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.

 

SBA Releases New Frequently Asked Question (No. 49) - Maturity Dates for PPP Loans

On June 25, 2020 the SBA released a new Frequently Asked Question (No. 49) concerning the maturity dates for PPP Loans as modified by the recently passed Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. All PPP Loans received on or after June 5, 2020, will have a five-year maturity. Any PPP Loan received before June 5, 2020, has a two-year maturity, unless the borrower and lender mutually agree to extend the term of the loan to five years. Businesses should address the maturity issue with their SBA lender and discuss any available change to the loan maturity date.

Top 10 Signs that May Indicate Financial Distress

The business world has been turned upside down with COVID-19 and the financial disruption it has created. Once healthy businesses are taking protective measures to remain viable. The impact of this health and financial crisis has affected nearly all industries in some manner. Being aware of areas or issues where your company is vulnerable is critically important. We have identified ten signs to look for when evaluating whether your company has some degree of financial distress.

HHS Delays Quarterly Reporting for Provider Relief Funds

There is good news for providers that received either (1) General Distributions from the HHS Provider Relief Funds [link to my article], or (2) Targeted Distributions from the HHS Provider Relief Funds [link to Ashley’s article]. HHS reversed its stance requiring quarterly reports for providers that received Provider Relief Funds and PPP loan monies. The initial quarterly reports would have been due by July 10, 2020. However, on June 13, 2020, HHS delayed the quarterly reporting requirement.

July 20 is Important Deadline for HHS Fund Distributions to Medicaid and CHIP Providers

On June 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released details on the distribution of more CARES Act Provider Relief Fund payments. After allocating $50 billion to Medicare providers through its General Distribution fund, HHS has now announced that it will distribute $15 billion to eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers who apply by the deadline through a Targeted Distribution. Applicants must apply through the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal. The application form itself can be found on the HHS website and is due by July 20, 2020.

DOJ Updates Corporate Compliance Plan Guidance

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, all healthcare providers were required to adopt and implement a corporate compliance plan. Historically, having an effective corporate compliance plan in place has been key to defending healthcare providers in fraud and abuse actions by Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial payers. Over the past couple of years, the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division has increased the number of prosecutions against U.S. corporations, including healthcare providers. Earlier this month, the DOJ’s Criminal Division updated its “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” guidance to educate prosecutors on how a corporate compliance program will be evaluated going forward.