On June 22, 2023, New York State Public Health Law § 2802-b, added a Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) to the Certificate of Need (CON) process for certain health care facilities. The new requirement comes as part of larger legislative changes to the Public Health Laws passed in 2021. The new HEIA requirement applies to any CON applications submitted on or after June 22, 2023, except there is a partial carve out for Diagnostic and Treatment Centers whose patient population is 50 percent or more Medicaid eligible or uninsured. The Department of Health also issued regulations on June 29, 2023 (10 NYCRR 400.26). The purpose of the HEIA is to understand the health equity impact on a specific project, the impact it may have on medically underserved groups and to ensure community input and assessment are considered. The Department of Health has expressed that their vision is “to have health equity considerations meaningfully impact the planning and execution of health care facility projects.” (NYSDOH, Health Equity Impact Assessment, Webinar Series: Program Documents, September 14, 2023.)Continue Reading New York Implements Health Equity Impact Assessment as New Requirement for Certificate of Need Process
On Wednesday, November 1, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update final rule for CY 2024 (the Final Rule). The Rule estimates that the aggregate increase to Medicare home health payments for 2024 will be 0.8 percent, or $140 million. This 0.8 percent increase results from the combined effects of three forecasted rate changes: (1) a 3.0 percent increase to home health payments, (2) a 2.6 percent decrease based on the permanent behavior assumption adjustment, and (3) a 0.4 percent increase resulting from an update to the fixed-dollar loss ratio, which is used to determine outlier payments. The 0.8 percent increase is a departure from the Proposed Rule, which estimated a cut in payments of up to 3 percent.Continue Reading CMS Announces 0.8 Percent Aggregate Home Health Payment Increase in 2024
On Monday, October 2, 2023, the New York Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) published its Annual Report for 2022. The Report details the various efforts that New York’s Medicaid program undertook in 2022 to accrue $3.4 billion in recoveries and cost avoidance.Continue Reading New York OMIG Issues 2022 Annual Report
The New York Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) recently announced updates to its Self-Disclosure Program in response to feedback from Medicaid stakeholders after its revised posting in January 2023. OMIG revised its disclosure process to have two pathways for healthcare providers to report, explain, and return overpayments by creating an “Abbreviated Self-Disclosure Process” in addition to the existing full disclosure process.Continue Reading Two Pathways for Medicaid Self-Disclosures Announced by OMIG
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently signed two important pieces of legislation that affect hospitals and certain Medicaid providers and programs. First, Public Act No. 23-39, “An Act Requiring Discharge Standards Regarding Follow-Up Appointments and Prescription Medications for Patients Being Discharged From a Hospital or Nursing Home Facility” addresses new hospital discharge obligations for state hospitals. Second, Public Act No. 23-186, “An Act Concerning Nonprofit Provider Retention of Contract Savings, Community Health Worker Medicaid Reimbursement and Studies of Medicaid Rates of Reimbursement, Nursing Home Transportation and Nursing Home Waiting Lists”, which implements various changes affecting the state Medicaid program and enrolled providers. Certain legislative changes implemented by these Acts are summarized below.Continue Reading Connecticut Governor Signs Legislation Implementing New Requirements for Hospitals and Nursing Home Facilities
On June 26, 2023, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Public Act No. 23-147, “An Act Protecting Maternal Health.” The Act makes various changes aimed at bolstering health care access and services for maternal and infant health. Key elements of the Act are summarized below.Continue Reading Connecticut Governor Signs Bill Introducing Programs to Improve Maternal Health
On April 14, 2023, the Attorneys General of 18 different states sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in support of a proposed rule that would require the disclosure of certain ownership information regarding Medicare skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and Medicaid nursing facilities (collectively “Nursing Facilities”), particularly from private equity investors and real estate investment trusts (the “Proposed Rule”).Continue Reading Eighteen States’ Attorneys General Send Letter to CMS in Support of Proposed Rule Requiring Disclosure of Certain Nursing Home and SNF Ownership Information
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a Fact Sheet (Fact Sheet) providing guidance on the impact of the end of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) on certain regulatory waivers, legislative changes, and flexibilities that have been established during the PHE. The government previously announced that the PHE will expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023. CMS is providing this guidance as part of efforts to ease the transition for health care providers, patients, and other industry stakeholders away from pandemic-era policies and practices tied to PHE authorities. CMS emphasizes that many of the waivers and flexibilities are or will become permanent or extended, and others are intended to end on or soon following May 11, 2023.
Below please find a summary of key guidance provided by CMS in the Fact Sheet and in related CMS PHE guidance documents issued recently:Continue Reading CMS Issues Guidance for Providers on Waivers, Flexibilities and End of COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
In a per curiam decision issued January 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal health care worker vaccine mandate rule, finding that the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services was authorized by law to issue the rule. See our previous analyses of the rule and subsequent litigation here and here for more background information on the stakes of this case.
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Worker Vaccine Mandate
On December 2, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memorandum to state survey agencies indicating that it will not enforce its Interim Final Rule (the “Rule”) regarding health care worker vaccinations while there are court-ordered injunctions against the Rule in place.
Continue Reading CMS Issues Memorandum Stating It Will Not Enforce Its COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate While There are Court-Ordered Injunctions in Place