On December 11, 2013, CMS released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking soliciting comments on specific practices for which civil monetary penalties may or may not be imposed for failure to comply with Medicare Secondary Payer reporting requirements. Among other issues, CMS is seeking comments and proposals on mechanisms and criteria that it would use to evaluate whether and when it would impose penalties for noncompliance with Medicare Secondary Payer reporting requirements.… Continue Reading
Referencing what it deems a "proliferation" of physician-owned distributors (PODs), on March 26, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a Special Fraud Alert identifying significant concerns with such entities under federal anti-kickback principles.1 For purposes of the Alert, the OIG defines a POD as "any physician-owned entity that derives revenue from selling, or arranging for the sale of, implantable medical devices," including "physician-owned entities that purport to design or manufacture, typically under contractual arrangements, their own medical devices or instrumentation." Specifically, the OIG describes in somewhat unusual detail the multiple "attributes and practices" of PODs that the OIG believes "produce substantial fraud and abuse risk and pose dangers to patient safety."
Notably, the Alert is focused on PODs that derive revenue from selling, or arranging for the sale of, implantable medical devices that are ordered by physician-owners for use in procedures that physician-owners "perform on their own patients at hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs)." However, the OIG states that "the same principles would apply when evaluating arrangements involving other types of physician-owned entities."… Continue Reading
A recent case out of a district court in Michigan suggests medical providers may have a new method to obtain payment for bills that were denied by an insurance company - Medicare Secondary Payer Act's (MSP) private enforcement provision. Mich. Spine & Brain Surgeons, PLLC v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 12cv11329, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17721, *1 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 11, 2013).
In Michigan Spine, an insured covered by Medicare and State Farm automobile insurance was involved in a severe car accident. Id. at *2. Following the accident, the insured underwent extensive neurosurgery performed by Michigan Spine and Brain Surgeons, PLLC ("Michigan Spine"). Id. at *5. Michigan Spine submitted its charges to State Farm, but Sate Farm refused to cover the individual claiming that her injuries were from preexisting conditions and unrelated to the car accident. Id. at *5-*6. The insured then submitted her claim to Medicare which made a partial payment to Michigan Spine. Id. at *6.… 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
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently updated the information on its website with respect to the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA), Section 111 "Mandatory Insurer Reporting" requirements. The recent updates cover (1) a revised implementation timeline for certain liability insurance (including self-insurance) total payment obligation to claimant settlements, (2) revised guidance on claims involving exposure, ingestion, and implantation issues, (3) upcoming improvements to the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) program, (4) a new exception for certain settlements paid into a qualified settlement fund and (5) a new way for certain injured Medicare beneficiaries to satisfy their past and future MSP obligations.… Continue Reading
The Medicare secondary payer ("MSP") law requires Medicare to be the "secondary" payer of health benefits for Medicare beneficiaries where another entity is the "primary" payer of health benefits. Determining whether another entity is "primary" and when Medicare is "secondary" has often been difficult due to the wide range of circumstances in which another party may be responsible for a Medicare beneficiary's health expenses, the number of potential parties involved, and the somewhat confusing terminology in the law itself. As a result, Congress enacted new rules to enhance the enforcement of the MSP law. Any entity that might pay settlements to Medicare-eligible plaintiffs that would cover any health expenses, or might otherwise compensate Medicare beneficiaries for health expenses as part of group health insurance, workers' compensation, or any other arrangement or plan, needs to become familiar with these new rules. Specifically, Congress now requires such entities to (1) register as a responsible reporting entity ("RRE"), and (2) electronically report information to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS").CMS will use this information to track and recover health expenses it incurred on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries but that another entity, as a primary payer under the existing MSP requirements, may be responsible for paying.… Continue Reading
On July 15, 2008, the House and Senate overrode President Bush's veto of H.R. 6331, the "Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008" ("MIPPA"). MIPPA rescinds a 10.6 percent cut in Medicare physician payments, delays a controversial medical equipment competitive bidding program, and makes numerous other Medicare and Medicaid policy changes.… Continue Reading