On April 16, 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The bill permanently transforms the structure of Medicare physician reimbursement and enacts several changes to Medicare payment, program integrity and policy provisions that will affect both health care providers and pharmaceutical/medical device manufacturers. The most … Continue Reading
CMS has issued an educational article on the FDA's approval of the first biosimilar product, and what implications this approval will have for Medicare coverage. CMS plans to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries will have access to this new product, as it does for other drugs that receive FDA approval. The CMS article addresses several questions that have arisen regarding biosimilars.… Continue Reading
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed a law requiring health insurance carriers in that state to encrypt individuals' personal information. This new law will be enforced in conjunction with the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA), and failure to obey the law will be classified as a violation of the NJCFA, which could result in financial penalties for the carriers. The new legislation may also affect business associates through the contractual terms of business associate agreements.… Continue Reading
The February 2014 decision (discussed in an earlier blog post) in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit dismissed the False Claims Act (FCA) charges brought in United States ex rel. Rostholder v. Omnicare, Inc. was confirmed on October 6, 2014, when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the Rostholder decision. … Continue Reading
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health & Human Services issued a Special Advisory Bulletin (SAB) on September 19, 2014 discussing the coupon programs employed by many pharmaceutical manufacturers to reduce or entirely eliminate patient copayments to obtain brand-name drugs. As mentioned on our Health Industry Washington Watch blog, the SAB … Continue Reading
There seems to be growing awareness that engaging in a "business, trade, or profession," can easily subject any person or entity to what is known as the Medicare secondary payer ("MSP") law--a series of provisions in Title XVIII the Social Security Act, governing the hierarchy of who pays first among applicable insurers. Given its scope and complexity, understanding and complying with the MSP law can be overwhelming. Further, although failure to comply carries obvious risk, conforming to what the law requires may also trigger certain risks of its own.… Continue Reading
President Obama recently signed the Medicare IVIG Access and Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act (commonly referred to as the SMART Act) to alleviate some of the confusion surrounding the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP), which allows Medicare to seek reimbursement, and potential penalties, from "responsible" parties. These "responsible" parties include tort defendants, such as drug and medical device manufacturers, who become primary payers once they settle or have a judgment awarded against them in a case involving a Medicare beneficiary. The SMART Act will, among other things, introduce a three-year statute of limitations for which the government may bring an action for reimbursement and create a minimum settlement/judgment threshold below which the government will not seek reimbursement.… Continue Reading
Recent posts on www.lifescienceslegalupdate.com include:
"Supreme Court Rules That Juries - Not Judges - Must Determine Facts Supporting Large Criminal Fines"
The Reed Smith Global Regulatory Enforcement Law blog has an interesting post about a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that protects the Sixth Amendment rights of defendants in high-stakes criminal cases. In Southern Union Co. v. United States, the Court ruled that any fact supporting a "substantial" criminal fine must be found by a jury applying the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard. In this post, Efrem M. Grail and Kyle R. Bahr explain the opinion and discuss the wide impact it will have on criminal actions, from investigation to sentencing.
