Behavioral Health


New Executive Orders Aid OPWDD Facilities amid COVID-19
May 18, 2020 | John F. Queenan | Cassandra Rivais DiNova | Behavioral Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy
In our prior bulletin, we discussed the likely lack of civil immunity from Justice Center enforcement actions conferred in other contexts by Executive Order 202.10. However, other Executive Orders provided some relief in the form of certain suspended or waived requirements applicable to facilities licensed by the Office of People with Development Disabilities (OPWDD). By several …
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CMS Announces Further Rule Changes to Address Pandemic
May 4, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | ACOs | Behavioral Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Telehealth
On April 30, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced numerous regulatory waivers and rule changes to, among other things, expand Medicare beneficiaries’ access to coronavirus testing and telehealth services. CMS also made changes to address financial concerns that had been raised by many accountable care organizations (ACOs). The changes included adding behavioral …
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OIG Posts FAQs on Enforcement During Pandemic
April 29, 2020 | Geoffrey R. Kaiser | Behavioral Health | False Claims Act | Fraud and Abuse | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Telehealth
On April 24, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published responses to certain frequently asked questions and further explained its application of administrative enforcement authorities to arrangements directly connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. OIG stated that it is accepting inquiries regarding application of its administrative …
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Little COVID-19 Relief for Facilities and Providers Subject to Justice Center Actions
April 24, 2020 | Cassandra Rivais DiNova | John F. Queenan | Behavioral Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy
Although Executive Order 202.10 gave health care providers some immunity for COVID-19 related care, this immunity does not extend to actions by the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs (“Justice Center”). A provider or facility could be prosecuted for allegations of abuse or neglect by the Justice Center for actions taken during this …
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COVID-19 Business Briefing: Telehealth
April 7, 2020 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Behavioral Health | Cybersecurity | HIPAA | Home Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Private Insurers | Telehealth
On April 6, Rivkin Radler’s Eric Fader presented a COVID-19 Business Briefing on Telehealth. The Briefing covered recent developments in federal and state law and policy, and changes in private insurers’ policies, that have been aimed at encouraging the use of telehealth during the current public health emergency. This Business Briefing was the second in …
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CISA Guidance Clarifies “Essential Industry” for Healthcare
March 31, 2020 | Marc S. Ullman | Behavioral Health | Home Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medical Devices and Wearables | Pharmaceuticals
On March 28, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a much-needed update clarifying what constitutes “essential industry” during the national COVID-19 response. This updated Guidance is especially important as many of the individual state declarations of emergency refer to “essential industry” without any enumeration, or specifically reference DHS-CISA agency …
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CARES Act: Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Provisions
March 30, 2020 | Christopher J. Kutner | Behavioral Health | Electronic Health Records | HIPAA | Legislation and Public Policy | Telehealth
Several of the provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) will help people with substance use disorders and the healthcare professionals who care for them. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will receive $425 million to address mental health and substance use disorder needs as a result of …
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CARES Act Changes Privacy Rules for Substance Use Disorder Records
March 30, 2020 | Ashley (Osadon) Algazi | Behavioral Health | Cybersecurity | Electronic Health Records | HIPAA | Legislation and Public Policy | Litigation | Telehealth
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), signed into law on March 27, made some substantial changes to the confidentiality rules for substance abuse and mental health records to bring them in line with HIPAA confidentiality rules. Among the changes, a covered entity or business associate may now use or disclose substance …
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CMS Expands Medicare Telehealth Coverage
March 18, 2020 | Margarita Christoforou | Behavioral Health | 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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NJ Bills Preserve ACA Protections
January 28, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Affordable Care Act | Behavioral Health | Legislation and Public Policy | Private Insurers
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently signed into law a package of nine bills that will preserve for state residents many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) even if the ACA itself is ultimately found unconstitutional. The new laws continue a trend among Democratic states that was previously discussed on Rivkin Rounds …
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