Health Providers, Plans Make Recommendations To ONC Working Group On Governance Mechanisms By 11/3

October 26, 2010

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Governance Workgroup (Workgroup) is developing recommendations on governance mechanisms for the nationwide health information network.

The Workgroup identified overarching objectives, key principles, and core functions for governance in its Preliminary Report and Recommendations on the Scope of Governance presented to the Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee on October 20th. The Workgroup is now preparing final recommendations on how governance functions should be implemented and by whom.

As a first step, the Workgroup would like to identify:

  • Existing mechanisms that might be appropriate, with or without modifications, and with or without some added coordination; and
  • Whether and what new mechanisms are needed.

The Workgroup would like public input on these issues and has created a table listing the core functions and questions to frame the input.

Submit your comments here by November 3, 2010.

For More Information or Assistance

If you need assistance evaluating or responding to this development of other health care technology and process, compliance, risk management, transactional, operational, reimbursement, enforcement 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.  She continuously advises health industry clients about the use of technology, process and other mechanisms to promote compliance and internal controls, workforce and medical staff performance, quality, governance, reimbursement, and other risk management and operational needs. As part of this experience, she has worked extensively with health care providers, payers, health care technology and consulting and other health industry clients on the design and use of health information systems, technology, privacy and other related. A popular lecturer and widely published author on health industry concerns, Ms. Stamer also publishes and speaks extensively on health care privacy, technology, and other 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. To review some of her many publications and presentations, or for additional information about Ms. Stamer, her experience, involvements, programs or publications, 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:

OIG Shares Key Insights On When Owners, Officers & Managers Face OIG Program Exclusion Based On Health Care Entity Misconduct

HHS to Host Regional 11/18 Meeting in LA as Part of HITECH Act Psychotherapy Notes &Testing Data Study

CMS Delegated Lead Responsibility For Development of New Affordable Care Act-Required Medicare Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol

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

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

DMEPOS Suppliers Face 9/27 Deadline To Meet Tightened Medicare StandardsInitial EHR Certification Bodies Named

HHS Announces Adjustments to Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) Rates

CMS Publishes Corrections To Proposed 2011 Physician Fee Schedule Rules

Medicare Changing How It Pays For Outpatient Dialysis

Rite Aid Agrees to Pay $1 Million to Settle HIPAA Privacy Case As OCR Moves To Tighten Privacy Rules

HHS Invites Input On Medicaid Changes To Promote Children’s Health Quality

CMS Adopts ESRD Facility Prospective Payment System & Proposes New Quality Incentive Program

CMS Rule Clarifies When Outpatient Services Subject to 3-Day Rule & Finalizes FY 2011 Inpatient Payment Rates

New Affordable Care Act Mandated High Risk Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Pool Program Regulations Set Program Rules, Prohibit Plan Dumping of High Risk Members

CMS Proposes Changes To Civil Monetary Penalty Rules For Nursing Homes

For More Information

We hope that this information is useful to you.  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 Cynthia Marcotte Stamer.  All rights reserved.


OIG Shares Key Insights On When Owners, Officers & Managers Face OIG Program Exclusion Based On Health Care Entity Misconduct

October 21, 2010

The Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) this morning (October 21, 2010) posted to its website key guidance about when OIG will exercise its authority under the permissive exclusion rules of Social Security Act (Act) § 1128(b)(15)(A)(ii) to exclude from Federal health program participation owners, officers or managing employees of health care organizations based on their role, involvement or ownership interest in a health industry company convicted of certain offenses or excluded from Federal health program participation.

The Guidance For Implementing Permissive Exclusion of Authority under Section 1128(b)(15) of the Social Security Act (Guidance) provides valuable insights for health care organizations, their owners, officers and managers about how OIG expects them to act and the evidence that OIG likely will require should OIG bring an OIG exclusion action against them personally following the conviction or OIG exclusion of their health care organization for misconduct. To position themselves to survive OIG or related exclusion or prosecution, health care organizations and their owners, officers and management use the Guidance as a guide to help strengthen the defensibility of their daily actions against potential OIG scrutiny and consider the advisability of updating their personal and organizational practices, policies and leadership training in response to this Guidance.

The Guidance discusses the guiding principles and core factors and presumptions that OIG generally will apply to decide if the OIG will should exclude an individual from Federal health program participation based on the involvement of the individual as an owner, officer or manager of company that has been excluded from Federal program participation or convicted of certain health care crimes.. Because these OIG has identified these factors as core considerations in its exclusion analysis, the Guidance provides invaluable guidance for health care entities, their owners, officers and management employees about opportunities position their conduct for defensibility against OIG enforcement exposures.  Consequently, owners, officers and managers alike concerned about their exposure to Federal program exclusion or other personal liability under Federal health care fraud laws should use the Guidance to help strengthen their ability to avoid personal exclusion or other prosecution by the OIG as a result of their involvement with a health care organization excluded from Federal program participation or convicted of other crimes.  For a more detailed discussion of the Guidance, see here  

For More Information or Assistance

If you need assistance evaluating or responding to this development of other health care compliance, risk management, transactional, operational, reimbursement, enforcement 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 concerns, Ms. Stamer continuously advises health industry clients about compliance and internal controls, workforce and medical staff performance, quality, governance, reimbursement, and other risk management and operational matters. 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.

