On March 21, 2019, Maryland’s MedStar Health, Inc. and its two affiliate hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center , agreed to pay $35 million to the federal government to resolve allegations of False Claims Act (FCA) violations. The government relators alleged that the hospitals made kickback payments, “ under the guise of professional services agreements ,” for more than five years to a cardiology practice, Midatlantic Cardiovascular Associates, P.A. (MACVA), in exchange for MACVA referring Medicare patients to the hospitals for cardiac surgery and other cardiology services. (Read more...)  

On February 14, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new voluntary Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) payment pilot model, granting ambulance teams greater flexibility when addressing 911 initiated emergency calls for Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries. The number of costly emergency department (ED) visits has been gradually increasing for decades, causing healthcare spending concerns; in 2015, there were approximately 136.9 million ED visits, 15.6% of which visits were by those aged 65 and older.  (Read more...)  

On March 15, 2019, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released the 2019 edition of its annual Report to Congress: Medicare Payment Policy . For 2020, MedPAC recommends positive payment updates for hospitals, long-term care hospitals, and dialysis centers; zero updates for physicians, skilled nursing facilities, and ambulatory surgical centers; and, negative updates for home health agencies, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and hospice agencies. (Read more...)  

Rural health clinics (RHCs) are specially certified entities that were created in order to increase access to primary care services for patients located in rural communities. RHCs were established via the Rural Health Clinic Service Act of 1977 , which law was promulgated to address the increasing shortage of healthcare services in rural areas. These clinics are specially licensed healthcare organizations through Medicare, and may be operated as either a for-profit or a non-profit entity.
Advanced Distance Education to Launch in 2019

The  Institute for Healthcare Valuation  (IHV) &  Consultants' Training Institute  (CTI) are pleased to announce premier healthcare valuation training through a distance education program, the Certificate of Educational Achievement (CEA) for Advanced Education in Healthcare Valuation. The program will launch in 2019 and will bridge the interdisciplinary nature of healthcare valuation to include: the Four Pillars of Healthcare (regulatory, reimbursement, competition, and technology); the market forces shaping the U.S. healthcare industry; and the valuation of healthcare enterprises, assets, and services. Legal professionals and healthcare providers, as well as those wishing to expand their scope of activities in healthcare valuation engagements and those seeking to enhance their current healthcare valuation service lines, will gain comprehensive knowledge through completing the expansive program. The program has been developed and is being presented by industry thought leader Health Capital Consultants , alongside a blockbuster faculty of healthcare subject matter experts from the legal, federal regulatory, and valuation professions.

HCC President, Todd Zigrang , and Vice President and General Counsel, Jessica Bailey-Wheaton , were recently interviewed by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) , where they discussed the development of the distance education program along with the topics that will be covered. Click HERE to watch the entire interview.
HCC President,  Todd A. Zigrang, MBA, MHA, CVA, ASA, FACHE , will present on the topic of Private Equity Investment in Physician Groups during the  NCMGMA 2019 Annual Conference at The Wilmington Convention Center in Wilmington, NC.