HHS announces Rules Implementing Tools Added By Affordable Care Act to Prevent Federal Health Program Fraud

September 22, 2010

 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed new rules it hopes to strengthen its efforts to help identify and fight waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The rules implementing a series of provisions designed to fight fraud in the health care system enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act follow on the heels of HHS’ announcement of the Center for Program Integrity within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) focused on identifying and stopping fraud and acting swiftly to protect beneficiaries.  Given the expanded powers to suspend program eligibility and other risks providers will face under these new rules, all health care providers participating in any of these federal programs should both review and strengthen their compliance efforts and practices and share any concerns in response to the proposed rules.

Among other things, the proposed rule will:

  • Define requirements for suspending payments to providers and suppliers based on credible allegations of fraud in Medicare and Medicaid;
  • Establish CMS authority for imposing a temporary moratorium on Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP enrollment on providers and suppliers when necessary to help prevent or fight fraud, waste, and abuse without impeding beneficiaries’ access to care.
  • Strengthen and build on current provider enrollment and screening procedures to more accurately assure that fraudulent providers are not gaming the system and that only qualified  health care providers and suppliers are allowed to enroll in and bill Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP;
  • Outline requirements for states to terminate providers from Medicaid and CHIP when they have been terminated by Medicare or by another state Medicaid program or CHIP;
  • Solicit input on how to best structure and develop provider compliance programs, now required under the Affordable Care Act, that will ensure providers are aware of and comply with CMS program requirements.

Health care providers and others likely to be affected by these proposed rules should evaluate the proposals and act quickly to share input on any areas of concern as they prepare to strengthen their processes in response to the new rules and tools.

The author of this update, attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, has extensive experience advising and assisting health care providers and other health industry clients to respond to these and other health care industry enforcement and other compliance, public policy, regulatory, staffing, and other operations and risk management matters. Ms. Stamer also regularly speaks and conducts training on and other health industry compliance, management and operations matters.  You can get more information about her health industry experience here.  If you need assistance with these or other compliance concerns, wish to inquire about arranging for compliance audit or training, or need legal representation on other matters please contact Ms. Stamer at (469) 767-8872 or via e-mail here

Other Recent Developments

If you found this information of interest, you also may be interested in reviewing some of the following recent Updates available online by clicking on the article title:

For More Information

We hope that this information is useful to you. If you need assistance evaluating or responding to the Health Care Reform Law or health care compliance, risk management, transactional, operational, reimbursement, or public policy concerns, please contact the author of this update, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, at (469) 767-8872, cstamer@Solutionslawyer.net.

Vice President of the North Texas Health Care Compliance Professionals Association, Past Chair of the ABA Health Law Section Managed Care & Insurance Section and the former Board Compliance Chair of the National Kidney Foundation of North Texas, Ms. Stamer has more than 23 years experience advising health industry clients about these and other matters. A popular lecturer and widely published author on health industry and human resources matters, Ms. Stamer continuously advises health industry clients about health industry and other related concerns. Ms. Stamer also publishes and speaks extensively on health and managed care industry regulatory, staffing and human resources, compensation and benefits, technology, public policy, reimbursement and other operations and risk management concerns. Her insights on these and other related matters appear in the Health Care Compliance Association, Atlantic Information Service, Bureau of National Affairs, World At Work, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insurance, the Dallas Morning News, Modern Health Care, Managed Healthcare, Health Leaders, and a many other national and local publications. For additional information about Ms. Stamer, her experience, involvements, programs or publications, see here.

You can review other recent health care and internal controls resources and additional information about the health industry and other experience of Ms. Stamer here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail – by creating or updating your profile at here or e-mailing this information here. To unsubscribe, e-mail here.

©2010 Solutions Law Press. All rights reserved.


9/14 NTHCPA Meeting On Post-HITECH Act Compliance Strategies

September 11, 2010

NORTH TEXAS HEALTHCARE COMPLIANCE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION

Invites Members and Guests to

“Strategies for Managing HIPAA Privacy Compliance After The HITECH Act”

September 14, 2010
11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. (New Time)

Offices of Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, P.C.

One Hanover Park Building

Addison Room

16633 North Dallas Parkway, 6th Floor

Addison, Texas 75001

R.S.V.P. by 5:00 p.m. on 9/13/10 to NTHCPA 9/14 Meeting RSVP to help ensure sufficient refreshments & space

North Texas Healthcare Compliance Professional Association (NTHCPA) invites members and other interested health care compliance professionals to enjoy lunch and share and learn “Strategies for Managing HIPAA Privacy Compliance After the HITECH Act” by participating in its September 14, 2010 meeting at its new lunchtime meeting time from 11:30 – 1:30 p.m. Please make note of the new time and R.S.V.P by 5:00 p.m. on 9/13/10 to NTHCPA 9/14 Meeting RSVP to help ensure sufficient refreshments & space!  If you know other health industry compliance professionals who may be interested in participating in this or other NTHCPA Programs, please feel free to share this invite.

