Cuomo Seeks to Increase Number of NYS Healthcare Workers
March 24, 2020 | Ashley Algazi | COVID-19 | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued a number of Executive Orders aimed at temporarily facilitating the ability of healthcare professionals to practice in New York State and aid hospitals in the care and treatment of coronavirus patients. Gov. Cuomo has also been directly soliciting healthcare professionals from all forms of practice to supplement hospital

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HHS Issues National Emergency Health Care Waivers
March 23, 2020 | Geoffrey R. Kaiser | COVID-19 | Fraud and Abuse | HIPAA | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid

Responding to the Coronavirus public health emergency, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) has waived certain requirements of the Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), including requirements relating to the Stark Self-Referral Law (“Stark”), the HIPAA privacy regulations and the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). This action was taken

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FDA Announces Modified Inspection Protocols
March 20, 2020 | Marc S. Ullman | COVID-19 | FDA | Legislation and Public Policy

In order to ensure the safety and health of its workforce and regulated industry, on March 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was suspending routine domestic facility inspections in order to limit potential exposure to COVID-19 for investigators and workers at facilities. FDA had previously announced that it was suspending

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NYS Takes Emergency Steps to Encourage Telehealth
March 19, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Margarita Christoforou | COVID-19 | Home Health | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Private Insurers | Telehealth

On March 17, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced the issuance of a new emergency regulation requiring insurance companies in the state to waive cost-sharing, including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, for in-network telehealth visits, whether or not related to coronavirus. The new regulation will “encourage New Yorkers to seek medical attention

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Emergency Executive Order Halts Elective Surgeries in NYC
March 18, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | COVID-19 | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, on March 16 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an Emergency Executive Order ordering the closing of restaurants, bars, gyms, and entertainment venues, and suspending numerous regulations and laws that require public meetings and hearings within the City. The Order also includes a direction to

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CMS Expands Medicare Telehealth Coverage
March 18, 2020 | Margarita Christoforou | Behavioral Health | COVID-19 | Home Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Telehealth

In an effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 17 announced the expansion of Medicare coverage for telehealth nationwide, effective immediately. CMS will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries residing anywhere in the U.S. so that those who

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CMS Website Compiles Emergency Waivers and Guidance
March 17, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | COVID-19 | Home Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Telehealth

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has created a “Current Emergencies” page on its website that compiles links to the agency’s recent press releases and guidance regarding coronavirus in one place. CMS has already issued more than 30 press releases and guidance documents in March alone and there are too many to summarize,

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HHS Issues Limited HIPAA Waiver for Coronavirus Emergency
March 17, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | COVID-19 | Electronic Health Records | HIPAA | Legislation and Public Policy

As it has previously done for specific geographic areas affected by hurricanes, on March 15, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a HIPAA Bulletin providing for a limited waiver of HIPAA sanctions and penalties for covered entities during the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) public health emergency.

Such waiver is primarily intended to

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FTC and FDA Take Joint Action to Stop COVID-19 Fraud
March 16, 2020 | Marc S. Ullman | COVID-19 | FDA | Fraud and Abuse | Legislation and Public Policy | Litigation

On March 6, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued joint Warning Letters to seven companies calling for them to cease marketing products appearing to violate federal law by making deceptive or scientifically unsupported claims about their ability to treat Coronavirus (COVID-19). The companies targeted, (1) Vital Silver, (2) Quinessence

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CMS and ONC Release New Interoperability Rules
March 12, 2020 | Ada Janocinska | Electronic Health Records | HIPAA | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medical Devices and Wearables | Medicare and Medicaid | Private Insurers | Telehealth

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have finalized two highly anticipated rules that are intended to give patients “unprecedented safe, secure access to their health data.”

ONC will establish a certification process for application programming interfaces (APIs) that will meet certain interoperability

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