Legislation and Public Policy


CMS Expands Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to Assist Providers
April 1, 2020 | Margarita Christoforou | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid
As healthcare providers continue to fight the coronavirus outbreak, many practices are suffering major disruptions due to the cancellation of elective surgeries and office visits, among other things. In an effort to lessen the financial hardships facing these providers, on March 28 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an expansion of its …
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Legal Protections for NYS Healthcare Workers
April 1, 2020 | Benjamin P. Malerba | Jeannine M. Farino | David E. Richman | Legislation and Public Policy | Litigation
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on March 23 expanding resources to healthcare workers. The goal is to meet the treatment demands of coronavirus patients and, most significantly, provide healthcare providers with protection against lawsuits for medical malpractice and other potential liability. Executive Order 202.10 grants immunity to all physicians, physician assistants, …
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CMS Issues Guidance on Blanket Stark Law Waivers During COVID-19 Crisis
April 1, 2020 | Geoffrey R. Kaiser | Ada Kozicz | Fraud and Abuse | Home Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid
On March 30, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued blanket waivers of certain requirements of the federal physician self-referral law (Stark Law), retroactive to March 1, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. A detailed discussion of the waivers may be found here. …
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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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New Law Allows Coronavirus Leave for Employees
March 30, 2020 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Employer/Employee | Legislation and Public Policy
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed into law on March 18, provides for the right to two different types of leave: “public health emergency leave” under a section of the FFCRA called the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, and paid sick time under a section of the FFCRA called the Emergency …
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NYS Halts All Non-Essential Construction
March 30, 2020 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy
On March 27, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an order requiring all “non-essential” construction in the State to shut down, with the exception of (i) emergency projects necessary to protect the health and safety of building occupants; and (ii) projects that would be unsafe to shut down when incomplete, which may continue until they …
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CARES Act: Diagnostic Testing and Laboratory-Related Provisions
March 26, 2020 | Geoffrey R. Kaiser | FDA | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Private Insurers
Several of the provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed by the Senate on March 25 relate to laboratory diagnostic testing for the COVID-19 virus. Within Division A of the CARES Act, titled “Keeping Workers Paid and Employed, Health Care System Enhancements, and Economic Stabilization,” there are four sections …
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FDA Reassures on Safety of U.S. Food Supply
March 26, 2020 | Marc S. Ullman | FDA | Legislation and Public Policy
Amidst concerns over the rapid spread of COVID-19, on March 24, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas issued a statement advising Americans that “there is no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.” Yiannas noted …
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