Reed Smith

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CMS Proposes Broad Expansion of Medicare/Medicaid/CHIP Provider and Supplier Screening Requirements Under Affordable Care Act Authority

On September 23, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule that would implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) designed to strengthen provider and supplier screening requirements under the Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). According to CMS, the Proposed Rule is intended to ensure "that only legitimate providers and suppliers are enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP, and that only legitimate claims will be paid." Among many other things, the Proposed Rule would: apply screening tools, including unannounced site visits, background checks, and fingerprinting, based on the level of risk associated with different provider and supplier types; impose a $500 application fee on certain providers and suppliers; authorize temporary moratoria on enrollment of certain types of new providers and suppliers; require Medicare and Medicaid payments to be suspended upon credible allegations of fraud; and update various Medicaid screening requirements. Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until November 16, 2010. Our full alert provides an analysis of the proposed rule.… Continue Reading

Authentication Practices and Secure Communications in the Life Sciences and Health Care Industry

Information security is paramount in the life sciences and health care industry because it is subject to affirmative regulatory requirements regarding the physical and technical safeguards used to secure electronic information. It is therefore troubling that the Internet protocols that are universally used to transmit encrypted information employ an authentication process (to verify the endpoints of a communication) that is deeply flawed. The authentication process requires the parties to the communication to trust literally hundreds of unknown third parties referred to as "certificate authorities." The closer one looks at the identity of these third parties and the processes used to carry out the authentication process, the worse it gets. It is time for GCs to get involved because Encryption is Not Enough...… Continue Reading

FDA Announces New Chief Counsel

Ralph Tyler has been appointed the new FDA General Counsel. The announcement was made today by FDA Commissioner, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg. Mr. Tyler will join the Office of the Chief Counsel in Rockville, MD on January 19, 2010. Stepping down will be Acting Chief Counsel Michael Landa, who will return to the Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN) as Deputy Director for Regulatory Affairs. Mr. Tyler is currently the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Maryland. Previously he served as Chief Legal Counsel to Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. Prior to that, Mr. Tyler served as the Deputy Attorney General, the Chief of Litigation, and Assistant Attorney General in the Maryland Attorney General's office between 1982 and 1996. Mr. Tyler also spent several years as a partner at Hogan & Hartson, LLP. He holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois, a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University, and a LL.M. from Harvard University.… Continue Reading