On May 16, 2024, the Subcommittee on Health of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (the “Subcommittee”) announced that it advanced the Telehealth Modernization Act of 2024 (H.R. 7623) as amended (the “Bill”) during a markup session. The Bill is meant to extend a number of telehealth flexibilities under Medicare through 2026. This corresponded with 22 other bills advanced by the Subcommittee to strengthen access to healthcare.Continue Reading Congress Seeks to Extend COVID-19 Telehealth Flexibilities Through 2026 and Expand Reimbursement

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

At HLTH 2023, we saw a focus on certain themes, including the shift in investments and M&A activity, hospital and health system innovation and transformation, the implementation of AI, and healthcare management. Below are our top 10 takeaways from what we heard, and did not hear, at HLTH 2023.Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin’s Top 10 Takeaways from HLTH 2023

What is New:

Department of Health Care Access and Information (“HCAI”) posted a draft methodology for evaluating applications for the Distressed Hospital Loan Program (“Loan Program”) and is surveying California hospitals to assess interest in the Loan Program. Continue Reading Update to: A Lifeline Amidst Turbulent Times: California Lawmakers Approve Emergency Loans for Struggling Hospitals

On April 26, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released a fact sheet on Hospital Price Transparency Enforcement Updates[1] (the “Fact Sheet”) under the Hospital Price Transparency Rule (the “Rule”).[2] CMS’ updates were targeted at increasing compliance by hospitals with the Rule and providing a more streamlined enforcement process for violations of the Rule.Continue Reading CMS Releases Updates to Hospital Pricing Transparency Rule

As an update to our previous post, on Monday, May 15, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 112 (“AB 112”), which is designed to provide

Continue Reading Update to: A Lifeline Amidst Turbulent Times: California Lawmakers Approve Emergency Loans for Struggling Hospitals

Summary: California lawmakers have greenlighted emergency loans to support struggling hospitals facing financial challenges across the state. These loans will serve as a critical lifeline, helping eligible hospitals stabilize operations and navigate through turbulent times. Assembly Bill 112, passed by the California Senate and Assembly and expected to be signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom, establishes the Distressed Hospital Loan Program and the Distressed Hospital Loan Program Fund, which are designed to provide interest-free cashflow loans to not-for-profit hospitals, public hospitals in significant financial distress, and governmental entities representing a closed hospital (i.e., a hospital that closed after January 1, 2022). Understanding the qualifications and limitations outlined in the proposed legislation, including loan repayment terms and loan forgiveness options, is crucial for potential hospital participants.Continue Reading A Lifeline Amidst Turbulent Times: California Lawmakers Approve Emergency Loans for Struggling Hospitals

As surges in various respiratory illnesses – including COVID-19 – loom over holiday gatherings, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) held an Open Door Forum for skilled nursing facility (“SNF”) providers addressing their obligations to offer/provide COVID-19 vaccinations, vaccination education and COVID-19 treatments, and gave providers the opportunity to bring up questions about obstacles they are facing in achieving compliance with the federal requirements.Continue Reading Long Term Care Update: As Winter Arrives, CMS Renews its Emphasis on COVID-19 Vaccinations, Bivalent Boosters and Timely Therapeutic Treatments

Overall, healthcare professionals are 10-15% more likely to develop substance abuse issues than the general population.[1] As addiction to prescription medication has reached nation-wide epidemic proportions, it has become a major driver of drug diversion. Drug diversion occurs when prescription medicines are obtained or used illegally. Healthcare practitioners and facilities are the gatekeepers tasked with safeguarding prescription controlled substances. The failure of a facility to effectively prevent drug diversion leads to substandard care, the denial of essential pain medication or therapy, risk of infection, and even death. Continue Reading Don’t Let Drugs Bring You Down: The Importance of an Effective Drug Diversion Program

In its December Hospital Flash Report, Kaufman Hall identified and reviewed the continued, negative impact of COVID-19 on hospital operating margins. After a dramatic drop in hospital margins during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and early 2021, hospitals experienced a fluctuation of decreasing and increasing margins in the latter-half of the year. Overall, hospital margins remain significantly narrower than they were in 2019, before the pandemic. As a result, the industry may see an increase in hospital transactions in 2022 to offset the operational and financial hardships that continue to burden the health care system, as described in greater detail below.
Continue Reading COVID-19 Impacts and Outcomes on Hospital Margins in 2021: Increased Activity in Hospital Transactions in 2022?