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OIG’s Audit found Medicare Contractors Were Not Consistent in How They Reviewed Extrapolated Overpayments in the Provider Appeals Process

by admin on September 1, 2020 No comments

oig auditBy: Karina P. Gonzalez

When an overpayment is identified in Medicare Part A or B claims, providers can contest the overpayment amount by using the Medicare administrative appeals process.  Because of the large difference between overpayment amount in a sample from an extrapolated amount, the OIG states that it is critical for the review process during an appeal to be fair and consistent. In the first and second levels of Medicare appeals (redetermination and reconsideration) extrapolated overpayments are reviewed by MAC (Medicare Administrative Contractors) and by QICs (Qualified Independent Contractors).

The OIG audit was to make sure that the MACs and the QICs reviewed the appealed extrapolated overpayments consistently and in compliance with CMS requirements.

What OIG found was that CMS did not always provide sufficient guidance and oversight to ensure that these reviews were performed in a consistent manner.  The most significant inconsistency identified was the use of a type of simulation testing that was performed only by a subset of contractors.  The test was associated with at least $42 million in extrapolated overpayments that were overturned in fiscal years 2017 and 2018.

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adminOIG’s Audit found Medicare Contractors Were Not Consistent in How They Reviewed Extrapolated Overpayments in the Provider Appeals Process

CMS to Resume Healthcare Provider Audits

by admin on August 10, 2020 No comments

cms auditBy: Karina P. Gonzalez

CMS has announced that it will resume Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) medical reviews August 3, 2020 regardless of the status of the COVID-19 public health emergency. These audits have been suspended since March 30 as a result of the crisis and applied to prepayment reviews and post-payment reviews conducted by Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC).

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The DME Industry and the COVID-19 Pandemic: What’s Changed & What Hasn’t

by admin on August 10, 2020 No comments

By: Michael Silverman

On January 31, 2020 the US Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) declared a public health emergency surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which was renewed again for a period of 90 days effective July 25, 2020.

In an attempt to focus on patients over paperwork and to remove obstacles from access to patient care, HHS relaxed or suspended certain healthcare provider requirements. Several such changes directly impact current or prospective providers of durable medical equipment (“DME”) to Medicare Part B beneficiaries.

Here’s a high-level breakdown of some of those changes:

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adminThe DME Industry and the COVID-19 Pandemic: What’s Changed & What Hasn’t

The 3 Knocks Coming to your Healthcare Business’ Door Post-Pandemic: The Lawyers, The Regulators; and The Auditors

by admin on June 4, 2020 No comments

florida healthcare law firm audits after covidBy: Steven Boyne

When COVID-19 passes and the world begins to return to normal, you can be guaranteed that many of your old “friends” will come to visit you. To minimize future liability, pain and time, you should be preparing today for tomorrow’s visitors:

The Lawyers. Lawyers come in many flavors, and can bring good or bad news. Depending on your initial reaction to the pandemic, and your subsequent actions as the panic started to die down you may see three types of lawyers: (1) Those that represent past or present employees who have lost their job or contracted COVID-19; (2) Those that represent patients who claim malpractice based on the care that you did or did not deliver, and also those patients who assert that they contracted COVID-19 at your office; and finally (3) Those that represent creditors or debtors of your practice. The actions you should take today are many and varied and beyond the scope of this overview, however, you should be asking the following questions of yourself: (i) did you file a claim for business interruption despite the fact that your insurance broker said you were wasting your time? (ii) does your malpractice carrier cover you for liability outside of the normal scope of providing care? (iii) are your documenting your actions throughout the pandemic to demonstrate that you were acting reasonably at a time when you did not have all the facts? (iv) did you look at your business insurance policies for coverage for employee claims, or workers comp claims, or OSHA claims? (v) did you research what other similarly situated companies are doing, as you will most likely be held to the same standards? (vi) did you follow guidance from State and Federal entities? and (vii) did you provide notice during the pandemic to debtors or other parties who have breached their obligations?

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adminThe 3 Knocks Coming to your Healthcare Business’ Door Post-Pandemic: The Lawyers, The Regulators; and The Auditors

Webinar | Telemedicine During COVID-19: From Basics to Potential Pitfalls

by admin on May 6, 2020 No comments

Information from CMS for medical providers on telehealth and telemedicineThe new rules and temporary waivers to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic seem to be changing everyday and questions about telemedicine seem to be flying in. Even though CMS has created some flexibility during this incredibly uncertain time telemedicine laws remain tricky and one size does not fit all! Join Attorney Susan St. John of the Florida Healthcare Law Firm for this informative presentation and get questions answered about the new rules, the setup basics, the billing recommendations and the potential pitfalls.

