CMS Proposes Permanent Expansion of Telehealth Services
August 5, 2020 | Ada Janocinska | Behavioral Health | COVID-19 | 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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Hospitals to Get $10 Billion in COVID-19 Funding
July 21, 2020 | COVID-19 | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on July 17 that it will begin distributing a second round of funding to hospitals in “high impact COVID-19 areas.” The funding is intended to address the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country.

The funding is based on data submitted by hospitals about

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FCC Increases Funding for Rural Telehealth Services
July 17, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Behavioral Health | COVID-19 | 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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Wearables Brands Fight for Healthcare Space
June 23, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | COVID-19 | Electronic Health Records | Employer/Employee | Legislation and Public Policy | Medical Devices and Wearables | Telehealth

Manufacturers of activity trackers and smartwatches have been fighting over the “serious” healthcare market for several years. Companies such as Apple (previously discussed here), Fitbit (previously discussed here), and Garmin (previously discussed here) have all announced research partnerships with academic and clinical institutions to expand their businesses from the “exercise and fitness” market into healthcare

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NYC Health Department Updates Guidance on COVID Testing
June 4, 2020 | Ada Janocinska | COVID-19 | Legislation and Public Policy

On June 2, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued Health Advisory #18 which recommends that all New Yorkers receive testing for COVID-19 regardless of whether or not they present symptoms or are considered to be at an increased risk for the virus. This is a change from prior guidance which

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FCC Approves COVID-19 Telehealth Program Funding
May 29, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Behavioral Health | COVID-19 | 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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Assess Legal Risk, Payer Policies to Head Off Hidden Dangers of COVID-19 Reopening
May 21, 2020 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | COVID-19 | Legislation and Public Policy | Litigation | Private Insurers

A May 18 article in Part B News, “Assess legal risk, payer policies to head off hidden dangers of COVID-19 reopening,” discussed how medical practices should take steps to protect themselves from legal and insurance issues. Rivkin Radler’s Robert Iseman was quoted in the article, which advises medical practices that are beginning to reopen on

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What to Watch as COVID-19 Cash Crunch Fuels Hospital M&A
May 18, 2020 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Antitrust | COVID-19 | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy

A May 15 article in Law360, “What to Watch as COVID-19 Cash Crunch Fuels Hospital M&A,” discussed the wave of hospital mergers due to the coronavirus pandemic and its financial impact on healthcare facilities. The article also addressed possible antitrust enforcement actions against hospitals that must merge to remain financially viable. Rivkin Radler’s Robert Iseman

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New Executive Orders Aid OPWDD Facilities amid COVID-19
May 18, 2020 | John F. Queenan | Behavioral Health | COVID-19 | 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 | COVID-19 | 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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