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Showing 16 posts in COVID-19.

OIG and CMS Audits Present New Round of Compliance Concerns for Healthcare Providers

Since the beginning of the Public Health Emergency, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) data reflect over 44 million COVID-19 cases, 3 million COVID-19 related hospitalizations, and 720,000 COVID-19 deaths. COVID-19 has placed enormous stress on our healthcare system. Federal and state responses to COVID-19 have woven a complex and complicated safety net by easing regulatory requirements through waivers and funneling billions of dollars to providers among many other actions.  Just as the pandemic may finally be easing, federal focus on use of COVID-19 resources promises to increase healthcare providers’ stress.  More >

SCOTUS Blocks OSHA ETS; Healthcare Mandate Moves Forward

Thursday afternoon, the United States Supreme Court ruled to block the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that would require private employers of 100 or more workers to mandate employee vaccination against COVID-19, or weekly testing for the virus. The Court upheld, however, a similar rule for healthcare employers contracted with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) as further outlined below. More >

Pandemic Pivot to Telemedicine Creates New Compliance Issues for Healthcare Providers

The shift to telemedicine in the United States predates the pandemic, but COVID-19 has accelerated its widespread use. In April of 2019, the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) finalized rules to increase telehealth benefits for Medicare Advantage enrollees, effectively incentivizing health systems with high numbers of private Medicare plan recipients to invest in telehealth services. More >

FDA Approval Means Smoother Road to Vaccine Mandates for Healthcare Employers

Amidst the new surge of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. due to the highly contagious Delta variant, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, one of three that has been available under Emergency Use Authorization, has achieved full approval. As the need for a fully vaccinated healthcare workforce grows more critical, this FDA announcement paves a smoother path for healthcare facilities’ employee vaccine mandates. Healthcare employers should understand how to implement an effective vaccine mandate to protect the health and safety of their employees and patients. More >

The 2020 CARES Act: Caring About Substance Abuse Treatment Document ("SUD") Privacy

As of March 8th, 2021 there were more than 28,813,424 cases and 523,850 COVID-19-related deaths in the U.S., representing 20% of the world's known COVID-19 deaths, and the most deaths of any country.[1] More >

A Christmas Miracle! Congress Agrees on a New Coronavirus Relief Bill

After nine months of negotiations and stalemates, Congress finally reached an agreement for a $900 billion relief package on December 20, 2020. Included are many familiar provisions from the March CARES Act, with a particular emphasis on small business benefits and relief for health care providers. More >

Alert: Rural Health Clinics - Your COVID-19 Testing Program Report is Due NOW!

While the extra health care dollars distributed by HHS for coronavirus testing were well received by rural health clinics and other providers, those funds come with important reporting requirements that take effect immediately.  The Department of Health and Human Services’ funding initiative of $225 million for rural health clinics’ coronavirus testing efforts, known as the Rural Testing Relief Fund or Rural Health Clinic (“RHC”) COVID-19 Testing Program, is no exception to such requirements. These reporting requirements as well as the others for state and federal health care dollars related to the pandemic should be carefully followed as the HHS Inspector General and the Department of Justice are already investigating to ferret out misuse, fraud, waste, and abuse of these funds.   More >

WARNING: DOL Moves the Goalposts on FFCRA for Healthcare Providers

When the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) was passed, healthcare providers breathed a sigh of relief to see that an exception had been carved out for them regarding the mandatory leave provisions of the law. This exclusion permitted entities with less than 500 employees to exclude “health care providers” from mandatory leave provisions. The first rules to interpret this provision defined “health care providers” in such a manner that all employees of a healthcare provider that itself met the definition would also meet the exclusion. This interpretation is no more. More >

A Potpourri of COVID-19 Takeaways for Healthcare Providers

While the COVID-19 virus surges and possibly re-surges in states all around us, Kentucky’s cautious management of this crisis has created opportunities for healthcare providers to ease back into business and shift into recovery. Whether Kentucky can continue to contain the virus is uncertain, but as healthcare providers retool and spend the federal dollars infused by the CARES ACT, here are the areas to watch. More >

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