Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

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.

 

If implemented in full strength, these overpayment demands and extrapolations can result in payers recovering millions of dollars from providers, which may be returned to the trust fund.  In the alternative, payers and their contractors may allege overpayments so that providers agree to a settlement requesting the provider to accept pennies on the dollar for the true amount owed to the provider.

 

Either way, it is now more crucial than ever before that providers take action when government payers and their contractors seek to conduct pre- and post-payment audits and otherwise seek the refund of overpayments.

 

BMD’s Healthcare Department can meet with you to discuss your options if your practice is facing pre- and/or post-payment audits and denials.  If you are subjected to an overpayment, including an extrapolation, our experienced team can strategize your appeal and arguments for success in challenging the overpayment allegations.

 

If you have any questions concerning payer audits, appeals, overpayments, and extrapolations, or the administrative appeal process in general, please contact  Amanda L. Waesch, Esq. (alwaesch@bmdllc.com) or Bryan E. Meek, Esq. (bmeek@bmdllc.com), attorneys in Brennan, Manna & Diamond’s Provider Relations, Audits, Appeals, and Negotiations Unit, a division of BMD’s Healthcare Department.

 

DOL Proposes New Rule Regarding Independent Contractor Status - But How Will the Election Affect Its Future?

On September 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a new proposed rule regarding employee and independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The full text of the proposed rule is available here. The rule's drafters intend to reduce uncertainty and enhance the precision and predictability of the long-standing "economic reality" test, which currently relies on a multifactor balancing test.

Major Change to Franklin County, Ohio Eviction Process: Landlord Testimony Required

Although there is currently a nationwide temporary halt on all residential evictions through December 31, 2020 in place, the eviction process in Franklin County – which processes the highest number of evictions in the State of Ohio at approximately 18,000 a year – recently changed significantly.

UPDATE: Governor Dewine Signs HB 606 Granting Short Window of Immunity from COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuits

The Ohio General Assembly, in Am. Sub. H.B. No. 606, is in the final stages of passing a law that will prohibit lawsuits seeking damages from COVID-19. This includes injury, death, or loss to person or property if the lawsuits are based, in whole or in part, on the exposure to, or the transmission or contraction of the coronavirus, unless the defendant in the lawsuit acted intentionally or recklessly. In circumstances where this immunity does not apply, H.B. 606 prohibits such claims being aggregated and brought as a class action.

Revised Department of Labor FFCRA Guidance, Effective September 16, 2020

In response to attacks on the legality of the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule regarding the Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA” or the “Act”), which took effect in April 2020, the Department of Labor issued new guidance on Friday, September 11th to formally address ongoing questions and concerns related to the COVID-19 legislation.

FCC Adds $198 Million to Strengthen Telehealth for Rural Healthcare Providers

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has added an additional $198 million in funding to its Rural Health Care Program. These funds will be used to increase broadband services and telecommunications to bolster telehealth/telemedicine services for rural healthcare providers. Funding for rural healthcare providers was initially capped at $605 million in 2020, but the added funds will now allow the FCC to provide over $800 million to eligible providers.