Category Archives: Health Insurers & Managed Care Organizations

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Did You Know Medicare Implemented New Provider and Supplier Enrollment Requirements?  

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revised certain payment policies under the Medicare physician fee schedule, and updated provider and supplier enrollment regulations. CMS recently published a final rule (the Final Rule) effective January 1, 2024. Technical and typographical errors in the Final Rule were later corrected by a subsequent final rule … Continue Reading

OCR Will Focus on You if You Don’t Focus on Cybersecurity

With a couple of “firsts,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is signaling that it is cracking down on healthcare organizations that fail to identify and address cybersecurity vulnerabilities as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA Rules). On October 31, 2023, … Continue Reading

Compliance Officers: Read the New OIG General Compliance Program Guidance!

The Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (the OIG) recently released an updated General Compliance Program Guidance document (GCPG). The GCPG has been anticipated since the OIG announced on April 25, 2023, that it planned to modernize the accessibility and usability of its publicly available resources, including the … Continue Reading

THE NO SURPRISES ACT: Hoping for an End to the Surprises

By looking at the events that have transpired since the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which includes the No Surprises Act (the Act), was signed into law, it is clear that the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury (collectively, the Departments) have lost their way. The United States District Court for the Eastern … Continue Reading

Surprise… No Surprises Act Arbitration Is Too Expensive

Providers finally obtained court ordered relief to the $350 administrative fee each party was required to pay as part of the Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) Process under the No Surprises Act. Until the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) set a new administrative fee amount, the administrative … Continue Reading

Stop – Go – Stop Again – Now GO… Surprised by the No Surprises Act?

We are not surprised by the continued stop-and-go regarding guidance surrounding the No Surprises Act. Most recently, a Texas court vacated portions of the No Surprises Act’s updated final rule (the final rules were discussed in our most recent blog on the subject). This created a domino effect, leading to the Departments of the Treasury, … Continue Reading

Finally, More Certainty and Fewer Surprises – Final Rules Issued Under the No Surprises Act

The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (the Departments) issued final rules related to the No Surprises Act on August 26, 2022, to be effective October 25, 2022 (Final Rules).  These Final Rules come after months of uncertainty and legal battles regarding the Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process, as we … Continue Reading

Florida Medicaid Providers: Action is Required by October 1, 2022

Check your mailboxes.  AHCA is sending out postcards to existing Florida Medicaid providers (Providers) alerting them to upcoming changes in the Florida Medicaid program.  These changes require Providers to pay certain of their employees a minimum wage of at least $15.00 per hour.  Governor Ron DeSantis’s “Freedom First Budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023” includes funding … Continue Reading

OCR Releases Guidance on HIPAA Compliance When Providing Audio-Only Telehealth

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently released new guidance (the “Guidance”) to help ensure that individuals may continue to benefit from audio-only telehealth services and clarify for health care providers and health plans how they can provide such services while complying with the HIPAA Privacy, Security, … Continue Reading

Biden Administration Signals MHPAEA Enforcement a Priority with Fiscal 2023 Budget

The Biden Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 serves as a warning to all plan issuers and administrators that enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) is a top priority for the federal government. The proposed budget reflects a substantial and sustained commitment to ramp up enforcement efforts, with specific … Continue Reading

“The No Surprises Act” a/k/a “The Act that Continues Surprising Providers”

The No Surprises Act (the “Act”) continues muddling through its implementation period. We have discussed the Act in prior posts, and most recently on March 8, 2022. The surprises have continued, with new updates coming out almost daily! There has been legal movement as health care providers and facilities (collectively, “Providers”) have brought lawsuits against … Continue Reading

UPDATE: No Surprises Here – Portions of the No Surprises Act Regulations Invalidated

The No Surprises Act (the Act) continues to bump through its initial implementation phase. As we discussed in our prior blog, out-of-network physicians and facilities (OON Providers), and their allies, are pushing back against portions of the recently issued interim final rule with comment period (the Interim Rule). Most recently, they succeeded in doing so … Continue Reading

Healthcare Discrimination Based on Disability – Still Prohibited in the Pandemic!