View the entire entry:
"Life Sciences Health Industry China Briefing - June 2012 (July 20, 2012)"
Reed Smith's Life Sciences Health Industry China Briefing provides a summary of the monthly news and legal developments relating to China's Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, and Life Sciences/ Health Care Industries.… Continue Reading
This post was written by John Tan, Jay J. Yan, Mao Rong, Katherine Yang, and Gordon B. Schatz. Reed Smith’s Life Sciences Health Industry China Briefing provides a summary of the monthly news and legal developments relating to China’s Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, and Life Sciences/ Health Care Industries. Some important developments during May include: Introduction … Continue Reading
On July 8, 2011, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it had awarded Myers and Stauffer, LC a contract to prepare a monthly survey of retail community pharmacy (“RCP”) prescription drug prices. The contract is in furtherance of CMS’s commitment to develop and publish “Average Acquisition Cost” (“AAC”) data reflecting RCPs’ purchase … Continue Reading
The California Supreme Court soon will render its long-awaited decision in Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc., No. S179115 (review granted March 10, 2010) and declare whether personal injury plaintiffs can recover the full amount of their medical bills versus the lesser amount actually paid by insurers. The Howell decision has garnered national attention as has the potential to dramatically affect personal injury litigants, the insurance industry, large corporations, and consumers.… Continue Reading
In an "Alert" dated November 9, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a revised implementation timeline applicable to liability insurance (including self-insurance) "responsible reporting entities" (RREs) under Section 111 of the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Action of 2007 (MMSEA). Specifically, the obligation to report "total payment obligation to claimant" (TPOC) amounts subject to the reporting requirement has been extended from the first calendar quarter of 2011 to the first calendar quarter of 2012. Moreover, under the revised implementation timeline, only TPOC amounts established on or after October 1, 2011 (instead of October 1, 2010) must be reported. Earlier reporting (i.e., reporting prior to the first calendar quarter of 2012), and reporting of TPOC amounts established prior to October 1, 2011 is now optional. CMS has also delayed the staggered phase-out of its interim threshold dollar amounts for TPOC amounts that liability insurance (including self-insurance) and workers' compensation RREs must report by one year.… Continue Reading
Despite the many years since enactment, counseling health care clients on the broad and complex federal physician self-referral law, commonly called the Stark Law, will become increasingly difficult. Although originally enacted in 1989 to create “bright line” to demark improper physician self-referred laboratory services, and expanded in 1993 to cover a wide range of “designated … Continue Reading
On September 3, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") published a Proposed Rule withdrawing certain provisions of the July 17, 2007 AMP Final Rule, and withdrawing the October 7, 2008 Final Rule defining "Multiple Source Drug." Specifically, the rule proposes to withdraw 42 C.F.R. § 447.504, "Determination of AMP," § 447.514, "Upper limits for multiple source drugs," and the definition of "Multiple Source Drug" in § 447.502. Conforming amendments are also proposed to other sections of the AMP Final Rule, generally by replacing references to the regulatory definition of AMP which is being deleted, with references to the statutory definition of AMP. As the rule explains, the withdrawal is being proposed in light of retail pharmacies' legal challenges to the definition of AMP and the multiple source drug provisions, and the passage of health care reform amendments which have effectively superseded the AMP provisions.… Continue Reading
On March 5, 2010, the Office of Pharmacy Affairs published a Final Notice allowing covered entities to use multiple contract pharmacies in order to supplement "in-house" pharmacy services or to increase patient access to 340B drugs. This Final Notice replaces "Notice Regarding Section 602 of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992; Contract Pharmacy Services (61 Fed. Reg. 43,549) and all other previous 340B Program guidance regarding non-network contract pharmacy services.… Continue Reading
On December 10, 2008, the European Commission published a series of political measures and legislative proposals, the so-called "Pharmaceutical Package." This series included the "Communication on a renewed vision for the pharmaceutical sector," which reflected on ways to improve market access and develop initiatives to boost European Union ("EU") pharmaceutical research. Through the Pharmaceutical Package, the European Commission aims to make pricing and reimbursement more transparent, increase the development of pharmaceutical research within the EU, improve the safety of medicines worldwide, and reinforce cooperation with international partners.
The European Commission has published three separate sets of proposals amending Directive 2001/83/EC on the Community Code of medicinal products and Regulation 726/2004 on medicinal products obtained through centralized procedures:
1. A proposal amending Directive 2001/83 as "regards information to the general public on medicinal products subject to medical prescription" (Information to patient);
2. A proposal amending Directive 2001/83 and a proposal amending Regulation 726/2004 as "regards pharmacovigilance" (The EU pharmacovigilance system); and,
3. A proposal amending Directive 2001/83 as "regards the prevention of the entry into the legal supply chain of medicinal products which are falsified in relation to their identity, history or source" (Counterfeit Medicines).… Continue Reading
On December 12, 2008 the Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR") Council's Final Rule - which applies to all federal government contracts in amounts greater than $5 million and more than 120 days in duration, including small business and commercial item contracts -- went into effect, requiring all federal contractors to disclose wrongdoing to the federal government, including certain violations of federal law, and violations of the False Claims Act. Specifically, contractors must "timely" disclose, in writing and to the Inspector General and the contracting officer (in that order), whenever, in connection with the award, performance, or closeout of a contract, the contractor has "credible evidence" that a principal, employee, agent, or subcontractor has committed a violation of federal criminal law involving fraud, conflict of interest, bribery or gratuity violations under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, or a violation of the False Claims Act.
