Photo of Carmen Jule

Carmen Jule is special counsel in the Governmental Practice in the firm's New York office.

In a Final Rule issued on May 6, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) finalized regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“Section 1557”). The Final Rule updates and strengthens protections for individuals who participate in health programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance (“Covered Entities,” as further defined below). Continue Reading DHHS Bolsters Non-Discrimination Protections for Recipients of Covered Health Care Services and Activities

Effective October 20, 2024, New York hospitals must have in place State-mandated changes to their financial assistance (“FA”) programs (including FA eligibility criteria and debt collection practices) and their practices related to consent forms, and patient use of credit cards and medical financial products. The new requirements were enacted as part of the State’s health and mental hygiene budget legislation for fiscal year 2024 through 2025, signed into law by Governor Hochul on April 20, 2024. The legislation expands financial assistance eligibility to a wider range of patients and implements greater patient protections related to medical debt collection practices.Continue Reading New York Broadly Revises Hospital Financial Assistance, Medical Debt Collection and Related Requirements

In a long-awaited and controversial Final Rule posted on April 22, 2024,[1] the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted new federal minimum staffing requirements that will require long-term care facilities to (1) ensure the presence of a registered nurse (RN) on-site 24 hours per day, seven days per week; and (2) provide a minimum of 3.48 total nurse staffing hours per resident day (HPRD), which includes at least 0.55 HPRD for RNs and 2.45 HPRD for nurse aides (NAs). Despite industry-wide opposition to federal minimum staffing standards and the lack of any new funding, CMS believes that these new standards will increase staffing in more than 79 percent of nursing facilities nationwide. Notably, the Final Rule establishes staffing requirements that exceed the current minimum staffing standards in all 50 states.Continue Reading CMS Finalizes Federal Minimum Staffing Standards for Nursing Homes

On January 17, 2024, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) and the Office of Personnel Management issued a notice that they will reopen the period for submitting comments on the proposed rule, “Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) Operations” (the “Proposed Rule”) under the No Surprises Act (the “Act”).Continue Reading Comment Period for the No Surprises Act Proposed Rule, “Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) Operations,” Will Reopen

On November 17, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) will publish a final rule requiring Medicare skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”) and Medicaid nursing facilities (“Facilities”) to provide more detailed ownership, managerial and other information on Form CMS-855A (the “Final Rule”).[1] The Final Rule also includes new definitions of “private equity company” and “real estate investment trust” for Medicare enrollment purposes for all Medicare institutional providers and suppliers.Continue Reading CMS Issues a Final Rule Requiring Nursing Facilities and Other Providers and Suppliers to Disclose Additional Ownership Information

The status of the independent dispute resolution (IDR) process under the No Surprises Act (NSA) is ever-evolving. Providers are waiting on the sidelines as cases weave their way through the court system. While the IDR process is currently on hold, it is incumbent on providers, payors, and individuals to remain vigilant and stay abreast of the forthcoming changes.Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin Webinar – No Surprises Act: Litigation Update and Recent Guidance

On September 1, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a long-awaited proposal to establish new federal minimum staffing standards for long-term care facilities.[1] If the proposed rule is finalized, CMS estimates that approximately 75% of all nursing homes would have to “strengthen staffing in their facilities” in order to meet the new requirements.[2]Continue Reading Long Term Care Facilities Face Mandatory Minimum Staffing Requirements

On August 24, 2023, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas again largely ruled in favor of the Texas Medical Association and other plaintiffs (including air ambulance providers) and vacated certain regulations[1] and related guidance concerning how the “Qualified Payment Amount” (“QPA”) – one of the factors in the arbitration of out-of-network disputes – is calculated under the No Surprises Act (the “Act”).[2] The Court also vacated certain rules specific to the QPA and Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (“IDR”) process for out-of-network air ambulance services.Continue Reading Another No Surprises Act Update: Texas Court Vacates Rules and Guidance Related to the “Qualified Payment Amount”

On August 21, 2023, the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) announced updates to the Medicaid overpayment self-disclosure program, which now includes an abbreviated process for reporting and explaining overpayments that are considered routine or transactional in nature and have been already voided and adjusted.Continue Reading New York Medicaid Providers Now Have Two Pathways to Self-Disclose Overpayments to the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General

On August 3, 2023, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas once again ruled in favor of the Texas Medical Association[1] and vacated portions of the guidance related to (i) the administrative fee for the Independent Dispute Resolution (“IDR”) process created by the No Surprises Act (the “Act”) and (ii) the “batching” of claims for the IDR.[2] The Department of Health and Human Services promptly announced that the IDR process is temporarily suspended and will not be available for out-of-network disputes until further notice.Continue Reading No Surprises Act Update: Federal IDR Temporarily Suspended After Court Vacates Increased Administrative Fees and Rule for Batching Claims

On June, 23, 2023, New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed the Healthcare Accountability and Consumer Protection Act (Intro. 844-A). This local law amends the New York City Charter and directs the Mayor to establish an Office of Healthcare Accountability – the first of its kind in the country. Among other things, the NYC Office of Healthcare Accountability will allow New Yorkers to compare costs charged by NYC hospitals for the same services.Continue Reading New NYC Local Law Promotes Health Care Price Transparency