Managing health care privacy and security presents growing challenges for health care providers, payers, healthcare clearinghouses and their businesses associates (Covered Entities). Proposed changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on July 8, 2010 in response to amendments enacted under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 are expected to be finalized in short order follow the Monday, September 13, 2010 comment deadline.  As proposed, the more than 220 page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will significantly tighten the responsibilities and potential liabilities of Covered Entities under the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (Privacy Rule); the Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Protected Health Information (Security Rule);and the rules pertaining to Compliance and Investigations, Imposition of Civil Money Penalties, and Procedures for Hearings (Enforcement Rule).. With the risks of HIPAA noncompliance highlighted by OCR’s August announcement that drugstore giant RiteAid would pay $1 million to settle OCR charges that it violated the existing HIPAA’s Privacy & Security Rules  and considering , helping their organizations to manage HIPAA compliance promises to present ever-growing challenges for health industry compliance professionals.

This month’s meeting will be hosted by Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, P.C. at One Hanover Park, 16633 North Dallas Parkway, 6th Floor, Addison Room, Addison, Texas 75001.  The Building is located on the west (Southbound) side of North Dallas Parkway.  For participants coming South on North Dallas Tollway from George Bush (190) Turnpike, exist at the Franfort/Trinity Mills Exit.  For participants coming North on North Dallas Tollway from I-635, exist Trinity Mills and make a U-Turn At Trinity Mills to reach the meeting.  The main line of the receptionist is (972) 588-1800.

In response to membership input, the meeting time has been changed to a luncheon meeting.  To help arrange for sufficient space and refreshments, please R.S.V.P. to let us know you plan to attend.

NTHCPA meetings are open to all NTHCPA members and other interested health care compliance professionals. Participation in the meeting is complimentary. Participants are responsible for any parking charges incurred. 

If you are interested in hosting one of the upcoming meetings, would like to serve on the Steering Committee for the upcoming year, wish to suggest topics or speakers, or wish to obtain or share other information, please contact NTHCPA President Erma Lee at (817) 927-1232 or by e-mail here or Vice-President Cynthia Marcotte Stamer at (469) 767-8872 or by e-mail here.

About the NTHCPA

NTHCPA exists to champion ethical practice and compliance standards and to provide the necessary resources for ethics and compliance Professionals and others in North Texas who share these principles.  The vision of NTHCPA is to be a pre-eminent compliance and ethics group promoting lasting success and integrity of organizations within North Texas.  To register or update your registration or to receive notice of future meetings, e-mail here.

This communication may be considered a marketing communication for certain purposes.  If you wish to update your e-mail for purposes of or would prefer not to receive future e-mail concerning meetings or other activities of the North Texas Healthcare Compliance Professionals Association or other marketing and promotional mailings from it, please send an email with the word “unsubscribe” in its subject heading to here.


Monday 9/13 Deadline To Comment Proposed HITECH Act HIPAA Privacy Rules; 9/14 Meeting Studies Proposed Changes

September 10, 2010

 9/14 NTHCPA Meeting on Strategies for Managing HIPAA Privacy Compliance After The HITECH Act

Health care providers, payers, healthcare clearinghouses and their businesses associates (Covered Entities) face a Monday, September 13, 2010 deadline to comment on proposed changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on July 8, 2010 in response to amendments enacted under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. If adopted as proposed, the more than 220 page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will significantly tighten the requirements that existing Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (Privacy Rule); the Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Protected Health Information (Security Rule); and the rules pertaining to Compliance and Investigations, Imposition of Civil Money Penalties, and Procedures for Hearings (Enforcement Rule) applicable to Covered Entities under HIPAA. With the risks of HIPAA noncompliance highlighted by OCR’s August announcement that drugstore giant RiteAid would pay $1 million to settle OCR charges that it violated the existing HIPAA’s Privacy & Security Rules  and considering , Covered Entities Learn more about Rite Aid Resolution Agreement here. Learn more about Breach Notification Rules here.

The North Texas Health Care Compliance Professionals Association invites health industry compliance professionals share and learn Strategies for Managing HIPAA Privacy Compliance After the HITECH Act by participating in its September 14, 2010 meeting from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. hosted by Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, P.C., at One Hanover Park, 16633 North Dallas Parkway, 6th Floor, Addison Room, Addison, Texas 75001.