In addition, the rule requires contractors to establish a "business ethics awareness and compliance program," as well as an "internal control system" with certain attributes. In addition, significant overpayments by the government must be disclosed to the contracting officer. Failure to disclose violations of federal criminal law or violations of the False Claims Act may lead to criminal sanctions, civil penalties, suspension, or debarment.… Continue Reading
Recent posts on www.lifescienceslegalupdate.com include:
"Current Issues Under The Civil False Claims Act: Worthless Services, Off-Label Use, and More" which briefly identifies relevant criminal and civil provisions relating to these issues, and then focuses more closely on recent uses of the civil False Claims Act ("FCA") in government investigations of health care providers, suppliers, and manufacturers, including a section on state false claims legislation. Finally, it discusses the issue of distinguishing overpayments from false claims and provide information on the voluntary disclosure program of the Office of the Inspector General ("OIG") of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). http://www.lifescienceslegalupdate.com/2009/01/articles/product-liability/offlabel-use/current-issues-under-the-civil-false-claims-act-worthless-services-offlabel-use-and-more/
...and "Life Sciences Industry Members Who Contract With Government Should Note Recent Amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation" which discusses an amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR") to establish: (1) mandatory disclosure requirements for certain violations of federal criminal law and the False Claims Act; (2) requirements for contractors to establish and maintain specific internal controls to detect, prevent, and disclose improper conduct in connection with the award or performance of any government contract or subcontract; and (3) new causes for suspension and debarment. See 73 Fed. Reg. 219, 67,064 (Nov. 12, 2008). http://www.lifescienceslegalupdate.com/2009/01/articles/regulatory-developments/life-sciences-industry-members-who-contract-with-government-should-note-recent-amendment-to-the-federal-acquisition-regulation/… Continue Reading
This post was written by Lorraine M. Campos, Gregory S. Jacobs and Brett D. Gerson. On November 12, 2008, the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council issued an amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) to establish: (1) mandatory disclosure requirements for certain violations of federal criminal law and the False … Continue Reading
This post was written by Elizabeth Carder-Thompson, Gina M. Cavalier, Matthew E. Wetzel. On December 18, 2008, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (“AdvaMed”), the national trade association of medical technology manufacturers, issued a revised Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals (the “AdvaMed Code” or “Code”). The revised AdvaMed Code, which becomes effective … Continue Reading
Reed Smith partner Karl Thallner just published "Health Care Reform During the Obama Presidency: The Impact on Hospitals" in BNA's Health Care Policy. Karl discusses several aspects of the Obama plan, including access to coverage, individual mandates, delivery and payment, and transparency. As the article notes, "[t]o the extent that health care reform reduces the uninsured population, hospitals could benefit through a reduction in uncompensated care and bad debts. In addition, hospitals may see increases in patient volumes with the reduction in the uninsured."… Continue Reading
The Reed Smith Health Industry Washington Watch blog has been updated to discuss a variety of regulatory and legislative developments of interest to the life sciences and health industry, including the following: Legislative Developments: President Bush signed into law mental health parity legislation and funding for HHS and other federal agency programs through March 6, 2009. … Continue Reading
On Aug. 9, 2008, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare ("DPW") published its proposed regulations for assisted living facilities operating within the Commonwealth. The proposed regulations were drafted in response to the Pennsylvania General Assembly's enactment of Act 56 on July 25, 2007.… Continue Reading
A lesser-known provision in the Medicare Program allows payment for “reasonable and necessary” items or services provided through clinical trials. At the same time, even for traditional reimbursement, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) increasingly is demanding evidence of effectiveness in the Medicare population, rather than simply in the general population, to support a … Continue Reading