Kurt Bratten

About Kurt Bratten

Kurt Bratten is Partner in our Health Law Department. His practice includes a wide range of civil litigation, transactional work and compliance and other advisory services. Kurt’s primary focus is counseling health care providers regarding compliance and transactional matters including managed care contracting, HIPAA and other confidentiality rules, anti-kickback and self-referral requirements, and other provider group-specific state and federal regulations.

CMS Publishes Regulations on Accountable Care Organizations

Today, CMS published its final rule implementing the part of the Affordable Care Act governing Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). A copy of the rule is available here. The portion of the Affordable Care Act implemented under this new rule requires the establishment of the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The Shared Savings Program, in turn, encourages […]

HHS Proposes Rule Giving Patients Direct Access to Lab Test Results

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register which would allow medical patients to get their laboratory test results directly from the lab.  A copy of this proposed rule is available here.  At present, only a handful of states allow direct access to lab results.  […]

NYS DOH Extends Health Home Application Deadline to October 3, 2011

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recently announced that it is extending the filing deadline from September 1 to October 3, 2011 for submission of applications by organizations interested in participating in the new Health Home program being established under New York’s Medicaid program.

Federal Appellate Courts Now Split over PPACA’s Individual Mandate

Late Friday afternoon the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that PPACA’s “individual mandate” – requiring virtually every American to purchase health insurance by 2014 – is unconstitutional.  In a 2-1 opinion exceeding 300-pages in length, the majority reasoned that upholding the controversial mandate would grant Congress powers beyond those intended by the Constitution. The […]

CMS Officially Withdraws Physician Signature Requirement

As we previously reported here and here, it was just a matter of time before the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officially withdrew its rule requiring physician signatures on all laboratory requisitions for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests paid under the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS). Today, CMS formally withdrew this requirement based on […]

Senators Request Investigation of Physician Owned Distributorships

On June 9, 2011, five prominent United States senators sent a letter to the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking that a probe of physician-owned distributorships be conducted. The Senators who signed the letter include Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), Max Baucus (D., Mont.), Herb Kohl (D., Wis.), Charles Grassley […]

Vermont Establishes Single Payer System

On May 26, 2011, Vermont Governor, Peter Shumlin, signed a bill that will establish a statewide publicly funded single-payer health care system.  The bill will create a “universal and unified health system” called “Green Mountain Care” and all of the state’s residents will be eligible for coverage. The Governor issued a written statement announcing the […]

CMS Proposes Rule to Make Medicare Data Available for Public Reports About Providers

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) requires that “standardized extracts” of Medicare claims data be made available to “qualified entities” in connection with their preparation of reports evaluating the performance of providers.  Since this information is now “required by law,” these disclosures are allowed under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s Privacy […]

CMS Releases Exceptions to ACO Rules for Rural Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a fact sheet titled “Medicare Shared Savings Program and Rural Providers” highlighting exceptions to the proposed regulations governing accountable care organizations (ACOs). On March 31, 2011, CMS released its proposed rules for ACOs. According to CMS, ACOs are supposed to help doctors, hospitals and health […]

CMS Reports $162 Million In Medicare Overpayments in First Three Months of 2011

Based on a recent report released by CMS, its Medicare Fee-for-Service Recovery Audit Program recovered $162 million in Medicare overpayments during the period of January through March 2011. This is a substantial increase in the amount of money recovered by the Recovery Audit Program (RAP) in that $162 million is more than double the amount […]