Health Care Reform Dashboard

Health Care Reform Dashboard

Charting Developments with the
Affordable Care Act and Beyond

Healthcare Providers / Suppliers

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No Surprises, But Much Uncertainty: The Status of CAA Billing Rules

Summary The rules in the Consolidated Appropriations Act that aim to eliminate much of the surprise from billings by out-of-network providers in particular situations are the subject of continued controversy. The Upshot The Bottom Line If upheld, the district court’s decisions will likely result in higher costs for plans and patients, but there remains much [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Prescription for Chaos: Copay Accumulator Programs Called Into Question

Summary Employers taking advantage of copay accumulator programs now face unexpected administrative complications following a recent federal court decision. The Upshot The Bottom Line Plan sponsors should consult with their advisers to determine how this recent federal court decision affects their employee prescription drug benefit design. Some employers may not even know that their benefit [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Details Upon Details: Compliance under MHPAEA’s New Proposed Regulations

Summary The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury have proposed regulations under the Mental Health Parity Act that build on prior guidance to set forth requirements for an extremely detailed analysis of how a health plan’s nonquantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs) for mental health and substance use disorder benefits compare to those [&hellip… Continue Reading »

New Mental Health Parity Guidance Issued

Summary On July 25, 2023, the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health & Human Services (the Departments) released joint proposed regulations and other guidance under the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (the MHPAEA). This alert provides a high-level summary of the much-anticipated guidance; a more detailed analysis of [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Gag-Clause Attestations Due by End of Year

Summary By December 31, 2023, health plans and insurers must submit an attestation of compliance with the anti-gag rules of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA). The rules apply to all agreements entered into on or after the date that the CAA was enacted (December 27, 2020), and the first attestation applies retroactively to that [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Comprehending the Non-Comprehensive: Proposed Rules Tackle Some Non-Traditional Coverage

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury have published a set of proposed rules that impose new limits on two types of benefits: short-term limited-duration insurance (STLDI) and fixed indemnity coverage. STLDI STLDI is a form of temporary health insurance originally intended to fill gaps in coverage. It does not offer comprehensive health [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Meet me at the Corner of No Surprises and …

Summary The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury have issued guidance that coordinates application of the No Surprise Billing rules under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, with the cost-sharing limits under the Affordable Care Act and the requirement to provide access to cost information through an internet-based self-service tool under the [&hellip… Continue Reading »

COVID-19 Coverage Without a Deductible Ends After 2024

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued new guidance, Notice 2023-37, which states that for plan years ending after December 31, 2024, HSA-compatible high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) will no longer be permitted to cover COVID-19 testing and treatment before the minimum deductible is satisfied. This guidance answers the question of how long these exceptions to the [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Preventive Care Rules Remain in Place for Now

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the broad application of a district court decision that would have invalidated a number of preventive care requirements under the Affordable Care Act. As a result, health plans, other than those directly involved in the litigation, will continue to be required to cover the full cost of preventive [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Reminder: Reporting Requirement for Health Care Costs One Month Away

Health plan sponsors and health insurers will need to report prescription drug and other health plan costs (RxDC reporting) for 2022 by June 1, 2023. Unlike the RxDC reporting requirements for 2020 and 2021, this deadline is not expected to be delayed. Plan sponsors and insurers will benefit from the relaxation of some of the [&hellip… Continue Reading »

FAQs Provide Guidance on Preventive Care

Summary The Departments of Labor, the Treasury, and Health and Human Services have jointly issued FAQs that address the requirement to cover the full cost of certain preventive care services in view of the recent ruling in Braidwood v. Bacerra that invalidated some of those requirements. The Upshot The Bottom Line Given that the Biden Administration expects to challenge [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Court Invalidates Certain Preventive Care Requirements

Summary Health plans and insurance policies may no longer be required to cover the full cost of preventive care that carries an A or B rating by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), following a recent ruling by a federal district court in Texas. The Upshot The Bottom Line Health plans and insurers may [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Unmuzzled: Time to Attest That No Gags Apply

Summary The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury have issued guidance on how health plans and insurers may attest to their compliance with the anti-gag rules of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA). The Upshot The Bottom Line By December 31, 2023, health plans and insurers must submit an attestation of [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Strike Two: Court Again Invalidates No Surprises Procedure

Summary The U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas vacated certain provisions of the No Surprises regulations that it found inappropriately placed a “thumb on the scale,” and limited the discretion of arbitrators. The Upshot The Bottom Line The court decision provides another victory to out-of-network providers under the No Surprises rules, but it may [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Spring Cleaning: Preparing for the COVID Emergency’s End

Summary The almost three-year-old COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency declarations (Declarations) are slated to expire May 11, 2023. The Upshot The Bottom Line Plan sponsors should use the coming months to work with their advisors and administrators to ensure that their plan design, documents, and communications are appropriately reviewed and, if necessary, revised [&hellip… Continue Reading »

IRS Finalizes Affordable Care Act Reporting Relief

Since the inception of the annual reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act for Forms 1094 and 1095, the IRS has been annually extending the deadline for employers to distribute those reports to individuals. In line with prior guidance, the IRS has now issued final regulations that provide for a permanent, automatic 30-day reporting deadline [&hellip… Continue Reading »

New Wiretap Cases Target Hospitals Using Meta Pixel

As we discussed in a recent webcast, there has been a surge in litigation focused on companies’ use of Meta Pixel, which is tracking code that enables the sharing of user online activity with Facebook.  Recent litigation has alleged that use of Meta Pixel with online videos violates the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA).  An even [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Dispute Resolution Process is Modified Under the CAA’s No Surprise Billing Rules

Summary The Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health & Human Services have finalized regulations regarding the dispute resolution process implemented under the No Surprise Billing Rules in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The Departments also have issued important FAQ guidance that addresses many other elements of the No Surprise Billing Rules. The Upshot The new final [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Back and Forth to the Future: HHS Issues Proposed Rules on Nondiscrimination

Summary The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued proposed regulations under the nondiscrimination provisions of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed rules restore and augment a number of the nondiscrimination requirements in regulations that were published in 2016, but later stripped away in rules published in 2020. The [&hellip… Continue Reading »

The Element of Surprise – The No Surprises Rules Become a Little Less Predictable

In a Memorandum Opinion and Order issued last week, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas vacated significant provisions in the regulations under the No Surprises Act. The order addresses the independent dispute resolution (IDR) process that health plans or providers may initiate to resolve differences about how much a health plan should pay for out-of-network [&hellip… Continue Reading »

The CAA Prescription Drug Benefit Reporting Requirement

Summary The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) requires group health plans and health insurers to submit information regarding the costs of prescription drug costs and other health care services each year to the federal government. This is the ninth briefing in Ballard Spahr’s series on the CAA and health transparency regulations. It was originally published [&hellip… Continue Reading »

The CAA’s New Rules for Health Care Provider Directories

Summary The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) requires each group health plan and health insurer with a network of providers to maintain a database on a public website that lists the name, address, specialty, telephone number, and digital contact information for each provider that directly or indirectly participates in the network. These new standards are effective [&hellip… Continue Reading »

Provider’s Claims for COVID-19 Screening Charges Move Forward

Addressing motions to dismiss, a district court in Texas has found that a provider may proceed with its lawsuit to recover the full amount of its charges for COVID-19 diagnostic testing under the FFCRA and CARES Act from an insurer. The FFCRA and CARES Act require health plans and insurers to pay the amount published by a [&hellip… Continue Reading »