Federal Regulation news
CMS Releases Final Rule on Medicare Overpayments
Written by Editor   
Sunday, March 27, 2016 12:00 AM

The final rule on how physician practices must handle overpayments from Medicare has some good news.  The original version of the overpayments rule required physicians to look back through 10 years of claims to make sure Medicare had not overpaid them, but the final rule, released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), requires only a 6-year lookback. "Specifying the length and other parameters of the lookback period provides additional clarity for providers and suppliers who have identified an overpayment," the agency noted in a fact sheet about the rule.

The rule also clarifies what CMS means when it gives providers 60 days to report an overpayment and refund the money to Medicare. 

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HHS provides Info on Patient’s HIPAA Right to Access their Health Information
Written by Editor   
Saturday, March 26, 2016 12:00 AM

Providing individuals with easy access to their health information empowers them to be more in control of decisions regarding their health and well-being. Putting individuals “in the driver’s seat” with respect to their health also is a key component of health reform and the movement to a more patient-centered health care system.  The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides individuals with a legal, enforceable right to see and receive copies upon request of the information in their medical and other health records maintained by their health care providers and health plans. 

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Deadline Approaching: Avoid Medicaid Provider Disenrollment
Written by Editor   
Thursday, March 17, 2016 12:00 AM

This is a reminder that this Friday, June 17, 2016 is the Texas Medicaid deadline for submission of a re-enrollment (revalidation) application in order to ensure continued enrollment in Texas Medicaid on the federal deadline of September 24, 2016. 

To avoid potential disruption in payment, a complete re-enrollment application must be received on or before June 17, 2016 in order to be re-validated by the CMS deadline of September 24, 2016.  Complete applications that are received on or before June 17, 2016, will most likely complete the re-enrollment process by September 24, 2016. In the event that the re-enrollment process is not completed by September 24, 2016, and the provider is still working toward addressing identified deficiencies at that time, the provider will continue to remain enrolled in Texas Medicaid as long as the provider continues to respond to deficiency notifications within the defined timeframe for response.

If the provider's re-enrollment application is not received on or before June 17, 2016, there is not a guarantee that the re-enrollment application will complete the process to meet the September 24, 2016 deadline.  If the provider's re-enrollment application is not processed by September 24, 2016, the provider will be dis-enrolled from Texas Medicaid with an effective date of September 25, 2016.

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The Simple Truth About Medicare and Chiropractic Equality
Tuesday, March 08, 2016 12:00 AM

The American Chiropractic Association's (ACA) National Medicare Equality Petition, launched last October, continues to gain supporters and momentum.  ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC, has prepared an article, "The Simple Truth About Medicare and Chiropractic Equality."

National Medicare Equality Petition – The Time for Change is NOW

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has launched a major grassroots campaign to enact federal legislation that would achieve full physician status for doctors of chiropractic in Medicare. This initiative would significantly improve the health and wellness of our nation's aging population -- and your support is urgently needed. 

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Obama Releases FY 2017 Budget
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 12:00 AM

President Obama revealed his eighth and final White House budget sketching out plans for spending priorities in fiscal year 2017. In the healthcare realm, the president’s budget included few surprises, but a cut in funding for the CDC left some research and policy advocates dismayed.  The $6.98 billion request for the CDC represents a marked decrease from the nearly $7.2 billion the president proposed in FY 2016.

Almost exactly one-quarter of the president's $4.1-trillion proposal for the entire government is destined for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services -- up about $30 billion from FY 2016 -- most of it for the entitlement programs CMS oversees.

Approximately $82.8 billion is marked as discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, in addition to mandatory investments aimed at expanding mental health services, fighting the nation’s opioid and heroin epidemic, and accelerating research on cancer and other diseases.

The budget also includes $33.1 billion to support biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $825 million over FY 2016 and $5.1 billion for the FDA, $358.3 million more than FY 2016.

Here are a few of the budget's key health-focused elements:

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