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Under the proposed Medicare physician fee schedule rule (the “Proposed MPFS”) released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on June 25th, physician reimbursement rates would decrease by 6.1% as of January 1, 2011. On the day that CMS issued the Proposed MPFS, the 21% cut in physician reimbursement was deferred until at […]

Compliance continues to be a hot topic given the continued increase in enforcement, audits and other aspects of health care reform. On May 7, 2010, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) posted on its website an excerpt from a keynote address that the Inspector General for the Department of Health & Human Services recently gave […]

Huping Zhou, a former UCLA Healthcare System cardiothoracic surgeon is the first defendant in the nation to receive a prison sentence for a HIPAA privacy violation. After admitting that he illegally read private electronic medical records of patients and obtained individually identifiable health information without a valid reason, Zhou was sentenced to four months in […]

On Monday, April 6, 2010, CMS updated its RAC website by announcing a series of nationwide calls as detailed below: April 28, 2010, 1:00pm – 2:30pm EST: Nationwide RAC 101 Call, 1-877-251-0301 May 4, 2010, 1:00pm – 2:30pm EST: Nationwide RAC 101 Call for Home Health and Hospice Providers, 1-877-251-0301 May 5, 2010, 1:00pm – […]

On March 15, 2010, the Joint Commission announced revisions to Medical Staff Standard MS.01.01.01 (formerly known as MS.1.20). The revisions are based on the unanimous recommendations of an 18-member expert task force representing the American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons, American Dental Association, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Federation of American Hospitals […]

Rep. Sander Levin, an expert on trade issues, has been tapped to take over the House Ways and Means Committee after Rangel stepped down and Rep. Pete Stark stepped aside. It has been widely reported that concerns by fellow members of the House Ways and Means Committee over Rep. Pete Stark’s politics, background and history […]

Physician reimbursement under the Medicare program will not face a 21% cut, at least not for the next 30 days. Yesterday, on March 2, 2010, the Senate passed the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4691, 111th Cong. § 5 (2010)), which postponed the effective date of a planned 21% fee reduction for an additional […]

On February 18, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a transmittal addressing home health agencies (“HHAs”) that have deactivated billing privileges as well as conditions on HHAs and changes in ownership (the “Revised HHA Policy”). The Revised HHA Policy affords relief to those HHAs that submitted change-of-ownership (“CHOW”) applications prior to January […]

In the past month, Michigan has experienced a great deal of Medicare and Medicaid news. On February 11, Governor Jennifer Granholm announced that in her proposed 2011 budget, she would continue the 8% Medicaid cuts to hospitals, physicians, long-term care, and mental health providers. Further, her proposed budget also reintroduced the 3% physician tax that […]

The federal estate tax has been repealed for 2010 only and will be re-imposed in 2011. Congressional efforts to cancel the repeal failed late last year. Now that Congress is back in session, it is likely Congress will again try to cancel the repeal retroactive to January 1, 2010. Even if the repeal is canceled […]

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