July 7, 2014
Just as most of America was getting ready to enjoy the 4th of July holiday, Washington was issuing 1,296 new pages of regulations concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In fact, the release of the new regulations came at 4.15pm on July 3rd.
Last year, the Obama administration used the days surrounding the July 4th holiday as an opening to announce a delay to the employer mandate and to disclose the fact that the exchanges would operate on the honor system, doling out benefits without properly verifying information provided by applicants.
What did this latest pre-holiday release of regulations contain?
- This proposed rule would revise the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and the Medicare ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system for CY 2015 to implement applicable statutory requirements and changes arising from our continuing experience with these systems.
- This major proposed rule addresses changes to the physician fee schedule, and
other Medicare Part B payment policies to ensure that our payment systems are updated to reflect changes in medical practice and the relative value of services,
as well as changes in the statute.
- On June 26, 2014 the IRS also issued final regulations on the tax credit available to certain small employers that offer health insurance to their employees. The regulations affect small employers, both taxable and tax-exempt, that are eligible for the tax credit. The regulations, which are effective as of June 30, 2014, include guidance on the definition of eligible small employers, the calculation of full-time equivalent employees and the credit amount, filing requirements, the uniform percentage requirement, and other related matters
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act encompasses more than 2,700 pages of law and 25,000 pages of regulations from three federal agencies.
Part of what we do for our private association health insurance and employee benefits marketplace clients is to keep them up-to-date with what comes from Washington regarding the ACA.