The FCA Insider

The FCA Insider

Insights and updates on False Claims Act Litigation

Category Archives: CMS Guidance

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CMS Guidance, DOJ, FCA Defenses, FCA Litigation, Investigations, OIG, Regulatory, Settlements, Stark Law

2021’s First-Half Notable Themes on The FCA Insider

As vaccination rates rise, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reverberate through 2021. These reverberations also impacted the healthcare fraud and abuse landscape that is the basis of The FCA Insider’s coverage. To-date, 2021 has seen more than three dozen posts on topics ranging from False Claims Act (FCA) court opinions, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, Stark Law

Stark Law 2020 Settlements Return to Pre-2019 Trend

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced 2020 settlements concerning past violation or potential violations of the physician self-referral law (the Stark Law) and the number and value of such settlements have returned to the pre‑2019 trends. The 2020 settlements based on voluntary submissions submitted several years ago mark an increase from… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, Regulatory, Stark Law

CMS statement clarifies agency’s view that the Stark Law final rule is effective

Industry publication BVWire quoted a statement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that gives healthcare providers more certainty to rely on the much heralded final rule modernizing the physician self-referral law (the Stark Law). The CMS statement stated, “The regulations finalized in [the final rule discussed in this post] are effective.” The… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, Regulatory, Stark Law

Fraud and Abuse Rules Part V: Easing Stark Law Compliance

As discussed in a previous McGuireWoods alert, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published final rules that significantly amend the regulations to the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law), the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Civil Monetary Penalties (CMP) Law. This client alert, the final in McGuireWoods’ summary series on these final… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, OIG, Regulatory, Stark Law

Fraud and Abuse Rules Part III: New Value-Based Arrangement Protections

As discussed in a previous McGuireWoods alert, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published final rules, effective Jan. 19, 2021, that significantly amend the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law), the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Civil Monetary Penalties (CMP) Law. This client alert, the latest in McGuireWoods’ summary series on these final… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, OIG, Regulatory, Stark Law

Fraud and Abuse Rules Part II: Amended EHR and New Cybersecurity Donation Safe Harbors and Exceptions

As discussed in a previous McGuireWoods alert, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published final rules expected to be effective Jan. 19, 2021, that significantly amend the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law) and the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). This client alert, the latest in McGuireWoods’ summary series on these final rules, focuses… Continue Reading
Defense Arguments, OIG, Stark Law

MedMal Plaintiff Uses Anti-Kickback and Stark to Avoid Summary Judgment

A federal court recently allowed a plaintiff’s state law negligence claim, which utilized the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) and federal physician self-referral law (the “Stark Law”) as legal support to survive a motion for summary judgment. In Post v. AmerisourceBergen Corporation, No. 1:19-CV-73 (N.D.W. Va. Nov. 2, 2020), Plaintiff, Frances G. Post, filed suit against Defendants,… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, OIG, Regulatory, Stark Law

HHS Finalizes Stark Law, AKS Changes to Reduce Burdens on Healthcare Providers

On Nov. 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published two long-awaited final rules significantly amending the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law), the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Civil Monetary Penalties (CMP) Law. These new rules are a direct result of HHS’ Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care, and largely adopt… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, Stark Law

Stark Law 2019 Settlements Continue Downward Trend

For updated discussion of this topic, please see our April 28, 2021 post: Stark Law 2020 Settlements Return to Pre-2019 Trend The number and value of announced settlements with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning the physician self-referral law (the Stark Law) continued a downward trend in 2019. This marks the third… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, Regulatory, Stark Law

Stark Law Waivers Issued During COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 30, 2020, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar issued blanket waivers to permit certain financial relationships and referrals that would otherwise be sanctioned by the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law). The blanket waivers protect those financial relationships and referrals (and the claims submitted as a result thereof) specifically enumerated by… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, Damages

Federal Court Upholds CMS’ Use of Extrapolation to Claw-Back Improper Payments

A recent federal court decision should serve as an important reminder to providers that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and its contractors have substantial authority to audit provider Medicare claims and to broadly apply extrapolation to calculate overpayments. In Palm Valley Health Care, Inc. v. Azar, No. 18-41067, 2020 BL 14097 (5th… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, Regulatory

CMS Internal Memorandum Clarifies Impact of Supreme Court Decision on Enforcement Practices

The Deputy General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued an Internal Memorandum clarifying that a recent Supreme Court ruling may limit HHS’s enforcement practices going forward. Consistent with the Court’s ruling, the Memorandum clarifies that subregulatory guidance… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, Stark Law

HHS to Ease Fraud and Abuse Rules Part 5: CMS Proposes Value-Based Arrangement Stark Exceptions

As discussed in an Oct. 9 alert, the Department of Health and Human Services announced two proposed rules to significantly amend the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law), the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the Civil Monetary Penalties Law. This client alert, the fifth in McGuireWoods’ summary series on these proposed rules, focuses on the Centers for… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance

Changes to CMS’ Conditions of Participation Regulations for Providers Take Effect Nov. 29

Healthcare providers should begin finalizing plans to implement the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Omnibus Burden Reductions (conditions of participation) final rule, which becomes effective Nov. 29, 2019. The final rule, issued Sept. 26, 2019, is intended to remove Medicare regulations, contained primarily in providers’ conditions of participation that CMS has identified as unnecessary,… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, Stark Law

HHS to Ease Fraud and Abuse Rules Part 4: Proposed Revisions to the Stark Law

As discussed in a previous McGuireWoods alert, on Oct. 9, the Department of Health and Human Services announced two proposed rules to significantly amend the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law), the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Civil Monetary Penalties (CMP) Law. This client alert, the fourth in McGuireWoods’ summary series on these proposed rules,… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance, OIG, Regulatory, Stark Law

HHS to Ease Fraud and Abuse Rules Part 3: Flexibility for EHR Items and Services, Donated Cybersecurity Tech

As discussed in a previous McGuireWoods alert, on Oct. 9, the Department of Health and Human Services announced two proposed rules to significantly amend the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law), the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Civil Monetary Penalties Law. This client alert, the third in McGuireWoods’ summary series on these proposed rules, focuses… Continue Reading
Anti-Kickback Statute, CMS Guidance, Regulatory, Stark Law

HHS Proposed Rules Seek to Remove Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Burdens on Providers

On Oct. 9, the Department of Health and Human Services announced two proposed rules to significantly amend the Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law), the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Civil Monetary Penalties (CMP) Law. The proposed rules intend to further incentivize value-based arrangements and patient care coordination by expressly permitting certain activities that could… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance

New CMS Guidance on Inpatient Engagement Necessary for Hospital Certification

On Sept. 6, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an advanced copy of guidance to state survey agency directors that is intended to clarify how to determine whether a hospital seeking Medicare certification, or going through a continuing certification survey, is “primarily engaged in providing inpatient services” under the Social Security… Continue Reading
CMS Guidance

CMS Releases Data Regarding Hospital and Physician Utilization

CMS recently announced that it would be releasing Medicare hospital utilization and payment data, as well as physician and supplier utilization and payment data. This is the third year that the hospital data has been released and the second year that the physician data has been released. Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt explained that “[t]hese… Continue Reading

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