The author of this update, attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, has extensive experience advising and assisting health care providers and other health industry clients with HIPAA and other privacy and data security, reimbursement, compliance, public policy, regulatory, staffing, and other operations and risk management matters. Ms. Stamer also regularly conducts training on HIPAA and other health industry compliance, management and operations matters.  You can get more information about her health industry experience here.  If you need assistance with these or other compliance concerns, wish to inquire about arranging for compliance audit or training, or need legal representation on other matters please contact Ms. Stamer at (469) 767-8872 or via e-mail here

Other Recent Developments

If you found this information of interest, you also may be interested in reviewing some of the following recent Updates available online by clicking on the article title:

For More Information

We hope that this information is useful to you. If you need assistance evaluating or responding to the Health Care Reform Law or health care compliance, risk management, transactional, operational, reimbursement, or public policy concerns, please contact the author of this update, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, at (469) 767-8872, cstamer@Solutionslawyer.net.

Vice President of the North Texas Health Care Compliance Professionals Association, Past Chair of the ABA Health Law Section Managed Care & Insurance Section and the former Board Compliance Chair of the National Kidney Foundation of North Texas, Ms. Stamer has more than 23 years experience advising health industry clients about these and other matters. A popular lecturer and widely published author on health industry and human resources matters, Ms. Stamer continuously advises health industry clients about health industry and other related concerns. Ms. Stamer also publishes and speaks extensively on health and managed care industry regulatory, staffing and human resources, compensation and benefits, technology, public policy, reimbursement and other operations and risk management concerns. Her insights on these and other related matters appear in the Health Care Compliance Association, Atlantic Information Service, Bureau of National Affairs, World At Work, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insurance, the Dallas Morning News, Modern Health Care, Managed Healthcare, Health Leaders, and a many other national and local publications. For additional information about Ms. Stamer, her experience, involvements, programs or publications, see here.

You can review other recent health care and internal controls resources and additional information about the health industry and other experience of Ms. Stamer here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail – by creating or updating your profile at here or e-mailing this information here. To unsubscribe, e-mail here.

©2010 Solutions Law Press. All rights reserved.


OIG: Texas Overbilled Medicaid for Medical Transportation Costs

September 5, 2010

   

The Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) estimates that Capital Area Rural Transit System received overpayments of at least $583,000 ($292,000 Federal share) for nonemergency medical transportation claims that did not comply with Federal and State requirements in 2007.  The audit also identified other questionable claims, which are targeted for added review.  The reported findings provide critical insights about some of the practices of Medicaid transportation services providers that are likely to draw audit or enforcement attention by OIG or other federal or state officials. 

According to the “Review Of Nonemergency Medical Transportation Costs In The State Of Texas (Transportation Provided By Capital Area Rural Transit System,” Report Number a-06-08-00096 (the “Audit Report”), the audit found concerns in 68% of 100 audited samples of Medicaid billings of Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS).for non-emergency services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries during 2007 as a subcontractor to the State of Texas.  Texas Health and Human Services Commission contracted with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to administer the nonemergency medical transportation to and from covered health care service providers for Medicaid beneficiaries and other eligible recipients. TxDOT subcontracted with CARTS to provide  these transportation services to 10 Texas counties. Read More Details

For More Information or Assistance 

If you need assistance reviewing and updating your existing practices in response to this or other OIG, CMS or other federal or state Medicaid, Medicare or other audit or enfocement activities or with other health industry regulatory, reimbursement or other operational or compliance concerns, please contact the author of this update, attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer.  Ms. Stamer has extensive experience advising and assisting health care providers and other health industry clients with licensure, contracting, reimbursement, compliance, public policy, regulatory, staffing, public policy and other operations and risk management matters. Ms. Stamer also regularly publishes and conducts training on these and other compliance, management and operations matters.  You can contact Ms. Stamer to inquire about engaging her services or for information about training or other resources that she provides at (469) 767-8872 or via e-mail here.  To get more information about Ms. Stamer and her health industry experience, see here

Other Recent Developments 

If you found this information of interest, you also may be interested in reviewing some of the following recent Updates available online by clicking on the article title:  

About Solutions Law Press 

Solutions Law Press™ provides health industry and other risk management, legal compliance, management effectiveness and other resources, training and education on human resources, employee benefits, compensation, data security and privacy, health care, insurance, and other key compliance, risk management, internal controls and other key operational concerns. If you find this of interest, you also be interested reviewing some of our other Solutions Law Press resources available for review here. If you or someone else you know would like to receive future updates and notices about other upcoming Solutions Law Press events, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail- by creating or updating your profile at here. For important information concerning this communication click here.  

©2010 Solutions Law Press. All rights reserved.


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