ABA Health eSource August 2011 Volume 7 Number 12
ABA Health eSource - Your link to the ABA's Health Law Section
August 2011 Volume 7 Number 12
Health Law Section NewsAugust 10, 2011
Round Two - Do the right thing and get published!
Help the Section's efforts to update the Breast Cancer Legal Advocacy Guide. Read more.
August 18, 2011
FDA Public Health Clinical Trials Fundamentals
(CLE Webinar & Teleconference)
August 30, 2011
The Nuts and Bolts of Reporting and Disclosure Rules for Employee Benefit Plans
(CLE Webinar & Teleconference)
August 15-16, 2011
Third Electronic Discovery and Digital Evidence Practitioners' Workshop
(Live Program | New York City)

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Chair's Column
By Linda A. Baumann, Arent Fox LLP, Washington, DC

My year as Chair of the ABA Health Law Section (“the Section”) ends at the ABA Annual Meeting on August 6, 2011, so this will be my final Chair’s Column. I am very pleased to be able to report that, despite significant challenges, we have had a very successful year. As a result of the recession, we started the Bar year facing significant financial issues which in turn had led to declining membership. In addition, due to previous resignations, we had lost two of our four staff members. It is an incredible tribute to our members, leadership and staff that we were able to maintain (and improve) our existing programs and undertake to establish several valuable new initiatives.

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This edition of eSource is brought to you by the Payment & Reimbursement Interest Group.

The Future of the Recovery Audit Contractor Program
By Abby Pendleton and Jessica L. Gustafson, The Health Law Partners, P.C., Southfield, MI

In fiscal year 2010 alone, the Government Accountability Office estimates that $70 billion in improper Medicare and Medicaid payments were made. In March 2010, President Obama issued a Memorandum directing federal agencies to expand their use of recovery audits in an effort to reduce such improper payments. Days later, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) was signed into law, expanding the Recovery Audit Contractor (“RAC”) program to include claims submitted under Medicare Part C (i.e., Medicare Advantage), Medicare Part D (i.e., prescription drug benefit), and Medicaid.

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Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Is Here – Performance Periods Commenced July 1, 2011
By Patricia H. Wirth, Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, P.C., Washington, DC

For approximately eight years, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (the “Secretary”) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) have been working to lay the foundation for a program that would reward health care providers and suppliers for providing quality care. These efforts have included a number of initiatives and demonstration projects designed to promote high-quality care and develop a means of measuring the care provided.

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The Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs: Preparing for a Potential Audit
By Esther R. Scherb, Dana Shank, Kathryn M. Almar, Latham & Watkins LLP, Washington, D.C. and Preeya M. Noronha*, Washington, D.C.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 established the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (“EHR”) Incentive Programs, which provide incentive payments to eligible professionals (“EPs”), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (“CAHs”) (collectively, “providers”) as they adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology.

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The Constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Will One Man Have the Final Say?
By Wendy Cooper, 3L, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, MI

In an attempt to remedy the increasing costs of healthcare and healthcare insurance, President Obama proposed a universal system of healthcare where, with a few exceptions, everyone would be required to purchase and maintain basic healthcare coverage. After many months of debate and countless modifications, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed by a democratically controlled House and Senate. On March 23, 2010, the President signed the comprehensive reform into law and dozens of lawsuits were filed across the Country contesting the bill’s constitutionality.  

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Did you know membership in an interest group is FREE with your Health Law Section membership?

Did you know your membership in the ABA Health Law Section qualifies you for free membership in up to three interest groups of your choice? Interest groups, which are comprised of twelve practices areas within health law, make significant contributions to the Section's programming, publications and legislative initiatives. The interest groups also provide an excellent opportunity for you to interact with and have access to some of the most outstanding lawyers in the legal community. You can enroll on our webpage by clicking here. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Simeon Carson at simeon.carson@americanbar.org

Payment and Reimbursement Interest Group

The Payment & Reimbursement Interest Group follows trends, changes and practices in reimbursement, billing and collection under Medicare, Medicaid and other federal and state healthcare programs.

The IG is led by Chair Lisa Ohrin, Health Management Associates, Inc., Naples, FL, Washington, DC and Vice-Chairs Jonell Beeler, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Jackson, MS; Roderick T. Chen, MedStar Health, Arlington, VA; Joseph V. Geraci, Brown McCarroll, L.L.P., Austin, TX and Andrew B. Wachler, Wachler & Associates PC, Royal Oak, MI.

If you would like to join the Interest Group, continue by clicking the following link: Health Law Section IG Sign-up Form.

ABA eSource Editorial Board

The ABA Health eSource Editorial Board is led by Chair Lisa Genecov, Locke Lord Bissell and Liddell LLP, Dallas, TX and editorial board members Michael E. Clark, Duane Morris LLP, Houston, TX; Adrienne Dresevic, The Health Law Partners, PC, Southfield, MI; Marla Durben Hirsch, Potomac, MD; Conrad Meyer, Chaffe McCall, LLP, New Orleans, LA and Jennifer Tsao, Hernandez Schaedel & Associates LLP, Pasadena, CA.

Do you want to communicate your ideas to thousands of other members? To contribute a newsletter article on a health law topic, send us your ideas to simeon.carson@americanbar.org.
The opinions expressed are those of the authors and shall not be construed to represent the policies or positions of the ABA or the ABA Health Law Section.
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