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UPDATED 3/20/20 - New Telehealth Expansion May Benefit Healthcare Entities

Telehealth may be the answer to sustaining rural health care, hospital outpatient services, and primary care during the COVID-19 health crisis. With the CMS announcement on March 17th of how it will pay for telehealth, delineation of the codes, and major changes for patient location requirement, all rural health clinics, physician practices that provide MAT, primary care practices, federally qualified health care centers, and hospital outpatient departments should immediately review the expansion of telehealth coverage and determine how practices and clinics can benefit from the relaxed requirements and how these services can be quickly implemented.

Also, on March 19, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services expanded Medicaid services to include “any appropriate health service related to or rationally related to the declared emergency” and telehealth services which may include the use of a telephone. This new regulation temporarily suspends certain income and institutionalization restrictions. The regulation also expands its reach to services provided under WIC. These changes will have a corresponding effect on Medicaid coverage and payments.

Implementation of a telehealth program requires careful consideration of the requirements and new policies and procedures.  Also, all services regardless of ambiguous government guidance must be well documented.

Telehealth may be the way to provide services and protect health care providers.  Let us know if McBrayer can be of assistance.  The CMS fact sheet related to the telehealth expansion can be found here

Lisa English Hinkle is a Member of McBrayer law. Ms. Hinkle chairs the healthcare law practice and is located in the firm’s Lexington office. Contact Ms. Hinkle at lhinkle@mcbrayerfirm.com or (859) 231-8780, ext. 1256, or reach out to any of the attorneys at McBrayer. 

This article does not constitute legal advice. Services may be performed by others.

Need Extra Clinical Support? Here's How

Are you a healthcare provider hoping to hire additional clinical support during COVID-19? It may be time to consider a professional services agreement or lease. More >

Getting Long-Term Lost with Compliance for Long Term Care? OIG Has A Roadmap

Long Term Care (“LTC”) facilities have been a renewed area of focus for regulators in recent years, due to changes in Medicare and the potential for harm to a vulnerable population at the hands of bad actors. In April of 2019, for instance, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) put out a Data Brief with the ominous headline, “Trends in Deficiencies at Nursing Homes Show That Improvements Are Needed To Ensure the Health and Safety of Residents.” Unfortunately, this renewed focus exponentially increases the need for a push to instill compliance as a key tenet of a facility’s culture. Luckily, in 2000 and again in 2008, the OIG released a very clear roadmap for compliance that’s still reliable today. We’ll hit some of the highlights. More >

New Kentucky Healthcare Laws Now in Effect – Legislative Developments for Healthcare Practitioners

This article originally appeared in MD Update Magazine #123 in September of 2019.

2019 was a slow year for healthcare-related developments in the Kentucky legislature. Nothing was enacted that was as major – or as controversial – within the healthcare community as 2017’s medical review panels law. A few noteworthy laws take effect this year that might otherwise fly under the radar. More >

Companies—It May Be Time to Reevaluate Your Corporate Compliance Program

In April 2019, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Criminal Division, issued a guidance document entitled “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs.”[1] This guidance updates standards the DOJ utilizes to investigate, charge, and negotiate criminal charges related to corporate crimes.[2] Although the DOJ recognizes that each company has its own set of unique risks, its investigations often include three common questions in assessing the effectiveness of a company’s corporate compliance program. More >

A Physician’s Guide to Employment Contracts with Hospitals and Health Systems

As hospitals and health systems continue moves toward clinical integration, more physicians are being employed by hospitals and health systems rather than practicing medicine in their own private practices.  The trend toward direct hospital employment of physicians accelerated after 2012 and it appears that the trend will continue as both hospitals and physicians navigate regulatory, reimbursement, and operational challenges in the future.  When considering employment by a hospital or health system, physicians should be mindful of various provisions that are often contained in physician employment agreements and how these provisions may impact the physician’s professional practice and personal life.  Here are important issues to consider when evaluating whether to enter into an employment agreement with a hospital or health system.  More >

The Hard Truth: Treating the Opioid Epidemic Webinar Recap

Posted In Opioid Epidemic

Click here to watch the video replay of the webinar.

In January of 2019, the National Safety Council released a study with an alarming result: Since 2017, the odds of dying by accidental opioid overdose have exceeded the odds of dying in a car accident. With the opioid crisis raging, the first line of defense may now be healthcare providers, especially rural ones, who treat patients on a daily basis. More >

A New Opportunity: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Recognizes the Full Potential of Ambulance Crews and Services

In mid-February 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), Innovation Center and the Department for Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced a ground-breaking payment and medical services initiative for ambulance providers called “Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport” (the “ET3”). This new model is the first step in allowing providers of Emergency Medical Services to finally “take off the gloves” to fully utilize both their medical skills and unique patient knowledge to implement a more efficient and effective care model. More >

Compliance is Crucial

This article appeared in the December edition of MD-UPDATE, available at  http://www.md-update.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/MD-Update-Issue-118/#?page=8

In the current legal enforcement environment, it is crucial that healthcare providers prioritize compliance initiatives and programs in order to avoid illegal practices that may result in large financial penalties and both criminal and civil liability.   More >

#MeToo in Healthcare: The Time to Act is Now

This article appeared in the November edition of Medical News, available at https://www.medicalnews.md/metoo-in-healthcare-the-time-to-act-is-now/.

The #MeToo movement has sparked a momentous conversation in American life, but the pressure on the healthcare industry to address workplace harassment has been in place for some time now. For example, in 2012, a California Physician assistant was awarded $168 million by a jury (later settled for an undisclosed amount) after filing numerous complaints alleging sexual harassment and patient safety issues, actions which a jury believed led to her firing from a hospital and later, retaliation.[i] This is one of a number of examples of verdicts and out-of-court settlements in the millions of dollars, all due to sexual harassment in a healthcare workplace. These are not outliers. More >

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