 

Webinar register here button

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Webinar | Emergency Telemedicine Education: From Setup to Billing and COVID-19

by admin on April 7, 2020 No comments

emergency telehealth webinarJust the other day CMS issued new rules and temporary waivers to help combat the COVID pandemic. We are getting flooded with questions about telemedicine in particular and wanted to highlight some of the points of the March 31st update that relate to telehealth.

  • Hospitals may use and bill for telehealth services so that patients can be screened without presenting at a hospital. The telehealth screening will allow hospitals to determine the most appropriate site for care, thereby minimizing the patient’s risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • Health care providers using telehealth will be able to bill for telehealth services at the same rate as in-person services of the same kind and level. Allowable telehealth services have also been expanded during the health care crisis.
  • Importantly, a patient’s home may now serve as the originating site for Medicare telehealth services. CMS is also allowing for required supervision of lower level clinicians to be accomplished through virtual technology if appropriate for a patient’s particular situation.
  • Further, providers, including practitioners, may be able to temporarily enroll in Medicare to be able to assist with the current health care crisis.

Even though CMS has created some flexibility during this incredibly uncertain time…something about telemedicine laws remaining tricky and not being a one size fits all suit. Attorney Susan St. John will give you all of the details on how telemedicine set up, billing questions and more! Join us for this free webinar.

April 14 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Free

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adminWebinar | Emergency Telemedicine Education: From Setup to Billing and COVID-19

CMS Rolls Out a General Provider Telehealth and Telemedicine Tool Kit

by admin on March 23, 2020 No comments

Information from CMS for medical providers on telehealth and telemedicineBy: Susan St. John

CMS has rolled out a telehealth/telemedicine tool kit to assist medical professionals with health care delivery during the current COVID-19 public health emergency.

The toolkit contains information and links concerning:

 

  • 1135 Waivers – allows the Secretary of HHS to temporarily waive or modify certain Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements to ensure sufficient health care services and items are available to meet the needs of individuals enrolled in Social Security Act programs during the emergency and that providers who provide services in good faith can be reimbursed and exempted from sanctions (provided there is no determination of fraud and abuse). 1135 waiver or modifications include:
    • Conditions of participation and other certification requirements;
    • Program participation and similar requirements;
    • Preapproval requirements;
    • State licensing requirements where services are rendered as long as the provider has equivalent licensing in another State (for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP reimbursement only; State licensing still controls whether a non-Federal provider may provide services in a state he/she is not licensed in);
    • EMTALA sanctions for redirection for medical screening, as long as redirection is not the result of discrimination on the basis of a patient’s source of payment or ability to pay;
    • Stark self-referral sanctions;
    • Adjustment (not waiver) to performance deadlines and timetables;
    • Limitations on payment to permit Medicare enrollees to use out of network providers in an emergency situation.
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adminCMS Rolls Out a General Provider Telehealth and Telemedicine Tool Kit

Florida Medicaid Waiver in Response to COVID-19 National Emergency

by admin on March 18, 2020 No comments

florida medicaid waiver for covid-19 corona virusBy David J. Davidson

On March 16, 2020, Florida became the first state to receive a Medicaid waiver from CMS in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. These provider enrollment emergency relief efforts also apply to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as applicable. With this waiver, Florida Medicaid, and Medicaid providers, will have greater flexibility in treating covered patients. Pursuant to the Florida waiver:

 

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Coronavirus Call to Action

by admin on March 10, 2020 No comments

Corona virus call to action. Blog post by healthcare attorney David J. Davidson By: David J. Davidson

On March 4, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued three Quality, Safety & Oversight Memoranda, all concerning the Coronavirus. According to these documents, effective immediately, the government will begin to focus its inspections exclusively on issues related to infection control and other serious health and safety threats. According to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, the memoranda should be seen as a “call to action across the healthcare system.” The goal of the guidance given in the memoranda is to continue to keep Americans safe and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

The first memorandum resets the focus of governmental surveys. The order of priority for government surveys will now be:

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CMS Hospital Price Transparency Requirements

by admin on November 19, 2019 No comments

hospital price transparencyBy: Karina Gonzalez

On November 15, 2019 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule requiring hospitals to publicly disclose “standard charges, including payer-specific negotiated rates for items and services. Hospitals will be required to comply by January 1, 2021. The proposed rule is subject to 60 days of comment.

The final rule requires hospitals to make public in a machine-readable file online all standard charges (including gross charges, discounted cash prices, payer-specific negotiated charges) for all hospital items and services.  It requires hospitals to de-identify minimum and maximum negotiated charges for at least 300 “shoppable” services.

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