Behavioral Health


CMS Proposes Permanent Expansion of Telehealth Services
August 5, 2020 | Ada Kozicz | Behavioral Health | Home Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Telehealth
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic since mid-March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) worked quickly to issue emergency guidance that allowed temporary expansion of payment for telehealth services and provided certain flexibility in providing telehealth services. The COVID pandemic has significantly increased awareness of the benefits of telehealth, as many patients have …
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FCC Increases Funding for Rural Telehealth Services
July 17, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Behavioral Health | Home Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Telehealth
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is adding $198 million in funding to the Rural Health Care Program to help healthcare providers acquire telecommunications and broadband services. The funding is in addition to $200 million that was allocated to the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). About …
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SAMHSA Updates Part 2 Rules
July 15, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Behavioral Health | HIPAA | Legislation and Public Policy
On July 13, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the adoption of revised Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulations in an effort to improve care coordination for substance abuse patients and reduce the burdens on their providers. The revisions to the regulations, commonly known as the Part 2 Rules …
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FCC Approves COVID-19 Telehealth Program Funding
May 29, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Behavioral Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Telehealth
On May 28, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that its COVID-19 Telehealth Program has now approved a total of over $68 million in funding for 185 hospitals and other healthcare providers in 38 states plus Washington, DC. The program, whose full title states its goal of “Promoting Telehealth for Low-Income Consumers,” was adopted on …
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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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