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HHS: Medicare payments to be tied to quality, not quantity

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced this week that future Medicare payments will be linked to quality and not quantity. This is the first time the federal agency has set specific goals designed to move away from plans that reward providers for the amount of care they provide instead of the quality […]

Healthcare providers must comply with Barrier-Free Initiative

On January 16, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it reached a settlement with Genesis Healthcare System in Ohio as part of its Barrier-Free Health Care Initiative. The healthcare system was alleged to have discriminated against a woman diagnosed with HIV after one of its primary care physicians refused to accept her as a […]

Compounding pharmacies face increased scrutiny

Earlier this month, federal authorities seized more than $18 million from the owners of the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy that was at the center of a meningitis outbreak in 2012 that killed 64 people across the country. It was just the latest in a string of federal government crackdowns on the now-shuttered New England Compounding Center […]

Next phase in Medicare DMEPOS competitive bidding announced

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the new bidding timeline for Round 2 recompete and the national mail-order recompete of the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, (DME) Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program. The 63-day window opens on Jan. 22, 2015 and runs through March 25, 2015. On Nov. 6, […]

CMS delays enforcement of Medicare Part D rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that it is delaying enforcement of the requirements in 42 CFR § 423.120(c)(6) for the Medicare Advantage and prescription drug benefit (Medicare Part D) programs until Dec. 1, 2015. In May, CMS finalized (CMS-4159-F), a rule aimed at combating fraud and abuse in the Part D program. […]

CMS cracking down on fraudsters

Federal agencies are stepping up their efforts to go after providers who engage in healthcare fraud and abuse. On Dec. 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services issued new rules designed to crack down on what the agency refers to as “bad actors,” as part of an effort to increase oversight of Medicare providers, […]

Board of Medicine: Drug monitoring program working

Florida, once dubbed the “epicenter of prescription drug diversion,” has made numerous inroads since state lawmakers passed legislation requiring that a prescription drug monitoring program be put into place. Prior to Chapter 893.055, which created new guidelines for operating pain management clinics and approved the creation of a database to collect controlled substance prescription records […]

How to comply with HIPAA during Ebola crisis

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has put out a bulletin to ensure that HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates are aware of the ways in which patient information can be shared in an emergency situation. The bulletin comes in response to the Ebola outbreak and is designed to […]

Electronic health records create a number of problems for providers

We live in an electronic age where life is supposed to be easier and more efficient and in many ways it is. In the healthcare arena, electronic medical records (EMRs) were supposed to make life easier for doctors by helping to free up time and streamline the process. Case in point, doctors could send prescriptions […]

New telemedicine rule takes effect in Florida

The Florida Board of Medicine has published an update regarding telemedicine standards that took effect on Oct. 26, 2014. The new Rule 64B8-9.0141, Florida Administrative Code, defines what telemedicine is and what physicians are not permitted to do. It states: “Telemedicine shall not include the provision of health care services only through an audio only […]