10 May 2012
Legal News: Health Care

Senate Finance Committee Letter Presents Opportunity for Health Care Businesses

On May 2, 2012, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee issued an open letter seeking white papers and comments regarding recommendations and innovative solutions to improve health care program integrity. Specifically, the Finance Committee is seeking comments on: 1) program integrity reforms to protect beneficiaries and prevent fraud and abuse; 2) payment integrity reforms to ensure accuracy, efficiency, and value in the health care system; and 3) fraud and abuse enforcement reforms to ensure tougher penalties against those who commit fraud. Submissions are due by June 29, 2012. After all submissions are received and reviewed, the Finance Committee will release a document later this year highlighting key proposals and recommendations.

Efforts to revise and improve the government’s approach to program integrity would be strengthened by input from members across the health care community, including providers, payers, health plans, contractors, nonprofit entities, data analytics entities, vendors, and others. Many of these constituents have taken issue with a number of health care fraud and abuse rules on the grounds that some rules are vague, inapplicable, unduly burdensome, or negatively impact business and job creation in the industry. The Finance Committee hopes to draw on the collective wisdom and accumulated insight of thousands of professionals and individual experiences to offer new perspectives, solutions, and approaches.

This is an opportunity for health care providers, suppliers, and plans to voice their concerns and offer suggestions if they want changes to current or proposed rules regarding fraud and abuse. As important stakeholders in the health care industry, input from health care providers, suppliers, and plans would help the Finance Committee (and accordingly, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of Inspector General) identify changes to improve and streamline existing health care rules regarding program integrity. Businesses interested in this opportunity can collaborate with health care counsel and public policy professionals to prepare white papers and comments for consideration by the Finance Committee.

Access a copy of Finance Committee letter, as well as specifics on the submission process, here.

Legal News Alert is part of our ongoing commitment to providing up-to-the-minute information about pressing concerns or industry issues affecting our health care clients and colleagues. If you have any questions about this Alert or would like to discuss this topic further, please contact your Foley attorney or any of the following individuals:

Nathaniel M. Lacktman
Tampa, Florida
nlacktman foley.com

Maria E. Gonzalez Knavel
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
mgonzalezknavel foley.com

Jonathan P. Kilman
Tallahassee, Florida
jkilman foley.com

Heidi A. Sorensen
Washington, D.C.
hsorensen foley.com

Lawrence W. Vernaglia
Boston, Massachusetts
lvernaglia foley.com

Judith A. Waltz
San Francisco, California
jwaltz foley.com

Michelle A. Leeds
Washington, D.C.
mleeds foley.com