OIG Publishes an Advisory Opinion on Gift Cards and Preventive Care Services
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued Advisory Opinion 23-03.  The Requestor is the manufacturer of a non-invasive, at-home colorectal screening test.  After being prescribed the screening test by a health care provider, patients receive a test sample collection kit (the “kit”) at their homes, collect a stool sample, and send the kit to the manufacturer’s laboratory via a prepaid, preaddressed package.  In an effort to encourage patients who have not yet returned their completed kit to do so, the Requester proposes to send those patients a prepaid card of up to $75 if the patients return the kit within a specified period of time.

After considering various aspects of the Requestor’s proposal, including whether it could meet the Preventive Care Exception to the definition of “remuneration” under the prohibition on beneficiary inducements statute, the OIG concluded that this proposal would not constitute grounds for the imposition of administrative sanctions under that statute.  The OIG also concluded that while this proposal could potentially generate prohibited remuneration via the anti-kickback statute, the OIG would not impose administrative sanctions under that statute.

CMS Makes Corrections to a 2023 Medicare Payment Final Rule
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released a correcting document that identifies and corrects a number of technical and typographical errors in the November 18, 2022 final rule regarding the calendar year 2023 Physician Fee Schedule and other Medicare Part B payment programs.  This correcting document is applicable beginning January 1, 2023.

The Joint Commission at Work

The Joint Commission Provides a Time Frame for CoP Compliance
The Joint Commission updated its Frequently Asked Questions to answer a question regarding how much time health care organizations will have to reach full compliance with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Conditions of Participation (“CoPs”) when the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (“PHE”) ends.  The Joint Commission notes that the PHE ends on May 11, 2023 and that organizations will be expected to be in full compliance with all CoPs by the next day, May 12, 2023.  More information can be found here and here.

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