DaVita Agrees to Settle Anti-Kickback Statute Allegations for $350 Million

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, the Department of Justice issued a news release stating that Davita Healthcare Partners, Inc. (“Davita”) had agreed to pay $350 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims in violation of the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute. The Federal Anti-Kickback statute prohibits the knowing and willful solicitation, payment or receipt of any remuneration in return for a patient referral or for purchasing or otherwise arranging for an item or service, for… Read More >

Forum Announced to Address Medicare Appeals Backlog

The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) recently announced that it will host a second OMHA Medicare Appellant Forum on October 29, 2014.  The forum will provide updates on OMHA and CMS initiatives designed to mitigate the backlog of Medicare Appeals at the ALJ level of appeal. The forum will be held on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 10 AM to 3 PM EST.  The forum can be attended in-person or via webinar.  More information and registration links can… Read More >

ONC Report to Congress Highlights EHR Interoperability Challenges

In the October 2014 Report to Congress, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) reviewed the progress made in adoption of Electronic Health Record technology (EHR) and discussed the ongoing challenges to interoperability of EHR systems.  As the executive summary of the report notes, “Electronic health information is not yet sufficiently standardized to allow seamless interoperability, as it is still inconsistently expressed through technical and medical vocabulary, structure, and format, thereby limiting the potential uses of… Read More >

CMS Reopens Submission Period for Meaningful Use Hardship Exception

CMS recently announced that it is reopening the submission period for hardship exception applications for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to avoid penalties for not meeting the meaningful use requirements. The new deadline will be November 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST.  To be considered for the exception, eligible professionals and eligible hospitals must complete a hardship application along with proof of the hardship. Eligible professionals can apply for hardship exceptions in the following categories: Infrastructure (e.g., insufficient internet access… Read More >