March 18: When he opened the Legislature’s new session this month, Florida Speaker of the House Jose Oliva said the state must address areas “where the government has gotten in the way. … That’s why we must get rid of policies like certificate of need, which have only served to create local and regional monopolies.” A House panel last week approved a measure doing just that. A companion bill will be debated in the Senate Health Policy Committee. Besides eliminating CON, SB 1712 would mandate what levels of charity care hospitals must provide.
March 19: As California goes, so goes the nation? At the very least, lawmakers in the Golden State are keeping pace with renewed national attention on how much community benefit tax-exempt hospitals provide. The State Assembly Health Committee will take up AB 204, which would, among other things, establish a standard for how not-for-profit hospitals calculate and report their community benefit. The bill, drafted by Democrat Assembly Member Jim Wood, would also “revise the definition of community benefits to exclude fundraising expenses and compliance costs associated with preparing a community benefits plan. The bill would also revise the definition of hospital to include small and rural hospitals that are part of a hospital system.” As Modern Healthcare reported earlier this month, Congress, primarily under Sen. Chuck Grassley’s leadership, is digging back into how the Internal Revenue Service enforces federal community benefit rules.
March 19: When does the clock run out for False Claims Act lawsuits? The Supreme Court will hear arguments in Cochise Consultancy v. United States ex rel. Hunt, a case that could shorten and standardize the statute of limitations for whistleblowers to bring FCA cases. If the justices side with Cochise, it could significantly cut down on overpayment recoveries.