final rules. If not, you missed a conversational session featuring Katie McDermott, Al Shay, and Jake Harper diving a bit deeper into this topic.
Members of our healthcare industry team have published two LawFlashes that may be of particular interest to hospice clients and friends of Health Law Scan, referring to recent Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor Revisions and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.
Powerfully illustrating the efforts of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to transform the US healthcare system to a value-based model, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have finalized rules that will alter critical healthcare fraud and abuse regulations to remove or diminish obstacles to value-based enterprises that meaningfully embrace patient care coordination.
In a stunning move, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has linked reporting and tracking of the incidence and impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease to satisfaction of the Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoPs) for hospitals and critical access hospitals, in spite of the federal about-face that has caused confusion concerning that same reporting since the inception of the pandemic.
Imagine you are the primary caretaker for your 94-year-old terminally ill mother who lives in your home while under hospice care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
US President Donald Trump issued an executive order on August 3 that aims to expand telehealth access to Medicare beneficiaries beyond the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency (PHE) period. The executive order focuses on rural healthcare providers in particular, noting the difficulties patients in rural areas face in obtaining accessible, high-quality healthcare services over the years.