New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century releases its final report recommending significant bed closures and mergers

The NY State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century released its final report yesterday.  Its recommendations include the closure of nine hospitals, merger or other restructuring of about fifty hospitals and the elimination of 4,200 hospital beds (7% of the state’s total supply), and the closure of 2,000 nursing facility beds (4% […]

Another cardiac surgery gainsharing opinion from the OIG

The OIG released another advisory opinion this month approving a cardiac surgery gainsharing program.  The key elements, as in the previously approved cardiac gainsharing programs (see the early 2005 opinions, 05-01 through 05-06, here), are "open-on-use" policies (thus reducing waste of unused OR supplies which have been opened in advance) and limiting the use of […]

OIG advisory dings existing and proposed home oxygen arrangements of DME supplier

The OIG issued a negative advisory opinion earlier this month. A DME supplier requested confirmation that providing free home oxygen before patients qualify for Medcare coverage, and overnight oximetry testing services free of charge, would not be considered illegal remuneration to a person in a position to order or purchase covered goods or services. At […]

2007 Medicare OPPS and ASC fee schedule finalized

CMS released the 2007 hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and ASC rule and fee schedule last week.  It went on display November 1; it will be published in the coming weeks with an effective date of January 1, 2007. UPDATE 11/27/06: The final rule was published Friday 11/24 in the Federal Register. As is […]

Can you say "interfacility"? SCT rule gets changed again

CMS has addressed the definition of specialty care transport (SCT) yet again in the recent final rule mostly devoted to the 2007 Medicare physician fee schedule (on display November 1, 2006, to be published December 1, 2006, effective January 1, 2007).  (See pp. 501-510 of the display copy of the rule, which includes a history […]