On September 21, 2022, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis held public hearings and issued a report assessing the performance of large, for-profit nursing home chains during the early phase of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Subcommittee’s ongoing investigation began in June 2020, and focused on five for-profit nursing home chains that collectively operated over 850 skilled nursing facilities, each of which had significant outbreaks across their facilities. The Subcommittee’s key findings paint an extremely negative picture of for-profit facilities, and include the following allegations:
“The guidance reminds the public that the HIPAA Privacy Rule does not apply to employers or employment records.”
On September 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released guidance (the “Guidance”) entitled, “HIPAA, COVID-19 Vaccination, and the Workplace,” regarding the applicability of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule (“Privacy Rule”) to disclosures and requests for information regarding COVID-19 vaccination status. In a frequently-asked-questions format, the Guidance sets forth a series of workplace-related scenarios involving the confidentiality of an employee’s vaccination status, an employer’s ability to obtain vaccination information from its employees, and the confidentiality of such information.…
As many of us are starting to see the small light at the end of the tunnel, many hospitals are still reeling from the stress of the last year. Following…
Continue Reading Implications of the Pandemic on Hospitals – New OIG Report, Government Response, and What Comes Next
On February 26, 2021, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), and other health coverage issuesrelated to COVID-19.
Continue Reading New Guidance on Health Plans’ COVID-19 Coverage Obligations
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency (the “PHE”) first declared on March 13, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued blanket Section 1135 Waivers to expand, albeit on a temporary basis during the PHE, the range of healthcare professionals who can provide Medicare-covered telehealth services to include physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and other non-physician practitioners. (See also, CMS Fact Sheet, “Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet” (March 17, 2020) and CMS’s “COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers” (December 1, 2020)).
Continue Reading The Other Shoe Drops: OIG To Audit COVID-19 Telehealth Home Health Services
On January 15, 2021, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the initial pilot projects selected for the Connected Care Pilot Program (“Pilot Program”) for telehealth services. The list includes 14 pilot projects spanning 11 states and more than 150 treatment sites, totaling $26.6 million awarded of the allotted $100 million under the Pilot Program. We first introduced the Pilot Program on this blog back in April, including a full breakdown of guidance and filing requirements to request funding.
Continue Reading FCC Announces Initial Connected Care Pilot Program Projects For Telehealth
The Sheppard Mullin telehealth team is proud to announce the creation of a new series focusing on developments in telehealth on a state level. The series will include, among other things, blog posts and webinars on state telehealth related matters.
Continue Reading New Telehealth Series: The “State” of Telehealth
|N.B. Concurrent with the posting of this article, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has decided to recommend to the FDA that the FDA approve the emergency use authorization applications submitted by Pfizer and BioNTech. It is being reported that the FDA may formally approve the applications as soon as tomorrow, Friday, December 11, 2020. More detail regarding the recommendation and the FDA’s decision will be discussed in a follow-up article.|
On Monday, December 7, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that, “Hope is on the horizon with the [COVID-19] vaccination. We continue to accelerate our planning and preparedness for a safe and equitable vaccine distribution.” As noted by the Governor, California expects to receive a little more than two million doses of the vaccine this month including 327,000 doses from pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, and 2.6 million doses from biotechnology maker, Moderna.
Continue Reading “Hope Is On The Horizon”: California Governor Gavin Newsom Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan
G force is used to describe the acceleration of an object relative to gravity. The Wright brothers understood that the lift of the airplane had to be greater than the force of gravity. In much the same way, the pull of gravity that healthcare providers are facing today is COVID-19. …
Continue Reading And We Have Lift-Off: Improvements in Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management to Address COVID-19 Challenges
In an effort to provide additional relief to a health care system strained by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (“ONC”) released an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (“IFC”) on October 29, 2020 that extends the compliance dates under the 21st Century Cures Act Interoperability, Information Blocking, and ONC Health IT Certification Program Final Rule (the “Final Rule”) and offers some technical corrections and clarifications.
Continue Reading Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT Extends Compliance Deadlines under Interoperability Final Rule
On October 6, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released guidance regarding the requirements and enforcement process for hospital reporting of COVID-19 data elements (the “Guidance”). The Guidance follows the September 2, 2020 Interim Final Rule, which included new requirements for Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals and critical access hospitals (“CAHs”) to report data that allows CMS “to monitor whether individual hospitals and CAHs are appropriately tracking, responding to, and mitigating the spread and impact of COVID-19 on patients, the staff who care for them, and the general public.”…
Continue Reading Clarity on Reporting and Enforcement: CMS Issues Guidance Regarding Hospital COVID-19 Reporting Requirements