I find myself here in Chicago for the AHLA Annual Meeting. The timing’s perfect: a lot of lawyers in one giant hotel complex pondering, prediciting, and ruminating on the soon-to-be released decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. I offer no predictions; too much ink already has been spent on the “likely outcomes” of the Court’s decision. What I can say is that the manner in which private and public payors will scrutinize payments to health care providers will change, regardless of how the Supremes come down. My $0.02. More to follow……
Media reports have it that we will soon see the decision on the Affordable Care Act (the health reform law) from the U.S. Supreme Court any day now. I say next week, June 28. Just my predication, because that way all the Justices will leave for summer vacation immediately afterward. A scientific analysis? No.
In a fairly recent Client Update, I highlighted the December 19, 2011 proposed rule implementing the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) originally had stated that implementation would begin this year. Well, physicians and manufacturers now are off the hook until at least 2013. It turns out that for 2012 CMS will not be able to begin data collection required by the Act and any final rule that CMS adopts.
In her May 3 letter to Senator Charles Grassley Marilyn Tavenner, CMS’ acting administrator, explained that “CMS does not believe it feasible to address all of the remaining issues” in time to finalize its rules on data collection for 2012. For this year, disclosure of financial arrangements between physicians and manufacturers will not be required. Tavenner assures us that a final rule will be produced later this year in time for the 2013 reporting season.