It may seem as though the pandemic is coming to an end, but while COVID cases are declining,  they have not ceased. As the pandemic continues, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights issued new guidance on February 4, 2022 to remind healthcare providers that federal disability laws remain in … Continue Reading

Surprised Providers Seek Changes to Latest Provisions of the No Surprises Act

Effective January 1, 2022, new billing protections went into effect that have the goal of providing greater protections for patients against surprise medical bills. As we discussed in our prior blog, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, and the Office of Personnel Management (collectively, the Departments) implemented these additional protections that … Continue Reading

Providers Get Unpleasant Surprise from Latest Provisions to the No Surprises Act

Efforts to stop surprise medical costs are continuing to evolve. The Departments of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Labor, and Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”), and the Office of Personnel Management issued an interim final rule (“Interim Rule“) with comment period on September 30, 2021 that implements provisions of the No Surprises Act. The majority of … Continue Reading

Should You Consider Offering Cheaper Health Plan Coverage in 2022 for Vaccinated Employees?

If you still have unvaccinated workers in January, might you provide a financial incentive for employees to be vaccinated, by charging them higher healthcare insurance premiums? That is the question facing exhausted but dedicated corporate Human Resources leaders as they approach annual open enrollment season, in which employees are asked to lock in their 2022 … Continue Reading

Group Health Plan Sponsors are Getting Serious About Pricing Transparency – Are You Keeping Up?

In early July, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor (Labor), and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) (collectively, the Departments), along with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released an interim final rule related to the No Surprises Act, legislation designed to protect patients from unexpected medical bills. The … Continue Reading

OIG Weighs In On COVID-19 Vaccination Incentives

The media has widely reported that several governmental, non-profit, and private organizations, including entities in the healthcare sector, are offering a variety of incentives to encourage more individuals to take the COVID-19 vaccine. While this approach may increase the number of vaccinated individuals, it can also implicate the healthcare fraud and abuse laws when Federal … Continue Reading

A Glossary of Commonly Used Acronyms in Florida Managed Care

Anyone who interacts with third party payors encounter acronyms on a regular basis. While acronyms are intended to facilitate efficient communication, their use often instead leads to confusion. This blog is intended to provide a brief overview of some commonly used acronyms in managed care. Please note that, although some of the acronyms are specifically … Continue Reading

“Historic” Settlement of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Antitrust Action May Significantly Boost Competition in Health Insurance Markets in 2021

After over 8 years of hard-fought litigation, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, together with its 36 Blue Cross/Blue Shield members (“the Blues”), recently announced a proposed settlement of class action antitrust litigation (In re Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation) brought against them by a nationwide class of subscriber members. The settlement terms, … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Rules Government Must Pay $12 Billion to Unprofitable ACA Insurers

Despite Congress’ efforts to use riders to neutralize a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Act), the Federal government (Government) owes certain insurers $12 billion. On April 27, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled 8-1 that congressional riders added to appropriations bills that funded the Centers for Medicare & … Continue Reading

2020 Legislative Session –A Sampling of Health Related Bills Filed

The 2020 Legislative Session will begin its 60-day trek to completion on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. The following is a sample of bills that have been filed. We encourage you to review these bills, and contact us with specific questions about them. The listing of these bills should not be interpreted as any indication that … Continue Reading

2019 Legislative Session – The Passage of Telehealth (HB 23)

In the closing days of this year’s legislative session, the Florida House and Senate came to agreement on statutory language that adopts the parameters for telehealth for Florida. HB 23, sponsored by Representative Clay Yarborough, establishes a statutory basis for telehealth services, provides meaningful definitions of the terms telehealth and telehealth provider, and creates Section … Continue Reading

Year in Review/Year Ahead: The Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act of 2018-The New All-Payor Anti-Kickback Statute

The Akerman Healthcare Practice Group, as part of its ongoing informational blogs and Practice Updates, will be publishing a series of articles, each outlining a significant healthcare industry issue from 2018, with an eye towards what to expect in 2019.  The following is the first in our series – The Year in Review/The Year Ahead: … Continue Reading
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