Other Resources

We hope that this information is useful to you.  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 business 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 http://slphealthcareupdate.wordpress.com.

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.

©2010 Cynthia Marcotte Stamer.  Limited license to republish granted to Solutions Law Press.  All other rights reserved.


HHS to Host Regional 11/18 Meeting in LA as Part of HITECH Act Psychotherapy Notes &Testing Data Study

October 19, 2010

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in cooperation with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR)  is conducting a Confidentiality and Privacy Issues Related to Psychological Testing Data study pursuant to section 13424 of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, a component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (P.L. 111-5) to assess whether the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s special protections relating to the use and disclosure of psychotherapy notes should also be applied to “test data that is related to direct responses, scores, items, forms, protocols, manuals or other materials that are part of a mental health evaluation.”

As part of this study, SAMHSA is hosting public meetings to bring together professionals in the areas of mental health and privacy protection to discuss current practices and the policy implications surrounding this very important issue. The next regional public meeting will be held at the Sheraton Los Angeles Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles, California on November 18, 2010. The details of this meeting, as well as the project staff contact information, are contained in the embedded brochure below.

You can register for this meeting directly: here , or via the same announcement on OCR’s website 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 concerns, Ms. Stamer continuously advises health industry clients about compliance and internal controls, workforce and medical staff performance, quality, governance, reimbursement, and other risk management and operational matters. 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 Cynthia Marcotte Stamer.  Limited license to republish granted to Solutions Law Press. All other rights reserved.


CMS Delegated Lead Responsibility For Development of New Affordable Care Act-Required Medicare Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol

October 15, 2010

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been assigned responsibility for the development of the Medicare self-referral disclosure protocol required by Section 6409(a) and (b) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Public Law 111–148, and the rules governing when HHS will exercise its discretion under Section 1877(g) of the Social Security Act to reduce sanction otherwise due and owing by provider for engaging in self-referral violations.  Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced her delegation of responsibility for the development of these new programs to the Administrator of CMS in the October 15, 2010 Federal Register here.

Under ACA Section 6402, Medicare providers and suppliers generally must report and return Medicare overpayments by the later of:

  • 60 days after the date on which the overpayment was identified; or
  • The date any corresponding cost report is due, if applicable.

To encourage providers to self-disclose self-referral violations, however, Section 6409 of ACA dictates that HHS in cooperation with its Inspector General establish a Medicare self-referral disclosure protocol (SRDP) that Medicare providers may use to self-disclose actual or potential violations of the physician self-referral prohibitions of Section 1877 of the Social Security Act. Where a Medicare provider or supplier electronically submits a disclosure in accordance with the SRDP and receives email confirmation of receipt of the disclosure from CMS, the provider’s otherwise applicable obligation to return a potential overpayment within 60 days under ACA Section 6402 will be tolled until:

  • CMS and the provider enter into a settlement agreement;
  • The provider withdraws from the SRDP, or
  • CMS removes the provider of services or supplier from the SRDP.

In addition to delaying the deadline for returning overpayments, ACA also includes timely self-disclosure as one of the criteria that HHS can take into account when deciding whether to exercise its discretion to abate sanctions for violation of the self-referral prohibition.  Unfortunately, Section 6409(a)(3) of ACA also expressly requires that the SRDP be distinct and separate from the advisory opinion process under 42 C.F.R. §§ 411.370 through 411.389.  As a consequence, Medicare providers concerned about potential exposure under the self-referral rules generally should not expect to be allowed to seek protection under the SRDP while simultaneously seeking an advisory opinion for conduct underlying the same arrangement.

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

Meanwhile, Section 6409(b) of the ACA grants HHS authority to reduce the amount of sanctions owing for all violations of the physician self-referral statute. In establishing the amount by which an overpayment resulting from an actual or potential violation(s) may be reduced, the Secretary may consider: the nature and extent of the improper or illegal practice; the timeliness of such disclosure; the cooperation in providing additional information related to the disclosure; and such other factors as the Secretary considers appropriate.

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 concerns, Ms. Stamer continuously advises health industry clients about compliance and internal controls, workforce and medical staff performance, quality, governance, reimbursement, and other risk management and operational matters. 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.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 684 other followers

%d bloggers like this: