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Tara E. Dwyer

Member

[email protected]

+1.202.585.3504

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Tara enjoys working with managed care organizations, pharmaceutical services providers such as PBMs, and integrated delivery systems, and companies that invest in them, on matters relating to compliance with federal health care program regulations, federal and state fraud, waste and abuse laws and plan benefits.

She works closely with Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) and Medicare Part D Plan Sponsors, including Employer Group Waiver Plans (EGWPs), and first tier and downstream entities to address regulatory and compliance matters that arise as a result of participating in Medicare Parts C and D.  Tara often advises clients on matters relating to plan bids, medical loss ratio reporting, drug pricing in both Medicare Part B and Part D and direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) reporting.  She regularly counsels clients regarding risk adjustment systems and practices needed to support them. Tara also actively engages with CMS on behalf of clients on many matters.

She also works closely with discount medical and pharmacy plan operators (DMPOs) on matters relating to compliance with state laws and provider contracting.

Tara uses her substantive day-to-day compliance experience to assist clients in litigation matters and transactions. 

Tara has extensive experience preparing and negotiating complex services agreements for and between MAOs, providers, PBMs, pharmacies, wholesalers, manufacturers, and DMPOs.     

Education

  • Seton Hall University (JD)
  • Villanova University (BA)

Recognition & Awards

  • Included on the Washington DC Super Lawyers Rising Stars: Health Care list (2016 - 2020)
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 United States for Healthcare: Service Providers (2019-2020)
  • Order of the Coif
  • ABA-BNA Award for Excellence in the Study of Health Law

Viewpoints

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As a continuation of our series on the Contract Year 2021 and 2022 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicaid Program (the “Proposed Rule”) released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) earlier this month, this blog focuses on CMS’s codification of its recent guidance on supplemental benefits, including guidance on Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (“SSBCI”). It also discusses CMS’s proposed changes to the medical loss ratio (“MLR”) to account for changes in supplemental benefits.
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In CMS’s recently released proposed rule (the Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Contract Year 2021 and 2022 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicaid Program, Medicare Cost Plan Program and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) (the “Proposed Rule”) and supplemental HPMS memos, CMS is proposing several significant changes to its star rating system and to its methodology for reviewing plan past performance. This blog post highlights the key details of the proposed changes to the star rating system and past performance methodology and their potential impact on Medicare Advantage and Part D plans.
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This week, the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule (the Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Contract Year 2021 and 2022 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicaid Program, Medicare Cost Plan Program and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), the 2021 Medicare Advantage and Part D Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates and Part C and Part D Payment Policies (Part II), and multiple Health Plan Management System (HPMS) memos and notices covering topics including Medicare Advantage (MA) benefits, Medicare Part D bidding, and suspension of its Past Performance Review Methodology.  
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Health Care: A Clearer Vision in 2020? Don’t Bet On It

January 15, 2020 | Blog | By Aaron Josephson, Tara E. Dwyer

As we noted in our previous blog post, there are several legislative priorities in the health care space that could see action this year. There are also a variety of activities beginning this year that could set the stage for later action. Here’s what we’re tracking for a 2020 health care legislative package.
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At the end of July 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) jointly published the Safe Importation Action Plan, which outlined the Trump Administration’s two-part plan to allow foreign prescription drugs to be imported into the United States in an effort to reduce drug prices. We wrote about the release of the Safe Importation Action Plan here, and the detailed proposals made public by the Administration on December 18, 2019, follow the framework that the agencies sketched out earlier this year. Specifically, HHS and FDA have proposed two different pathways: one that is being implemented via notice-and-comment rulemaking, and one that is being implemented via an FDA guidance document. HHS Secretary Alex Azar touted the two pathways together in a same-day FDA press release as “historic actions…[that] represent the bold nature of President Trump’s agenda for lowering drug costs.”
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Yesterday, May 8, 2019, the Centers for Medicaid & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released its final rule requiring drug manufacturers to disclose a drug’s wholesale acquisition cost (“WAC”) in direct-to-consumer television advertisements. The rule, which will become final 60 days after the official publication of the rule (which will be tomorrow, May 10, 2019) was proposal last fall. CMS is largely adopting the rule as published last fall with minor technical changes for clarification
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HHS Proposes to Remove Drug Rebate Protections

February 1, 2019 | Blog | By Susan Berson, Theresa Carnegie, Tara E. Dwyer

On January 31, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule that would amend the discount safe harbor under the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) to eliminate protection for certain drug discounts paid by manufacturers to plan sponsors or their pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) under Medicare Part D, and Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs). Additionally, the proposed rule would create two new safe harbors to protect: (i) certain point-of-sale discounts on prescription pharmaceutical products; and (ii) certain fixed fee service arrangements between manufacturers and PBMs.
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President Trump Delivers Much Anticipated Drug Pricing Speech

May 14, 2018 | Blog | By Susan Berson, Theresa Carnegie, Tara E. Dwyer

On Friday, after weeks of delay, the President finally delivered his Drug Pricing Speech and released the HHS Blueprint detailing the Trump Administration's plan to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs.
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CMS Releases 2019 MA and Part D Final Rules and Call Letter

April 4, 2018 | Blog | By Tara E. Dwyer

Earlier this week, CMS released both the Contract Year 2019 Final Rules for Medicare Advantage and Part D (Final Rules) and the 2019 Call Letter. CMS also released fact sheets for the Final Rule and the Call Letter.
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CMS has slowly but surely been providing additional guidance to Medicare Plans (Medicare Advantage and Part D plans) regarding steps they can and should take to address the opioid epidemic as it relates to their beneficiaries. CMS’s most recent guidance to Plans regarding the opioid epidemic was included in the Advance Notice and Call Letter.
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News & Press

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In the latest guide, Mintz garnered rankings as a top national firm in eight practice areas, and 32 firm attorneys were individually recognized.
This feature article discusses a potentially significant change proposed to Medicare Advantage audits by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Health Law Member Tara Dwyer is among the industry sources quoted in the story providing commentary.
Mintz is pleased to announce that eight attorneys have been named Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers for 2018 and three others have been named Washington, D.C. Rising Stars. The annual publication identifies lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
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Mintz is advising a consortium of investors led by TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in their acquisition of Kindred Healthcare, Inc. The definitive agreement totals approximately $4.1 billion in cash including the assumption or repayment of net debt.
Eight Mintz attorneys have been named Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers for 2017 and four have been named Washington, D.C. Rising Stars. The list will be published in a special advertising supplement in The Washington Post Magazine and in a stand-alone magazine, Washington D.C. Super Lawyers Magazine.
Seven Mintz attorneys have been named Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers for 2015 and five have been named Washington, D.C. Rising Stars. The list will be published in a special advertising supplement in Washington Post Magazine and in a stand-alone Washington D.C. Super Lawyers Magazine.

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