Consumer bureau chief Cordray announces resignation

Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has told his agency’s employees he is resigning.
Cordray told CFPB employees that he expects “to step down from his position here before the end of the month,” according to an email sent to CFPB staff.
“As I have said many times, but feel just as much today as I ever have, it has been a joy of my life to have the opportunity to serve our country as the first director of the Consumer Bureau by working alongside all of you here,” he wrote.
Cordray’s departure gives President Trump a chance to reshape the bureau, as the director is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
The role comes with broad authority over the CFPB’s budget, actions and priorities, offering the potential for Cordray’s replacement to reshape the agency’s work.
Cordray has led the CFPB since it opened in 2011. His aggressive actions in the role have drawn praise from Democrats but heavy criticism from Republicans who say he has abused his power.
In his memo, Cordray touted the roughly $12 billion that CFPB returned to consumers through enforcement actions, and the 1.3 million consumer complaints addressed by the bureau.

“Together we have made a real and lasting difference that has improved […]

By |November 15th, 2017|Collections, Collections, Industry News, Industry News, National News, State News|Comments Off on Consumer bureau chief Cordray announces resignation

Final Rule Increases HOPD Payment Cut

Off-campus provider-based departments that began operating after November 2015 will receive only 40 percent of the payment rates of older departments, according to a new rule.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Nov. 2 issued a final rule for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) that implemented a requirement of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 to limit Medicare payments for services at such sites. The payment rate relative to the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) rate was reduced to 50 percent in 2017 and drops to 40 percent for 2018. The final 2018 rate nonetheless represents an improvement from the proposed rule issued several months ago, when it was set at 25 percent.

CMS officials said they increased the rate from the proposed rule over concerns that they “overstated relativity between the OPPS and the PFS.”

In the future, such facilities will be paid under the Part B payment system. Exempted are sites that offer dedicated emergency department services and those that meet the 21st Century Cures Act “mid-build” exception.

The cut raised concern among hospital advocates

“CMS finalized a number of policies, including one that will adversely impact patient access to care by reducing Medicare rates for services hospitals […]

By |November 13th, 2017|Health Reform, Medicare/Medicaid, National News|Comments Off on Final Rule Increases HOPD Payment Cut

Unsure of CMS’ strategy, providers may retreat on risk models

Matthew Perry doesn’t know if he can trust the CMS. Over the years, he didn’t always agree with the agency’s decisions, but at least he understood them.

That changed Nov. 1 when the agency announced it was moving forward with a $1.6 billion cut to the federal drug discount program known as 340B. The decision followed near universal opposition from hospitals, which sent reams of data and anecdotes of how important the funds were to patient care. It also came just days after senior CMS officials committed to travel the country to hear from providers on how to best reduce regulatory burdens.

“I just don’t understand the logic behind it, and that feels a little different from before,” said Perry, CEO of Genesis HealthCare, based in Zanesville, Ohio.
THE TAKEAWAY Providers fear that the CMS is sending mixed messages on regulatory relief amid the shift to value-based care.
Perry isn’t alone in his feelings that the agency has become unpredictable and unresponsive to data-backed worries over its proposals. A series of rulemakings released earlier this month spanning 4,000 pages seems to undermine statements from agency officials that they want to make Medicare less burdensome.

“The overall theme is that the one thing hospitals have […]

By |November 13th, 2017|Collections, Health Reform, Industry News, Medicare/Medicaid|Comments Off on Unsure of CMS’ strategy, providers may retreat on risk models


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