Posted by Mark Gallant
on December 01, 2017
Since 1973, the Social Security Act has mandated that states provide retroactive Medicaid benefits for three months prior to the individual’s application. SSA § 1902(a)(34). Congress enacted this provision to provide coverage to those lacking knowledge about their Medicaid eligibility and to those whose sudden illness prevented them from applying. Senate Report No. 92-1230, at 209 (Sept. 26, 1972). Providers benefit from retroactive eligibility through the ability to enroll uninsured patients in Medicaid retroactively, including after discharge, to avoid uncompensated care costs.
Seeking to trim Medicaid expenditures, Iowa’s Governor this year signed a law requiring the State to seek a CMS waiver from the retroactive eligibility requirement. When the State agency asked the public for comments on its waiver proposal, only one commenter expressed support. The vast majority expressed concern that many patients—especially trauma patients who might lack the ability to promptly file Medicaid applications—would face new coverage gaps. The State itself projected that the waiver would shed 3,000 members (monthly) and would slash Medicaid expenditures by $36.8 million (annually). Providers unsurprisingly voiced concern that the waiver would increase uncompensated care costs. Continue reading…
Posted by Mark Gallant
on September 03, 2014
With little fanfare just before the Labor Day weekend, CMS announced a program in which it would enter into administrative agreements with eligible providers in exchange for the providers’ withdrawal of pending appeals (“Settlement Process”). This announcement follows massive backlogs in administrative appeals resulting from retroactive denials of inpatient claims by Medicare contractors, including recovery auditor contractors (“RAC”), as well as a lawsuit brought by the American Hospital Association challenging these delays. Under the Settlement Process, CMS is willing to pay “68% of the net allowable amount” for eligible claims within 60 days. According to CMS, eligible providers should submit requests to participate in the Settlement Process by October 31, 2014, and eligible providers may file for an extension of time to request a settlement if they are unable submit requests by the end of October. Although this Settlement Process holds promise for certain providers, it does not apply to all providers or all claims.
Only acute care hospitals and critical access hospitals may participate in the Settlement Process. The following providers are not eligible to participate:
- Cancer hospitals;
- Children’s hospitals;
- Inpatient rehabilitation facilities;
- Long-term care hospitals; and
- Psychiatric hospitals that are paid under the inpatient psychiatric facility prospective payment system.
CMS may exclude eligible providers from participating in this Settlement Process if they are subject to pending False Claims Act litigation or investigations.
Only the following claims are eligible:
- Claims for dates of admissions prior to October 1, 2013;
- Claims for patients that were not Medicare Part C enrollees; and
- Claims that are pending appeals of inpatient-status claim denials, which were rejected by Medicare contractors, including RACs.
An eligible provider may select the eligible claims it would like to settle, while continuing to appeal certain other claims.
For more information regarding the Settlement Process, please contact Mark Gallant, Chris Raphaely, or Ryan Blaney.
In a heavily anticipated landmark ruling, the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the so-called “individual mandate” of the Affordable Care Act – i.e., the requirement that those not insured privately, through their employer or through a governmental program, must either purchase minimum essential health insurance coverage or pay a “penalty” for failing to do so. The majority opinion was authored by Chief Justice Roberts and joined in part by Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor. Continue reading…