Over two years after proposing rules for comment, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) just published a final rule which revises and adds new safe harbors to the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and amends the definition of “remuneration” under the Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) rules. The change to the definition provides for exceptions to the prohibition of the offer or transfer of certain Medicare beneficiary inducements tied to their choice of provider for covered health care items or services.
On December 6, 2016, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH), the two leading national hospital associations, sent a joint letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about Congress’s approach to the ACA after President-elect Trump takes office. Both groups are essentially asking for protection from cuts in reimbursement that might take place in the process of repealing, replacing, or reforming the law. To read the joint letter, click here.
Counsel Lanhee Chen recently authored “The Drug Pricing Conundrum Explained” for RealClear Health. The article describes the recent significant discussions on drug pricing and the reality that employers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and health plans are working to ensure a competitive marketplace and hold down costs for consumers. Lanhee states that the US continues to be a center for pharmaceutical innovation and a leading source of new cures that improve human quality of life and longevity. “While some are calling for additional regulatory or legislative action to deal with drug costs, this only threatens innovation while interfering with a marketplace that is already holding down costs and ensuring broad access to the therapies and cures that Americans need,” concludes Lanhee.
The US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey recently announced an agreement with BioTelemetry Inc. to settle allegations that its recently-acquired subsidiary, MedNet, Inc., violated the Anti-Kickback Statue and False Claims Act by improperly inducing health care providers to use the company’s cardiac monitoring services.
Last week, FDA issued a final version of Guidance for Industry, Contract Manufacturing Arrangements for Drugs: Quality Agreements, which is available here. In this document, FDA sets forth the Agency’s expectations for parties involved in contract drug manufacturing, specifically that they delineate—in written quality agreements—each party’s roles and responsibilities to ensure compliance with FDA’s current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) requirements. The guidance applies to commercial manufacturing of human and veterinary drugs, certain combination products, biological and biotechnology products, finished products, active pharmaceutical ingredients, excipients, in-process materials and drug constituents of combination drug/device products.
Recently, the California Division of Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board approved a new safety standard designed to provide comprehensive regulatory protections for workers exposed to workplace violence in healthcare settings. The standard, which was sponsored by several labor unions, will require covered healthcare providers to develop workplace violence prevention plans, training programs, and recordkeeping procedures to track certain incidents of workplace violence.
On November 17, FDA announced that it had revised, and finalized in part, Guidance for Industry, Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2012: Questions and Answers Related to User Fee Assessments, available here.
The revised guidance finalizes the section of the document that pertains to user fees. (Note that FDA announced GDUFA user fees for fiscal year 2017 for Abbreviated New Drug Applications, Prior Approval Supplements, Drug Master Files, and facilities earlier this year (81 Fed. Reg. 49,225, July 27, 2016).) Questions and answers related to self-identification, review of generic drug submissions, and inspections and compliance, which appeared in earlier versions of this GDUFA Q&A guidance, will be updated and addressed in a separately issued final guidance.
With President-elect Donald Trump and a new Congress ready to take office in January, the US health care system has reached a pivotal moment. In particular, the overarching question facing the industry and employers across the country is what will become of President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act?
With President-Elect Donald Trump and a new Congress ready to take office in January, the US health care system has reached a pivotal moment. In particular, the overarching question facing the industry and employers across the country is what will become of President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act?
In Part One of this Health Care Counsel podcast series, Arent Fox counsel Lanhee J. Chen, a senior appointee at the US Department of Health and Human Services during the George W. Bush administration, and Senior Government Relations Director Sonja L. Nesbit, a former Obama Administration appointee who served at HHS, discussed how they expect a Trump Administration to handle Obamacare.
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