Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

CLIENT ALERT: Low Volume Appeals Settlement for RAC Appeals

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a new settlement proposal to providers with outstanding appeals at the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (“OMHA”) and the Medicare Appeals Council (“MAC”). Essentially, CMS is offering to pay up to 62% of the claim to the provider for qualifying claims that are currently in the appeal process. Interested providers may submit an Expression of Interest (“EOI”) to CMS by June 8, 2018. Providers should explore this settlement opportunity and submit an EOI to receive an offer of settlement. Providers may decline the offer after the EOI is submitted. Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC’s Provider Relations, Audit, and Appeals Unit, a division of its Healthcare Department, is able to assist providers with filing the EOI, analyzing the outstanding claims subject to the settlement, and reviewing the Administrative Agreement that is offered by CMS.

Overview:

The Low Volume Appeals Initiative (“LVA”) is a program conducted by CMS that allows CMS to settle outstanding reimbursement appeals with appellants, such as United Medical and Wulf Clinic, who meet certain requirements. The settlement is for a fixed percentage of payment of 62% of the amount of reimbursement money the appellant is disputing. Participation in the LVA program is completely voluntary, and appellants will not be compelled to proceed to settlement after submitting an EOI. If the appellant ultimately decides to settle, the appellant and CMS enter into a settlement agreement whereby the appellant agrees to accept 62% of the amount being disputed, to be paid within 180 days, in exchange for a release of all claims it may have against CMS for unpaid reimbursement.

Requirements for Eligibility:

Medicare Part A and Part B providers, physicians, and suppliers who are not in bankruptcy or have False Claims Act allegations pending or completed may be eligible for the LVA program. The appellant must have less than 500 appeals pending at OMHA and MAC, combined. The appellant will be eligible for all appeals under Medicare Part A or Part B that are pending before the OMHA or MAC as of November 3, 2017, that are for a billed amount of $9,000 or less per appeal.

LVA Process:

Interested appellants must first fill out an EOI form and submit it to MedicareAppealsSettlement @cms.hhs.gov. The window in which to submit EOIs is from April 12, 2018 until June 8, 2018. If the appellant is approved to participate in the LVA program, CMS will send a spreadsheet to the appellant with a list of eligible appeals along with an Administrative Agreement. The appellant will then analyze the spreadsheet and resolve any discrepancies with CMS over the following 30 days. If all discrepancies are resolved, CMS and the appellant will enter into the Administrative Agreement and resolve all claims up to 62% of their disputed value. At any point up until signing of the Administrative Agreement, the appellant may withdraw from the program and continue with the normal appeals process.

Should you have any questions concerning the Low Volume Appeals Initiative, please contact Amanda L. Waesch, Esq. (alwaesch@bmdllc.com) or Bryan E. Meek, Esq. (bmeek@bmdllc.com), who are attorneys in Brennan, Manna & Diamond’s Provider Relations, Audits, and Appeals Unit, a division of BMD’s Healthcare Department.

 

CLIENT ALERT: Taxpayer Passport Application will be Denied Due to Unpaid Taxes

In late 2015, Congress passed The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) into law. This law allows the IRS and State Department to refuse to issue a Passport if the taxpayer has a seriously delinquent tax debt. The law also permits the IRS and State Department to revoke a taxpayer’s Passport for these same delinquent tax debts. To be considered a seriously delinquent tax debt, the tax debt must total more than $51,000.

CLIENT ALERT: New Opportunity Zone Incentives Promise to Spur Economic Development

Created as part of the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, “Opportunity Zones” are designed to encourage long-term investments in underserved communities. By offering tax benefits to private investors who choose to invest their capital at the nexus of need and opportunity, the program supports a broad array of investments and offers opportunity for creative problem-solving strategies to address community needs. The program offers investors tiered tax benefits depending on the term of the investment, including a temporary deferral and partial reduction of unrealized capital gains, as well as the potential to exclude all future appreciation on the investment. The program is designed to tap into the estimated $6T+ of unrealized capital gains held by U.S. individuals and companies by incentivizing investors to re-invest that capital in low-income communities to spur economic development and job creation.

CLIENT ALERT: Medicare Trust Fund to Run Out of Funding Beginning in 2026, Likely to See an Increase in Audits, Overpayment Demands and Extrapolations

Pursuant to a Medicare Trustee Report released on June 5, 2018, the Medicare trust fund will run out of funding beginning in 2026, which is three years earlier than previously expected. Although the Trustee’s report requests that Congress and the President act with urgency to remedy this problem, in the short term, we expect to see an increase in government payer audits, overpayment demands, and extrapolations.

CLIENT ALERT: The European Union's New Data Privacy Law Goes Into Effect

On May 25, 2018, the European Union’s (“the EU”) new data privacy law went into effect. The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) concerns the processing of personal data that can be searched according to specified criteria such as geographical scope.

CLIENT ALERT: Class Action Waivers in Employment Contracts Upheld by Supreme Court

On May 21, 2018, in a 5-4 decision and a major win for employers, the United States Supreme Court upheld the legality of waivers in employment contracts that prohibit employees from grouping claims together in collective or class actions in favor of individual arbitration proceedings. See Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, ___U.S.___ (2018).