On June 29, 2011, the New Jersey Senate voted to pass Senate Bill No. 2780, which would amend existing New Jersey health care facility licensure statutes to require that one-room surgical practices operating in New Jersey obtain state licensure.  The term “surgical practice” is essentially defined to include any structure or suite of rooms that has no more than one … Continue Reading

According to a new report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Counsel (also known as PHC4), 19 new ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) opened up in Pennsylvania in the past year. This bring the total number of ASCs in Pennsylvania to 262.  According to the report, ASCs generally remain profitable.

Although growth of ASCs means more independence for physicians and more … Continue Reading

For physicians in the process of developing physician-owned hospitals, the race is on to get those facilities up and running by December, 2010. The recently enacted “Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010” amends the Stark law to once and for all prohibit physician-owned specialty hospitals unless: (1) the hospital has a Medicare provider agreement by December … Continue Reading

Among its many provisions, the newly signed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has imposed a new requirement on physicians who rely on the Stark "In-Office Ancillary Services" exception.  Physicians who refer patients for CT, MRI or PET (or other Stark services as designated by the Secretary of HHS) that will be provided by the referring physician’s practice under the Stark In-Office Ancillary … Continue Reading

Under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA), all Medicare suppliers of the technical component of advanced imaging services have until by January 1, 2012 to become accredited by an accreditation organization designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services . This includes physicians, non-physician practitioners, and physician and non-physician organizations paid for the technical … Continue Reading

As was predicted by many, the Deficit Reduction Act is continuing to cause a major shake-out in the imaging center industry.  According to the Florida Business Journal, a major Florida-based imaging center company has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization and will close 5 of its 17 centers.  As this trend continues, many physicians who invested in centers in hopes that returns … Continue Reading

Much has been in the news lately about the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act of 2007 recently introduced by the House democrats.   The Bill’s proponents claim that if enacted it will provide insurance coverage for millions of children and improve and strengthen Medicare for America’s seniors and people with disabilities.  What Physicians — particularly surgeons who may be thinking of … Continue Reading

As lucrative ancillary services continue shift from hospitals to outpatient sites, hospitals are anxious to find ways to keep they’re hand in the mix.  Not surprisingly, physician-hospital joint ventures are all the rage.  While such ventures can be legally structured, the stakes of failing to comply with applicable legal requirements can be very high.  For important considerations in structuring joint ventures, see … Continue Reading

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today in the federal register that it will delay publication of the much anticipated Phase III final Stark self-referral regulations (which were due out by today) until March 23, 2008. According to CMS, the delay is necessary in order to allow time to review and consider the extensive public comments on the Interim … Continue Reading

On February 19, 2007 (but effective retroactively to January 26, 2007), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rescinded the controversial IDTF transmittal referrenced in the February 18, 2007 entry on this Blog.  A copy of the notice can be found here: Transmittal 187.  Those guidelines would have imposed major new conditions on independent diagnostic testing facilities (IDTFs), and would have … Continue Reading