Building upon the bundled payment demonstration programs currently underway for Medicare, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposal for a major shift in the way hospitals will be paid for hip and knee replacements. In an effort to incentivize hospitals to encourage quality and care improvements as patients transition from surgery to recovery, CMS proposed a change in the manner of payment to focus on episodes of care, rather than a piecemeal system.
We provide insights and analysis for physicians, nurses, chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists and other health professionals on issues impacting their practices.
Summer’s almost here and the weather is heating up for HEAT, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) task force to combat healthcare fraud. This whistleblower initiated action was brought to the attention of the government by a former pharmacist employed by PharMerica. The settlement announced today relates to allegations of dispensing Schedule II controlled drugs without a valid prescription resulting in violation of the False Claims Act for submitting false claims to Medicare for the improperly dispensed drugs.
False Claims Act (FCA) allegations are serious business. Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid and other federally funded programs. Omnicare learned the hard way just how serious FCA actions can be when a whistleblower made allegations against it.
False Claims Act Update - 16 Hospitals to Pay $15.69M Related to Medically Unnecessary Psychotherapy Services
On May 7, 2015, the Department of Justice reported settlement with 16 separate hospitals for medically unnecessary or unreasonable psychotherapy services. The claims under scrutiny were Intensive Outpatient Psychotherapy (IOP) services, which represent a variety of treatment methods. The services, while billed to Medicare by the providers, were performed on the providers’ behalf by Allegiance health Management, a post-acute healthcare management company.
Fraud and Abuse in healthcare remains a hot issue, as evidenced by recent HEAT announcements. Following three qui tam (whistleblower) actions being filed, the Department of Justice announced it would intervene in the consolidated lawsuits. At issue was whether HCR Manorcare exerted pressure on SNF administrators and rehabilitation therapists to provide medically unnecessary and unreasonable services by administering additional treatments to qualify for the highest Medicare payments. Allegations also claimed HCR Manorcare kept patients in its facilities even though they were medically ready for discharge.