An Update on NAHC's Face-to-Face Lawsuit
Federal District Court Judge Christopher Cooper held a status conference on November 19, 2014 in NAHC’s lawsuit challenging the validity of the physician narrative requirement in Medicare’s face-to-face (F2F) physician encounter rule.In the status conference, Judge Cooper raised the question as to whether the lawsuit was “moot” given the rule change (a lawsuit is moot when there is no longer any live controversy).
NAHC counsel, Bill Dombi, explained that while CMS has rescinded the rule at issue, the controversy that led to the filing of the lawsuit remains, unfortunately, very much alive. With CMS’s decision to have its rule change apply prospectively only, the tens of thousands of previous claim denials have caused great harm. Dombi expressed to the court that there is a need for quick action on the motions pending before the court.
Currently, Medicare is asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit because of the alleged failure to exhaust all administrative remedies. NAHC has countered, arguing that Medicare has taken a final position on the issue as confirmed in the status conference. To amplify the need for court action, Dombi referenced the ongoing F2F audits in New England states where millions of dollars in claims has been retroactively denied in recent months.