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

Client Alert

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.

 


“In for a Penny, in for a Pound” is No Longer the Case for Florida Lawyers

On April 1, 2024, newly adopted Rule 1.041 to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedures goes into effect which creates a procedure for an attorney to appear in a limited manner in civil proceedings.  Currently, when a Florida attorney appears in a civil proceeding, he or she is reasonable for handling all aspects of the case for their client.  This new rule authorizes an attorney to file a notice limiting the attorney’s appearance to particular proceedings or specified matters prior to any appearance before the court.  For example, an attorney can now appear for the limited purpose of filing and arguing a motion to dismiss.  Once the motion to dismiss is heard by the court, the attorney may file a notice of termination of limited appearance and will have no further obligations in the case.

Enhancing Privacy Protections for Substance Use Disorder Patient Records

On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) finalized updated rules to 42 CFR Part 2 (“Part 2”) for the protection of Substance Use Disorder (“SUD”) patient records. The updated rules reflect the requirement that the Part 2 rules be more closely aligned with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) privacy, breach notification, and enforcement rules as mandated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.

Columbus, Ohio Ordinance Prohibits Employers from Inquiries into an Applicant’s Salary History

Effective March 1, 2024, Columbus employers are prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history. Specifically, the ordinance provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice to:

The Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board’s Latest Batch of Rules: What Providers Should Know

The Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board has introduced new rules and amendments, covering various aspects such as CDCA certificate requirements, expanded services for LCDCs and CDCAs, remote supervision, and reciprocity application requirements. Notable changes include revised criteria for obtaining a CDCA certification, expanded services for LCDCs and CDCAs, and updated ethical obligations for licensees and certificate holders, including non-discrimination, confidentiality, and anti-sexual harassment measures.

Governor Mike DeWine and The Ohio State University Introduce the SOAR Study on Ohio Mental Illness

On January 19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and The Ohio State University announced a new research initiative, the State of Ohio Adversity and Resilience (“SOAR”) study, which will investigate all factors influencing Ohio’s mental illness and addiction epidemic.